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Dean Opens Convention Vowing to Compete in All 50 States

Banging the gavel three times, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean this afternoon officially opened the 2008 Democratic National Convention, saying his party would use the week to make a strong case for a Barack Obama presidency.

“During our national convention, we will demonstrate to all Americans why we need Barack Obama and Joe Biden in the White House. Looking out from this podium I see the diverse assembly of Democrats as a testament to the strength and unity of our party and the fruition of our 50-state strategy,” Dean said.

Dean noted that the Democratic Party is the oldest continuing political party in the world and also called it the most vibrant, inclusive and energized party. He vowed that Democrats would compete in all 50 states this fall.

Along with Dean’s remarks, the opening included the Pledge of Allegiance, the singing of the national anthem and an invocation.

Later this evening, Barack Obama’s wife, Michelle Obama, is set to speak, and Democrats are planning a tribute to Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.). Kennedy, who is battling brain cancer, is set to appear at the convention later this evening.

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