Howard Dean Gives Advice to Idaho Dems

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While some Idaho Democrats are still licking their wounds from the 2010 election or the 2011 Republican-dominated state Legislature, others are more intent to look toward 2012 and beyond.

A few hundred packed a Saturday event in Worley to hear one-time presidential candidate and six-term Vermont Governor Howard Dean pump up the volume for new political strategies.

"I'm a lot less interested in the next election," said Dean. "And a lot more interested in elections five and six years from now."

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Dean was a featured attraction for a so-called "Campaign Academy," at the Couer d'Alene Casino Resort Hotel in Idaho's panhandle. Elected officials and party chairpersons from across the state said their first task was to solidify their base before they began targeting what they said was a growing number of "undecideds, swing-voters and disenfrachised Republicans."

For the better part of an hour, Dean preached to the choir.

"Republicans are way outside the mainstream now," said Dean. "And they're scaring the living daylights out of people."

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