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Inside Politics

Dean 'very pleased' with New Hampshire finish

He says voters gave his campaign new momentum

Howard Dean gestures to supporters in Manchester, New Hampshire, after the primary.
Howard Dean gestures to supporters in Manchester, New Hampshire, after the primary.

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CNN's Candy Crowley reports that for the second week in a row, Howard Dean finished behind Sen. John Kerry.
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Dean says he's pleased with his finish.
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Dean thanks the crowd at his New Hampshire headquarters
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Howard Dean
America Votes 2004
Democratic candidates
New Hampshire

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) -- Howard Dean tried to rally his supporters Tuesday evening after a second-place finish in the New Hampshire primary.

But the former Vermont governor was delayed for minutes as the crowd yelled and cheered.

"We really are going to win this nomination, aren't we?" Dean said when the crowd allowed him to speak. "You are amazing. You are amazing."

The speech was a sharp contrast to the one Dean delivered last week. There was no shouting from the candidate, no chanting the states ahead and no scream. This week, Dean kept his sleeves rolled down and wore his suit jacket.

The crowd, however, was enthusiastic.

Supporters continued to cheer as Dean thanked the "people of the state of New Hampshire" for their work in helping him regain his momentum. He had been leading in the state as recently as early last week before falling in polls after his third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.

"The people of New Hampshire have allowed all of you to hope again that we're going to have real change in America," he said.

He never acknowledged Sen. John Kerry's victory.

Earlier, Dean told CNN that he was "very pleased" with his projected second-place finish behind Kerry, after running third in Iowa.

"I think we need a lot of change," he said. "I think the only way to beat George Bush is to have somebody from outside Washington come down and do something for ordinary American working families again. I don't see that happening from inside Washington."

Dean, 55, a doctor from Burlington, Vermont, who spent 11 years as his state's chief executive, was hoping a strong finish in neighboring New Hampshire would help stabilize his campaign.

Dean, who had sparred with Kerry in the closing hours in the campaign, called the Massachusetts senator to offer his congratulations shortly after 9 p.m.

During his speech to supporters, Dean continued to offer contrasts between himself and Kerry.

"For those of you who believe America needs real change, and someone in the White House who has delivered change, we're all together in this. Stand with us to the very end," Dean said.

"For those of you who think America needs a president who is willing to stand for what is right, not just what is popular, we are all together again."

The remarks were a jab at Kerry, who was first elected to the Senate in 1984.

He said the biggest loss America has faced since Bush became president is not jobs, but the "loss of our sense of community."

"I am tired of being divided in this country," Dean said. "I am tired of being divided by race. I'm tired of being divided by gender when the president thinks he knows better than a woman as to what kind of reproductive health care she ought to have.

"When we say we want our country back, what we mean is we want the country that all of us were promised when we were 21 years old. The country where we were all in this together, where we could believe and we can hope again that America would be a better place as we grew older."

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