Howard Dean

Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean was Wednesday's guest. Here are excerpts from his remarks:

On prospects for a Democratic wave sweeping over Congress in 2006:

"The first of two ingredients for a wave is here ... people really want a change.... The second piece is that the Democratic Party has to be seen as the vehicle for change. That is my job, Harry Reid's job, Nancy Pelosi's job...."

On the biggest issues in the 2006 election:

"The biggest issues of the election are character issues.... They are going to go to the president's and the Republicans' trustworthiness and honesty and their competence. And they are going to lose big on both those issues. After that we get to Iraq, we get to the economy, we get to healthcare."

On the Democrats' policy on Iraq:

"There is a consensus that we cannot continue to have a permanent commitment to a failed strategy.... One, we are going to support our troops and two, you are going to see a ... desire to resolve the situation ... by turning this over to the Iraqis and bringing our folks home. The only thing that is left up to some modest differences is what the timetable is."

On religion and politics:

"The religious community has to decide whether they want to be tax exempt or involved in politics."

On Democrats' slogan in the 2008 election:

"One of our slogans is probably going to end up being 'tough and smart.' Because what the Republicans have done is tough and not very smart."

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