DNC - Dean Welcomes Obama Team to DNC Thanks Senator Hillary Clinton for Historic Run, Ongoing Leadership

Washington, DC - Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean today issued the following statement, welcoming the Obama team as we transition to the general election campaign:

"Over the last three years, the DNC staff has worked tirelessly to ensure that the Democratic Party is strong in all 50 states and that we communicate our values to Americans across the country. The DNC and the Obama Campaign are now working together to continue this effort. I'm pleased to welcome Paul Tewes from the Obama Campaign who will help lead our team here at the DNC and ensure a smooth transition to our general election efforts. We know that we have a lot of work ahead of us. On everything from the war in Iraq, to privatizing Social Security, to making the disastrous Bush tax cuts permanent, John McCain has made it clear that he is more interested in continuing the policies of the past rather than facing America's future. Working together, I am confident we will elect Barack Obama the next President of the United States and begin the process of rebuilding our great country.

"With the conclusion of the last primaries and caucuses Tuesday, we've marked the end of an extraordinary primary season and a long and hard fought race between two formidable and historic candidates who have made our Democratic Party proud. Our Party was very fortunate to have so many exceptional candidates in this race from the beginning. While the extended contest presented some challenges, those were significantly outweighed by the overwhelming enthusiasm and energy it generated across the country with more than 35 million people coming out to support our candidates. In every part of the country, Americans -women, men, Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, LGBT Americans, young people, veterans, students and retires, Democrats, Independents and even Republicans came out to support our two outstanding candidates and the values we share.

"I congratulate both candidates, and thank them for their commitment not only to our Party but to our country we all love and serve. This has been a transformative election for the Democratic Party in no small part because of these two extraordinary candidates, the historic nature of both campaigns, and the passion, intellect and dedication they brought to the campaign trail every day.

"On behalf of the Democratic family, I congratulate Senator Obama on becoming our party's presumptive nominee and look forward to working with him and his team as we work to ensure that he is the next president of the United States. Democrats across America are so grateful to Senator Hillary Clinton for her leadership, her commitment to America and the Democratic Party. You have inspired millions of Americans to participate in our democracy and raised critical issues during the course of this campaign. We look forward to your ongoing leadership.

"This has been a hard fought race and there have been bitter disagreements along the way but the time for disagreements has ended. It's time to come together and unite our Party. Each and every one of us has the responsibility to help ensure that our party is unified and we will all work toward an Obama Administration that will bring change we can all believe in."