Howard Dean will step down as head of the Democratic National Committee at the end of the year. I followed his election to the post in 2005, when a field of party insiders were rebuffed by party delegates ready to do something besides lose to the Republicans.
Dean marshalled the 50 state strategy:
Rather than focusing just on swing states, Dean proposed what has come to be known as the 50-State Strategy. The goal, the DNC says, is for the Democratic Party to be committed to winning elections at every level in every region of the country, with Democrats organized in every single voting precinct in the country.
While it sounds obvious in today's political climate, the idea of putting resources into states like North Carolina was considered foolish and wasteful. Dean didn't heed the naysayers, and less than four years later, Democrats have wrested the White House and Congress from the hands of those promising a "permanent Republican majority".