Austin continues to be hot but enjoyable. Last night, Howard Dean rallied the troops with a somewhat focus-less stemwinder, but its main thrust was this: we’re the party of diversity and we’re proud. And: the 50-state strategy is working. I can’t help but feel warmly towards Dean every time I see him. I was never a big Dean supporter in 2004, but I really think the act of running for president radicalized him in a way. It’s pretty remarkable for someone to go from running for president to taking on the incredibly thankless job of running the DNC. Sure there’s some power and ego involved, but for the most part, he’s very seriously committed himself to building local party infrastructure, and he’s run the place without very much institutional backing inside the party.

If you doubt that last part, consider that the Obama folks are putting him on a bus for the rest of the campaign.