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We walked the walk, touts Democrat's national chairwoman in Park City

Published: Saturday, Dec. 1 2012 8:15 p.m. MST

Democratic National Committee Vice-Chairwoman Linda Chavez-Thompson gets a hug from Aleita Huguenin at the DNC's Executive Committee meeting at the Montage Deer Valley in Park City on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

PARK CITY  — Democrats withstood the Republican assault on the White House and were victorious in other key battleground races in the last election because of a 50-states strategy that prevailed, leaving no stone unturned and no vote taken for granted.

That approach, detailed Saturday by Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, gave President Barack Obama a second term in office and is a harbinger as to how the party "plans to blow the doors off 2014 and every election going forward."

Wasserman Schultz, a south Florida Democrat who first took office seven years ago, led a meeting of the Democratic party's National Executive Committee at the posh Montage Deer Valley resort, where she emphasized the power of grassroots, cement pounding hard work to reach voters.

"We promised no one would out work us and no one did," she said. "While the other side talked the talk, we literally walked the walk. ... This election, volunteers knocked on doors until their knuckles bled and they surgically attached phones to their heads. I saw them."

She said the effort proved that "a few billionaires cannot buy" victory.

The top committee's congratulatory meeting in the Republican-stronghold state of Utah is indicative of a Democratic party strategy to take victories where it can, but most importantly forge those in areas where success may appear elusive, but still remains within reach, she added.

Such efforts led to Obama victories in states like Colorado and New Mexico and had him securing the popular vote by more than 5 million votes.

“How many of us bit our nails to the quick because it was so close,” she said, pointing to all the pundits and pollsters who mischaracterized the race as a dead heat between Obama and Republican contender Mitt Romney. In the end, she noted, Obama had 332 electoral votes to Romney’s 206, a margin she said wasn’t close at all.

Members referenced key support in party caucuses such as the Asian American/Pacific Islander, the Latino and the Lesbian Bisexual Gay and Transgender groups in solidifying victory.

Committee member Raymond Buckley, a gay former eight-term member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, said as much as the party celebrates openly gay elected officials in all 50 states, the achievement of that diversity and other differences means so much more.

“It encapsulated what we have all been talking about, the mosaic that makes up America.”

Wasserman Schultz said going forward, Obama has stressed the importance of working with members of both parties to come up with a fiscal plan that saves middle class Americans and exemplifies the best the nation has to offer.

That plan, she said, includes extending the tax cut to middle class Americans who make less than $250,000 a year and averting a tax hike that will amount to $2,200 for the typical middle class family of four.

“His bottom line will be what is best for the middle class and to move this economy forward,” she said.

E-mail: amyjoi@desnews.com Twitter: amyjoi16

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