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Howard Dean: YOU Have The Power

Howard Dean went from being a former governor of one of the smallest states in the union to a household name during last winter's primary season. For a time, he seemed close to winning the Democratic nomination.

While things did not go the way he planned, Gov. Dean says he learned invaluable lessons on the campaign trail, which he hopes to pass on to others in his new book, "You Have The Power: Take Back Our Country And Restore Democracy In America."

On Tuesday's The Early Show, Dean pointed to one such lesson.

While other campaigns have copied many of the things his did during the primary season, particularly his highly successful Internet fundraising, Dean asserted none has picked up on what he called the most important: decentralization.

"Because we started with no money and from a very small state, we decentralized the campaign. We gave enormous amounts of power to ordinary people ... to run the campaign in places like California and Wyoming and all over the country. We had these groups of people and they basically did what they thought was right in their state without too much oversight, and it was a very empowering message."

What about Dean's penchant for making what opponents during his primary run called gaffes?

"A gaffe in Washington is when you say something that's true, but nobody thinks you should have said it."

Will Dean run for office again?

"I have no idea. I hope I won't have to think about it until 2012, because I really want John Kerry and John Edwards to be elected. We desperately need a change in this country."

Dean defended Kerry, saying he's running a fine campaign, which the media will eventually figure out.

And Dean conceded the upcoming debates will be "critical."

"We know George Bush is a great debater," Dean said, "but John Kerry has an opportunity here to show people who he is... to lay out his vision, and I think that's important."

Read an excerpt from Dean's book.

Read about the rise and fall of Dean's run for the Democratic presidential nomination.