U.S. Democrats elect Dean as chairman

2004 presidential hopeful Howard Dean elected as chair of the Democratic National Party

His presidential hopes may have been drowned out by a famous scream, but Howard Dean is getting a new chance to speak for his party.

Members of the Democratic National Party elected the former Vermont governor to be their chairman on Saturday. He replaces outgoing Terry McAuliffe.

Dean promised to re-energize the party – but not to run for president in 2008.

The 56-year-old physician also vowed a tough fight with the Republicans and told members he is concerned the Republican party is gaining strength in conservative states in the southern and western United States.

The one-time front-runner for the party's 2004 presidential nomination earned praise for using the internet and an extensive network of volunteers to raise millions of dollars.

Dean was able to differentiate himself in the race by being one of the few candidates to oppose the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

His support began to slide partly because of a public image gaffe when a boom mike picked up a screaming rant he made to supporters after the Iowa caucuses.