Outgoing Democratic National Committe (DNC) Howard Dean said Democrats could lose their recent political clout if they ignore broad swaths of voters in a speech defending his 50 state strategy during a valedictory address at the DNC's winter meeting.

"We have rebuilt our party, and we have taken our country back," Dean said. He praised President Obama as the best candidate and as having the best-run campaign Dean had seen in his lifetime, but said the inroads made by the DNC and Obama would be lost if Democrats fail to live up to their post-partisan promises.

"If we are to keep these new voters engaged and keep them in the fold, we need to keep those promises. We can't afford to lose the millions of new voters who participated in this campaign for the first time," Dean said in his final speech as DNC chairman at the party's winter meeting. "This new generation and this new president wants us to put aside the divisions of the past and come together."

But Dean also cautioned that Democrats will quickly lose their inroads in states like Colorado and Virginia if Democrats curtail their outreach to voters in those states.

"We cannot appear complacent," Dean told party members. "We need to keep showing up, keep asking people for their vote, or we can lose their votes just as quickly as we gained them."

Incoming DNC Chairman, Gov. Tim Kaine (Va.), will soon be officially elected to succeed Dean, and make an introductory address.