Live from Sacramento
by Gary Boatwright, Sat Jan 22, 2005 at 09:16:28 AM EST
Barbara Boxer is a profile in courage. She came back during the Senate confirmation hearings and wouldn't let Rice off the hook. Condelizza Rice is my color, but Barbara Boxer is my kind. I'm not running for chair, but if you get out of your chairs once more I just might.
George Bush is wrong. Was wrong yesterday, is wrong today and will be wrong tomorrow. People need to see minorities and gays and young people and every color on the stage. We are not a party defeated. They misused values and we were too cowardly to stand up and say what moral values are. Morals are 2.2 million living in poverty, moral values are no health insurance, moral values are men & women dying in Iraq.
Alive in `05, straigten out tricks in `06, and get it straight in `08. I support Marjorie Harris vor vice-chair. We will fight together to take America back. This is our land and we will take it back.
The scuttlebutt I've picked up so far is to keep an eye on who Art Torres supports for chair. He's been keeping his ear to the ground and listening to the grassroots. If he doesn't endorse Dean, then the DLC is going to keep fighting Dean for chair. I met Howard Dean's brother and we had an interesting chat. He's very focused on grassroots issues and grassroots organizing. Will from "Democracy for San Francisco" is trying to get the party to focus on training local grassroots activits to go door to door and build a local structure instead of sending outsiders in to knock doors and organize.
The theme of the day is moral values, value and more moral values. We are taking back the issue of moral values. Roe v. Wade, poverty, equal wages, a livable minimum wage, and a clean environment.
Matt just invited me to Rosenberg's meeting. More later
*[Update]* I added a transcript from a Rosenberg Q & A
*[Final Update]* I bowed out of the afternoon Q & A. Everybody favors a 50 state campaign, reform, beef up the grassroots, blah, blah, blah. I'll add a new diary with my personal comments and observations a little later.
I think the public campaign is pretty much over and the battle will move to the back room trenches. Watch for statements of public support from prominant Dems to get a feel for which way the wind is blowing. My gut feeling is that Dean and Rosenberg are the last men standing. The DNC will face outright grassroots rebellion if any other candidate wins.
A plug for Greg Dewar at Schadelman.com (Click on the front page link to Schadelman.com) Greg will be adding his comments on the event later tonight or tomorrow afternoon. Greg and I had some good conversations, and I think he will have some interesting insights. (How's that for subtle pressure?)
In particular, he had an interesting analysis about Move On being able to pull together the structure and fund raising to actually form a viable third party. Chris and Jerome are probably more informed on this than I am, but that was a possibility I had not considered.
(No more additional update information in Extended Diary)
(1) MLKs birthday
(2) Bushs inaugural speech
We have to develop a better message and take it to modern media with modern ways of organizing. Fight every day for our values and fight the battle.
(3) Roe v. Wade - we canot in any way interpret the election as a rejection of Roe. We absolutely must fight for Roe and a womans right to choose. No Retreat. Not move away from our historic commitment. Make it clear we are not pro-abortion, but we will not retreat from Roe.
We are the opportunity party for all Americans.
We are the party who will make America safe.
We must lear to express our values.
Changing the way we elect the President. The Iowa and NH primary system has not worked well.
1) Has not worked to elect a Democratic President.
2) People who live in the cities, minorities do not have a voice. We have to open up the process as a party. I am the only candidate who has come out for opening up the primary process.
Q: What should we do about abortion?
A: Make it clear that we have the right position. We have to define it in a way to make our way clear so Republicans do not define it in a way that allows them to take the moral high ground.
Q: 40% of Americans did not vote. how do you engage them?
A: The good news is that % went up. We must make it easier for people to vote. Vote by mail. Oregon had 87% turnout. I was part of the initiative in Oregon. We are on the side of making it easier to vote. New national strategy. Vote by mail is a good place to start. Early voting. Push all the states to figure out a way to embrace voting more fully.
Engage in modern technology, participation, access, a bottom up way of doing business. In natl. polling we run 12% ahead of GOPers. make it clear our party stands on the side of the midddle class. Regular people being involved and the openness of our party is something we have to protect.
Netroots commitment. We have more bloggers involved in our race than any other candidate.
Q: Moral values?
A: A strong aggressive message. We cannot cede the message of moral values and we cannot cede the messagge of faith. We need to create a natl dialog and engage people of faith in a more meaningful way.
It has to be done in conjunction with a commitment to rural areas; a rural strategy. Mike McCurry is working with me in rediscovering the language to reconnect with people of faith.
Q: How do we craft our message of moral values to compete?
A: GOPers are organized and have presented a huge threat to our party.
Q: Iowa and NH are increasingly not representative of the American people. In the first debate, the translators were bilingual. This is an incredible evolution. This made our party stronger. What happened is that we run our natl election around two states. We can strengthen our party and our candidates with a natl focus. We spend millions of dollars telling two states who we are and who our candidates are. I am disappointed in the other candidates for not addresssing this issue.
Q: Healthcare. What are the possibilities of getting a national healthcare message out and how do we get precinct level leadership?
A: In virtually every poll, the single most important issue is the anxiety of losing health insurance. This is a devastating reality for breadwinners. I am not going to evaluation the Kennedy plan or any other plan. Clearly what Kerry did in this issue is put our party on the side of natl healthcare and we need to stay there.
I have made a commitment to a 50 state strategy. I worked with Dean on a 50 state campaign. The natl party has to look at the state parties, get the names from the precincts and build a new partnership with the grassroots. I will make an enormous commitment to the grassroots and creating precinct level leadership. Each state has different problems and we need local solutions.
New Politics Institute - bring together people. Mark Andreeson worked with me on developing and funding, in essence, a think tank to build the party from the ground up. At the end of my four years at the DLC, you think of a 50 state party. That kind of politics does not exist at the DNC or in the states. We need to build a party based on people.
A: What weve learned is that the GOPers are willing to do things we are not willing to do ourselves. We cant overturn the election. Im going to borrow Howard Deans line, we have to make honest elections a national commitment. This has to be the priority of every state chair, make this a long term goal.
Q: Gay marriage, adoption, gay families?
A: The Kerry campaign suffered as much from ignoring this issue as they would have from engaging it. Kerry got tarred for a position he didnt take because he didnt articulate a position. We have to have a public conversation on gay marriage. Ive committed to a national gay marriage strategy. Creating a national strategy within the DLC about how we talk about gay issues and how we take this issue on straight ahead. I dont know where this is going to go, but I think the early moral values polls were misleading. If we dont define what our position on the issues is, we cant complain because our message is misunderstood.
Q: Gay contract marriage.
A: Our country was founded on a principle of religious pluralism. We have forgotten as a party and a country what our roots really are. What we have to do is engage the moral values conversation on this issue and every other issue. Common purpose and a common sense of community.
Q: When we tried to contact the DNC we were dismissed. What are you going to do to
A: I was attacked for standing up for Dean early on. Howard is a good friend of mine, weve done a lot of work together. When we talk about winning in the west or a revival in the South we shouldnt be talking to Bob Shrumm in D.C. My commitment is that Ive worked on the ground. My organization ran the largest effort in the Democratic party.
Rosenberg introduces Greg Meeks.
Greg Meeks: We have to turn our party around. Im sick and tired of being sick and tired. I dont want to spend the rest of my career as a minority in the House. Not because of Greg Meeks, but because of what it means to the American people. I congratulate Simon, much has been given so much is required.
I'm moving on to another event. More later. One comment first. There is a lot of acrimony and downright anger at the grassroots and netroots level over the choice to chair the DNC. The candidates themselves are dealing with this with a more mature approach that features hardball politics at every level matched with the understanding that at the end of the day George Bush is still public enenmy number one.
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