The Doctor Is In.

I am finally back from the DNC Eastern Regional Caucus!  It was held, as I am sure many of you already know, at the Roosevelt Hotel (45th and Madison) in New York City yesterday.

One quick side note--I chose to stay overnight in NYC with an old friend of mine who now lives there, and it's true--the city never sleeps!  I had a blast, due in large part to having the chance to be in the same room with some truly inspiring political figures--mainly, Howard Dean.

I gathered at the hotel with the rest of the Driving Votes (http://www.drivingvotes.org) crowd, donned my DV t-shirt, grabbed a Dean For DNC Chair pin, saw Al Sharpton walking around, and began to wait.

And wait.

And wait.

We waited for about an hour as the "important" people were registered and ushered into the ballroom--DNC members, members of the press, and special guests.  We, the regular people, were the last to enter and were seated in the balcony--but luckily all of us were able to get into the ballroom.

As the last of us entered, Art Torres was already making his introductory comments.  I took a seat in the balcony, but had a pretty good view of the stage and podium.

I have to admit that I knew two things before I attended the caucus--I knew I liked Dean, and I knew I hated Tim Roemer.  It seemed the crowd was with me, as Dean received the most enthusiastic applause when he took the stage to deliver his opening statement, while Roemer was the only candidate to be "booed" all morning.

I'm sure lots of bloggers have already posted the content of the candidate's statements, so I won't bore you now with repetition.

One of the things I tried to pay attention to during the speeches was how I felt about the candidates when I heard them speak.  When Dean, Wellington Webb, and Donnie Fowler spoke, they said the things we have all been waiting for a politician to say lately.  They spoke with energy and passion, and Webb, especially, spoke about issues that wouldn't necessarily get him elected, but needed to be included in our political discussion.  In fact, if Webb wins, I'll be almost as glad as if Dean wins, because he seemed, to me, to be a man of unending integrity and passion.  

Fowler was energetic, but he didn't sway me.

Dean was, well... Dean.  He was open, and honest, and full of enthusiasm.  A few of the best lines from his speech (not all verbatim, but very very close) were: "We need to run a 4-year campaign, not an 8 month campaign." "WE CANNOT BE REPUBLICAN LITE." And his closing line, "We need to be a party of deep conviction." For more on my thoughts about Howard Dean, check this out--http://www.opednews.com/brengle_121404_dean.htm.

Simon Rosenberg did not impress me.  His ideas were fairly generic--about the same as most of the other candidates (although we must also gauge how much they MEAN what they are saying), but he was not particularly well-spoken most of the time and when he delivered his opening statement, he went over the time limit quite a bit and had to rush in the last few lines--it showed a lack of practice and discipline, plus it made him sound insincere, since he was talking so quickly.

David Leland was another candidate I found fairly generic, but he did deliver a passionate opening statement--lots of energy.  However, it was tainted by a very lengthy baseball analogy--he was trying to explain that he didn't want to be a "star" but wanted to be a manager--I'm sure you can see both the link to baseball AND the simultaneous dig at Howard Dean--masterful... but just not.  He did say one great thing, "America is the land we love today because of the Democratic party, and Democratic principles." But, all in all, not impressed.

I found Martin Frost completely forgettable.  In fact, I can't even recall what he looked like.  I actually missed his opening statement.  When he answered questions during the forum, he struck me as the type of guy who will try constantly to negotiate with the DLC, instead of being the kind of maverick chairman we desperately need right now.

Roemer, as I said a few minutes ago, never appealed to me.  Based on what he had to say on Saturday, he only added to my distaste.  The first thing he did was tout his credentials as a member of the 9/11 Commission--but everyone gave some background, so I let this slide.  He then told a story about how, when he was on the 9/11 Commission, a woman whose husband had died on September 11th. had come to thank him, and gave him a ring.  It was the only thing found of her husband's when Ground Zero was cleared.  The weird thing about the story is that Roemer felt it necessary to tell us that the ring was attached to the man's severed finger when it was found.  This put me off quite a bit...  He followed this story up with a direct dig at Howard Dean, "We need a chairman who doesn't just represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic party." It was a sad attack, and false to boot.  He repeated some of the things the other candidates had said, and actually used the term "Axis of Evil" in his speech.  After this, he called pro-choice women a "special interest" and was booed by quite a few observers--including some of the DNC members.  He repeatedly reminded us that he is tight with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, as if that makes him more likeable.

I have to run now, but I hope everyone gets a chance to read my article on Howard Dean--I didn't want to sit here for an hour repeating things I have already said.

[Aside from the caucus, I had a fabulous time on my foray into the Big City, and didn't get to bed until 6:30 am :)]

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Comments

19 Comments

Thanks
I bumped up your poll to the main, nice timing.
by Jerome Armstrong 2005-01-30 06:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks
Jerome,
Thanks--I thought it was a little generic, but I wanted to see what kind of response it would get.  I am impressed with the number of comments I have received here for just 2 entries--very impressed.  You're doing a great job with this!
Katherine
by Katherine Brengle 2005-01-30 07:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks
Yes, Jerome, thank you for all your hard work on this blog.  I really, really do appreciate it.

Yer doin' good for 'Merika, Jerome!  THANKS!

by daemmern 2005-01-31 08:57AM | 0 recs
Ah, Tim's lurking, I see. n/t
by boadicea 2005-01-30 06:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Ah, Tim's lurking, I see. n/t
Actually, I voted for him.  As of late, I have been testing my ability to pick the choice with the least votes, and then voting for it myself--just for fun.  

And yes, it's tons o fun.  Try it sometime!

Tim

by Tim Tagaris 2005-01-30 07:09PM | 0 recs
Well, I had the first name right, anyway.
And still had snarky fun, so it's all good by me.
by boadicea 2005-01-30 07:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Ah, Tim's lurking, I see. n/t
Interesting. How did you know Tim was lurking?
by Gary Boatwright 2005-01-30 08:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Ah, Tim's lurking, I see. n/t
I was snarking.

I saw one vote for Roemer, and the opportunity was too good to pass up. He's been such a ponce about the blogs, and MyDD in particular.

A tweak you have to explain isn't so successful, but at least it amused me for a bit. ;)

by boadicea 2005-01-31 05:22AM | 0 recs
Dean, Fowler, Rosenberg...
I watched the replay of the meeting on Saturday last night on CSPAN. All of them did well.

I was surprised by Fowler. I thought he and Dean had the best speeches up there, and if I had to bet, I think he may beat Dean on a second ballot.

Here is who Id vote for, in order...

1st - Dean
2nd - Fowler
3rd - Rosenberg

by Thomas 2005-01-31 04:42AM | 0 recs
Vote for Dean
    We campaigned hard for Howard Dean in Florida, and his speech at the Florida Caucas had thousands of people on their feet, and the mood was electric. I climbed up on the C-Span camera deck and heard a cameraman say, "Holy Sh--! There goes the nomination!" It was the most stirring speech and crowd reaction I've ever heard, times TEN.
People around me had tears in their eyes.

The other six candidates there that day, Kerry included, drew scant applause, and lots of people never went inside the main ballroom to hear them.

So the DNC, in their great wisdom, picked this yawner guy Kerry to run for president. We didn't give him a dime. We sent  $700 to Dean, including donations from my teenagers...first candidate we've sent money to.

It's hard to get many do-nothing Democrats to get fired up and support anyone; they're like herding cats. But they would wake up with the good work Dean is so easily capable of, if given a chance.

And who is this Fowler guy? Never heard of him.  

by Fisherman 2005-01-31 09:31AM | 0 recs
Dean
I saw on Americablog that Bob Novak is offering advice to the Dems not to pick Dean.  He says that the big donors will leave the party forever if Dean is elected.  First of all, I don't think that's true at all, and Dean will do what he did in 2004 by bringing in the small donations and build the grassroots.  He will value everyone in the party, not just the rich, but the middle class and the poor who want to help but can't just write a check for $1000.
by Max Friedman 2005-01-31 12:11PM | 0 recs
Well, if Bob friggin Novak
advises Dems not to pick Dean then by all means we should all just throw our support behind Roemer! Which conservative, psuedojournalist, Kool-Aid drinker will be next to offer up advice to the Dems on who to pick? Doing whatever they can out of Fear to smear Dean must be high on the righty talking point list because they don't want him in a position of power where he can really do some damage to them.
by buckfush 2005-01-31 12:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Well, if Bob friggin Novak
GOP talking heads don't want the dems to pick Dean for chair because they'd prefer to see him run for the 2008 nomination, just like they crowed with glee before the Iowa primary thinking Dean was who Bush would face on Nov 2nd.
by Vote Hillary 2008 2005-01-31 09:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Well, if Bob friggin Novak
I thought they were a bit scared of Dean because unlike Kerry he could run as an anti-war candidate.
by buckfush 2005-02-01 01:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Well, if Bob friggin Novak
Not according to the conventional wisdom at the time. Up until Nov 2nd, Bush still consistently polled high on terrorism and Iraq, regardless of the rising body count. Only now is that support beginning to fall sub-50%. The republicans would have loved to go against an anti-war candidate because that would strengthen Bush's plaform as a war president post-9/11.

2004's election results proved that middle America viewed the election as a referendum on who can keep America safest. Kerry had a great resume and credentials, and his 57 million votes demonstrates that. But Bush had the advantage of being the encumbent with a public uneasy at switching horses in wartime. The republicans did a good job painting Kerry as a flip-flopper and therefore unreliable. Apparently the 60 mil who went for Bush preferred someone who they think that even if he makes the wrong decisions, at least he doesn't waver or change his mind -- fucked up logic if you ask me, but I was outvoted obviously. The public voted out of fear.

by Vote Hillary 2008 2005-02-01 08:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Well, if Bob friggin Novak
"Apparently the 60 mil who went for Bush preferred someone who they think that even if he makes the wrong decisions, at least he doesn't waver or change his mind".

This is one big reason I think RoveCo. may have been a little concerned with a Dean candidacy. They didn't have his Iraq voting record to beat to a bloody pulp. Rove said on MTP after the election that Kerry's voting record on Iraq was the gift that kept on giving.

I'm not saying that Dean would have won the election, because I doubt that he would have. The fear issue would have probably would have been even greater with Dean. However, I do think that the GOP is and should be concerned about the fact that Dean is not GOP-lite, and about the way in which he can organize, unify, and fundraise.

by buckfush 2005-02-02 05:35AM | 0 recs
Bob Novak is a right-wing whackjob :)
The way I see it, if Novak is advising against Dean, then he's my man.

Novak and his ilk have a lot of stake in the failure of the Democratic party. They were scared of Dean during the primaries, that is why they joined together with the weakling Democrats and demonized him in the press.

It would only benefit the Republican party and conservatives in general if we opted for a sad act like Tim Roemer (by the way, the least charismatic man I have every laid eyes on).

Dean's makin' the juice this time--and the only other viable candidate at this point is way behind--maybe Howard will let Donnie have a glass when he's done ;)

KB

by Katherine Brengle 2005-02-01 07:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Bob Novak is a right-wing whackjob :)
"The way I see it, if Novak is advising against Dean, then he's my man."

I agree 100%

"It would only benefit the Republican party and conservatives in general if we opted for a sad act like Tim Roemer (by the way, the least charismatic man I have every laid eyes on)."

That's what i was saying in my sarcastic way when I said we should all just back Roemer if Novak advises not to elect Dean. Roemer appears to me to be a GOP mole.

by buckfush 2005-02-02 05:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Bob Novak is a right-wing whackjob :)
A mole lol--I wouldn't be surprised. When he called pro-choice women a special interest on Saturday, he was booed by the crowd, lol, so there's no chance we'll have to deal with him running the party :) KB
by Katherine Brengle 2005-02-02 06:34AM | 0 recs

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