Saturday, March 11, 2006

Drove down to Ottumwa this morning

Wow, what a beautiful day. I'm not about to waste it sitting in front of a computer.

But I do want to put up a quick post about what I did this morning. I drove over to Ottumwa this morning and briefly stopped by the Wapello County Dems convention. I split after the gubernatorial candidate speeches.

When I got there I quickly found the Culver crew had just arrived and I introduced myself to some of the guys I hadn't met before. I had a quick minute to chat with Chet about the campaign, and then it was time for him to go in and visit with the Wapello County Democrats.

There was a nice crowd assembled, and I was pleased to see a clear majority of Culver/Judge signs and lots of Culver stickers around the room.

KTVO had a camera set up.

Denise O'Brien said hello, and she recognized me from when I met her at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner last fall. She is very personable and friendly, and we had a nice chat about her campaign for Secretary of Agriculture.

I also chatted for a minute with Ed Fallon before the meeting was called to order. I told him that he had exceeded my expectations and he was making waves with his campaign. He was wearing a suit and tie, for those of you out there keeping score of that kind of stuff.

Gubernatorial candidate speeches were the first item of business. Apparently they drew numbers for order of speeches. Chet was first.

Chet gave a great speech, emphasizing his priorities of pushing renewable energy and making Iowa number one again in education. Overall it was a well-polished, fantastic speech. He stuck in a jab to another gubernatorial candidate who is on record as saying the minimum wage is meaningless and irrelevant. I think most of the crowd knew what he was talking about. He emphasized the fact that he is a proud progressive, and a fifth generation Iowan. Lots of nice jabs at Nussle, and a mention about how the Culver campaign is already beating Nussle in the polls. He'll protect women's rights to make their own health care decisions, and push for stem cell research. The Wapello County crowd reacted very positively to Chet's message.

Fallon was up next, he gave his standard speech that we've become familiar with. Campaign finance reform and stuff like that. He mentioned that Nussle has already spent a million bucks, and we can't even tell what he's spent it on. Also mentioned that he has never even seen Nussle at any candidate forum or event so far in the campaign. Talked about how corporate welfare is wrong (read: the Grow Iowa Values Fund). He had a minor slip of the tongue when he was listing his heroes...Paul Wellstone, Tom Harkin, Howard Hughes...oops, Harold Hughes. Heheh. He corrected himself immediately and laughed about it. Overall the speech was not too shabby.

Blouin drew the coveted finishing slot. He started off by saying, "Isn't it a great day to be a Democrat?" and the crowd clapped. The first thing that popped into my head was...dude, I'm a Democrat every day. He joked around a lot and got some laughs at Nussle's expense. I must admit the "bag too small for head now" joke really is a knee-slapper. I didn't catch any mention of his Democrat-Since-2005 running mate. Maybe I just missed it. Honestly, it was a good speech. Lots of great Nussle one-liners that I wish I'd thought of first.

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