DNC Chairman Howard Dean let loose a rip-roaring speech to close the program for Yearly Kos Day One, reminding everyone that this enormous grassroots phenomenon has made government accountable to the masses like never before. Dean compared the internet revolution with the invention of the printing press in its impact on political discourse and in shifting political power. He guaranteed that Democrats will keep "voting and voting and voting and voting" on Iraq withdrawal, though they know they don't have a veto-proof majority, Democrats are prepared to put Republicans on record again and again supporting Bush's failed strategy. Dean asked for help in encouraging Congress to pass H811, "to require a voter-verified permanent paper ballot".
His speech was the end of an eventful, inspiring, overwhelming day. McCormick Place is truly gigantonormous, and the convention is pretty well spread out among three main areas. I attended a workshop on "growing a culture of giving" (fundraising) online then met lots of amazing bloggers at a state/local workshop. The Michigan contingent, the gang from Calitics, Ruby from Orange Politics, and a whole lot more folks swapped ideas and stories. I got some good ideas regarding my Luke Hyde Watch.
State and local bloggers then "caucused" in a large group, then by region. About 15 NC bloggers were representin' including the LGBT blog goddess, Pam Spaulding.
I made my way to the bar for an icy Pilsner Urquell and conversation with folks from all over the country. I've been drafted to come out strongly for a Democratic candidate for Senate, a Mr. Merklee, who's running against Senator Gordon Smith. Gordon Smith against Gordon Smith, we'll call it. Or something like that.
Drinking Liberally was a scream, with hundreds of tote bag toting political rabble rousers and party shapers slurping down drinks to get loose for the keynote addresses. Over 1,500 people are attending the convention.
Senator Dick Durbin appeared via recording on the giant video screens lavishing praise on liberal bloggers for providing scrutiny and perseverance in covering stories that might have otherwise never surfaced.
Tomorrow is another day. I'll do my best to keep y'all updated, but know that I'm having an incredible time. You can check out my Flickr page here for more photos.