The long game

To all the outsiders, insiders, upsiders and downsiders, here's some inspiration worth a couple of minutes of your time.


Good stuff

full of important questions ... the most important of which are:

Are you going to run for an office?
Which one? By when?

And if not ... who do you know who should be running ... and what are you doing to encourage them?

By when?

This video was boring at J-J, and it is worse now.

I do not expect leadership from a group of people waiting around to be asked to lead, I find that true leaders tend to take the reins, find their own resources, and gather supporters naturally through hard work and good old fashioned grassroots canvasing and getting out the message. They win. They know what victory is and how to achieve it. Where was that in this video? Here is nothing to inspire the rank and file to work hard for their leadership, nothing to inspire pride in being a Democrat. There was not even anything in it about what being a Democrat is.

Here in this video is no message of what Democrats believe in, Community, Fairness, and Opportunity for all people. There was no reference in this video to the Democratic leaders in this state who already have won state wide office.

The chief 'fundraisers' pictured repeatedly throughout that video have, so far, been monumentally unsuccessful. Their paperwork is not even in order. The only applause for this video at J-J was by these same people pictured herein it and their friends when they saw each other on the screen. The people from around the state who had actually paid for their tickets, and traveled to Wake County to attend were silently disgusted.

The video itself is a series of artless head shots of wishful, wistful wannabe consultants phrasing hope that someone will ride in on a white horse and give them a job, of only someone will open the pasture gate for them. The only true leaders pictured were still shots of men like Chris Rey and Anthony Foxx, who obviously had no time to make a statement for this mess.

And what does the geological history lesson tell us? It does not even go into the resulting changes in landscape one experiences traveling this great state, tidal region to piedmont to mountain top, or the people who live there. Was the shot of the volcano supposed to give this video some punch? If so, the edgy music certainly overpowered it.

Give me the closing video of Pam Cash-Roper, addressing a cheering throng at the Democratic National Convention with an inspiring message for the real people. She spoke clearly and well of her very real problems due to medical bankruptcy, which have already been addressed by Democratic leaders in the 5 years since Chairman Voller put her onstage at the convention, to a rousing ovation, five years ago.

Now, that last 10 minutes almost made up for the previous several hours. It showed what victory looks like, what winning is and how to do it.

Statement Analysis. Starkweather?

From the tone, extended "who cares", and disorganized wording one could swear that "E.J. Smith" is Jeff Starkweather.


What an arrogant, ignorant comment. Im in that video. I paid $250 to be there Then I gave my seats to college dems. What have you done?

I thought it was good

Very good, in fact.

There are lots of stories to tell and an infinite number of ways to tell them. I found it oddly reassuring to see our current "changes" placed in the context of a billion years of change. My takeaway? A billion years from now, Thom Tillis and his free-market fetish will be meaningless dust in the never-ending universe.

Of course, that is your right.

And I will defend to death your right to think that, and say it.

I found it boring and self serving. Defeating Thom Tillis is something I would have preferred to see addressed in the here and now.

Democrats need to remember exactly what they believe in, and how to win the power back to achieve that goal. The future is in the fight and in the message, not wishful thinking.

I was there, and found it foolish

A ridiculous title sequence of shots of volcanoes from Hawaii to Mexico standing in for the geological history North Carolina followed by a boring chain of talking heads who had nothing to say except, "We got beat." No vision. No issues. No values. No message. No meaning. No point. We need new YDs and they need a new videographer.

I did listen

I watched it twice. Ad hominem attacks do not indicate intelligence, scholarship, or talent, but suit the abilities of the video makers and its defenders exactly.

It was boring and detached from relevant realities

However well intentioned, the video was not relevant. Pretty shots, lots of nonsensical shots of mountains, volcanic action, oceans and waves and etc. etc. etc. and oh yes, head shots of YDs. What was that about? Oh, it was to tell us that we will be delivered by this self promotion by a group of folks who seem opposed to many things, including working with the Party. More to come later.............



more to come later...

damn straight, Bill. More to come later. And while the people in that video are doing it, you can bitch and complain and whine to whatever yes people you can assemble in whatwver room will hold them and your overinflated sense of self.

The 1%

Well, it has been up 24 hours, out of 351 views (550 on youtube) exactly 3 'liked' it. Do the math.


A cautionary thread to anyone interested in offering their creative talents to support the good of the party.


Talents is the key word here. Also the good of the party would be better served with less self-promotion and whining, and more positive messaging of Democratic ideas.

No where in that video was the message of the NCDP or any plan for winning elections. It was all about a group of Young Dems waiting to serve their party, offering no plan whatsoever on how they plan to do so.

I respecfully disagree

I thought the message was clear as a bell. It was about recruiting good candidates and supporting them. Perhaps there are other ways to win elections, but I don't know what they are.

It is not the job of a video to offer a plan of action for winning elections. It is the job of the chair and other party leaders. Maybe that's happening behind the scenes ... I sure hope so. But to this Democrat who is not part of the inner circle, I don't see it.

Maybe all the critics writing here would like to offer an alternative to what was shown. I'd welcome the chance to see it.


PS I agree with others that the disruptive landscapes may have been overdone. Big deal. On the whole, the video spoke to a new generation of potential leaders, and god knows we sure as hell need them.

Yes, talents.

Like the video or not, it required someone's time, energy, and ability to make it happen. As James said, it isn't the appropriate tool for defining the Party's Strategic Plan, and it is inspiring in some ways. I didn't mistake it for a Coen Brothers production, but it's a decent start. It identifies some success stories, and it successfully promotes the idea that we have to have electable and effective candidates across the State.

The images were not meant to convey strategy; they were intended to be visually engaging while a narrative was developed. Images of volcanoes work flawlessly for the majority. That isn't a question or an opinion; it is the knowledge gleaned from a few hundred thousand focus groups over the past 60 years.

The video doesn't address that we have a State of voters who put the current crop of legislators in the NCGA. Why and How that happened are questions we have to at least partially answer very soon. There has been a focus, including references in the video, on educating the voting public on issues, policies, platforms, Party Philosophy, and so on. We've been educating the voting public for a long time. Recent campaigns have made contact with more of the population than ever. We are where we are.

I suggest that it isn't simply about educating people; it is also about inspiring them. There was a statement in the video to the effect that there are people out there who support what we're doing, and that, I believe, is true. But "the people out there" put this particular NCGA in place, and we have to find ways to "reach" those people, and not just "educate" them. Ultimately, yes, it is critical to have leaders, including some young ones, who are clear on what they stand for. It is also critical to have voters who are inspired to vote for them.

Thanks for the feedback!

Just wanted to clarify what I thought the video was about. I tried to keep it really simple. Every statement in the video falls into one of two categories:

A) Change is constant. 1.7 billion years ago, North Carolina was a volcanic plain; now it is clearly not! Here are some volcanoes. Shocking how very different Raleigh looks now, huh? Well, that's because things change and they always will. Sometimes we want to complain about changes (like redistricting or voter ID) but we need to learn to adapt. If we can't adapt to change, we're doing something fundamentally wrong. That's far from a fatalistic approach to natural history or politics.

B) Involvement at the municipal level in 2013 is key to building the back bench and regaining the GA and Governor's mansion. The whole second half of the video is literally people saying how hard work and civic involvement is the key to winning back the state, then saying how our communities are full of Democrats who are willing, ready and qualified to step up and do that work. It really, honestly doesn't get any more fundamentally democratic than that. That is THE message. Every single year.

The tenor of the opposition to this video is really not proportional to a) the amount of time lost watching it or b) the amount of money spent on it (zero). The only explanation for the disproportionate vitriol expended on this modest effort is to a) discredit the message of the video b) discredit someone who appears in the video or c) discredit me.

That's really, truly, mystifying. This is the fourth video I've prepared for an NCDP fundraising dinner of this sort. I really make an effort to expand the messages with each one so that folks don't feel like they're seeing the same thing each time. Even if- as the previous comments would indicate- people are infuriated and perplexed by the product, I hope they at least appreciate the novelty of each new offering.

With my sincere apologies to the master filmmakers in this thread,


Perception is quite often colored

by the appearance of a single element (or person) which the viewer deems as being from the "opposing team". Or, as may be the case in this video, the absence of any elements (or persons) who clearly belong to "my team".

It would be nice to proceed with party-building efforts working from the premise that there is no schism in the Party, but that may not be possible.

Not possible

Looks to me like warring factions.

For what it's worth ... it's my understanding from the thread above that Frank did this work at no or low cost. If that's the case, his reply to the Monday morning quarterbacks was a model of restraint.

Actually, it was just my table.

This is not a factional fight, it was simply the immediate reaction of the 8 people at my table, I don't even know Frank Eaton or who he is. This is my personal opinion of a piece presented at an event that I saw as unprofessional. The reactions to that criticism (both pro and con) and the anger revealed truly surprised me.

Here is a suggestion. Let's put all this energy into supporting the good people demonstrating against the GOP Legislature this evening on Jones Street, that is where all Democrats should be focusing their anger.

Lets build up a party that can help candidates like Colbert-Busch.

Nobody who says this about that video:

Nobody who says this about that video:

"Here in this video is no message of what Democrats believe in, Community, Fairness, and Opportunity for all people. There was no reference in this video to the Democratic leaders in this state who already have won state wide office.

The chief 'fundraisers' pictured repeatedly throughout that video have, so far, been monumentally unsuccessful. Their paperwork is not even in order. The only applause for this video at J-J was by these same people pictured herein it and their friends when they saw each other on the screen. The people from around the state who had actually paid for their tickets, and traveled to Wake County to attend were silently disgusted."

Could have actually watched it with any degree of comprehension. I'm thinking maybe Table 8 helped the take at the cash bar immensely.

No message? The message was - we have a bench of young people we need to develop. The old ways of doing things aren't going to work, and we need to take what is working and grow it. What is working is the involvement of young people in our party.

No reference to people in the state who have already won statewide office? Jim Hunt was prominently featured, and the point, again, was not to celebrate those who have already won, but to encourage the party to find the next Jim Hunts, who are currently out there as mayors, town councillors, advocates.

"Chief fundraisers"? What the hell does that even mean?

What a crock.

Thank you, Frank

As a Mayor, a county chair, and now as the State Chair, I have had the great fortune of working with Frank Eaton on several occasions. He is a talented videographer with a good eye and a gift for telling a story, which is why I have high expectations for Frank, his work and hold him to a high standard. In my campaign for State Chair, I ran on instituting the Pipeline Project to develop new talent into the public servants of the future through an effort to encourage and support new talent, especially young people, as municipal candidates across North Carolina. Thank you Frank for you creative work, your concern for our State, and your continued support of the NCDP. We need you to continue illustrating through video the stories of Tar Heels who have hope, deserve justice, need a fair opportunity to achieve the American Dream, and know that without equality there is no freedom.