When Rahm Emmanuel Comes to Town

Over the weekend, Rahm Emmanuel came to North Carolina. He headlined a fundraising breakfast for Heath Shuler, a fundraiser for Larry Kissell and he was the keynote speaker at the North Carolina Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.

I had the pleasure of being at both the Kissell fundaiser and the Jefferson-Jackson dinner, although I had to leave the Kissell fundraiser early, and missed the speeches. I would have stayed the whole time, but I was only able to afford attending both because I was allowed to work for my attendance.

Never let it be said Im not willing to move tables and guard a door. Sadly, I have no pictures of the evening, but I am hoping that the NCDP's official blogger will put up some of the pictures he was taking.

This diary will be as much of a rundown as I can remember. But, it was a very busy day, and I met a lot of people.

First, the Kissell Fundraiser.
Before Larry's event I had a long conversation with the father of one of Larry's volunteers. He is from Fayetteville, and his son-in-law (the husband of Larry's volunteer) is currently in Iraq. The guy had some serious passion, and to say that he is upset with Iraq would be an understatement.

Larry had a good amount of people show up. I talked to some Raleigh Police Officers who were there on behalf of the Teamster's Union. I also met some other people who believe in Larry, and let me reiterate that there is a lot of energy for Larry in 2008. Instead of being disheartened by the close call in 2006, his campaign is reinvigorated, and ready to work even harder for the next 18 months. Will you think about helping him retire some of his debt?

Then I was on my way to JJ
I knew I was on the right road when I saw my first sign for the Lt. Gov race. Both Walter Dalton and Hampton Dellinger had signs out. Walter's campaign also had a table set up with information and signs. However, I only saw both of them because I was guarding the door, and taking tickets. Dan Besse was there early, and is a very nice guy, we had a short conversation.

However, the highlight of these candidates was finally meeting Pat Smathers. Pat is the mayor of Canton, and is a great guy. He was there with his wife and his son, Zeb. Pat is running an interesting race, and if elected his biggest goal is going to be to empower local governments. As a mayor, and a member of the reserves, he knows how disasters get handled, and he knows who help people in their daily lives. Your congressman doesnt talk to you everyday. Your state house rep doesnt. But, the people that your mayor and city council appoint impact your life throughout the day. Why should we not be giving them every tool possible?

Oh, by the way, Pat was there passing out invitations to his event in Canton in August. In late August the Beach Boys are coming to town for a concert. More info on that later.

The list of important people was long, including a large number of council of state members, state house and senate members, judges and on and on.

Rahm's speech was great. I know that there a lot of people on the blogs who were upset with Rahm because he didnt give Larry money in time to win, but let me just say that Rahm is not so proud that he isnt willing to fix his mistakes. It was obvious from his speech that Rahm believes we will see more gains in 2008, and he knows that Larry is going to be one of those candidates. The highlight of Rahm's speech was the assertion that (paraphrase)

The US Attorney Scandal will do to the issue of corruption what Katrina did to the issue of Government Competence

Rahm's speech was not a fire breathing, raging stump speech. It was a very serious review of everything that caused the blue wave in 06, and a call to be ready for another big wave in 08. Between him and David Price's speech early on (that I missed most of) it was obvious that the Democrats in Congress are proud of what they are doing, and are dedicated to doing everything they can to fix Bush's mistakes.

While there I also got a chance to talk to Grier Martin, who is a member of the state house, and if Brad Miller runs for Senate, a very likely candidate for Brad's US House Seat. Grier is a great guy, It would be impossible to say how thrilled I would be to see Brad in the Senate and Grier in the house. Our conversation in no small part focused on Blogs. Grier introduced me to his fellow blogger, Wayne Goodwin, who ran for Council of State last year, and who is married to State Legislator Melanie Wade Goodwin. Wayne is an absolute believer in the power of blogs, and gave a big thank you to BlueNC for their action on helping to gather opposition to a very bad bill on insurance rates.

Following Rahm's speech, recently elected Ty Harrell got up to introduce the other elected officials in the room. Ty is a very funny, very personable guy. He has a bright political future in front of him, and it was obvious why he was given the podium.

The last speaker was party chair Jerry Meek. Jerry's speech was short. The future of the North Carolina Democratic Party is bright, and we have some great leadership in place ready to sweep in '08.

My final conversation of the evening was the most important for me. I had a great conversation with Brad Miller. Brad and I spent a good 5 to 10 minutes at Larry's fundraiser talking about the netroots and what role blogs would play in his campaign if he ran for Senate. Brad is a believer in what the blogs can do, and I dare say that if he ran he would most likely take everything good that Lamont and Dean did, add in everything he knows about how to run a race, and how to blog, and bring it to North Carolina. It would be very, very exciting.

After the speeches at JJ I talked to Brad, his wife Esther Hall, the head of his District office, and a supporter. The short and sweet of it is that Brad has not made a decision. There are a lot of worries that he has, but there are also a lot of reasons for him to decide to run. One of the worries that others have expressed is, would he be able to raise enough money? That is a big question, one that I would answer yes to, but it is easy for me, because I dont have to make fundraising phone calls for 4 hours a day for a year. Brad has most decidedly not made up his mind on whether to run, but he is asking for opinions from everyone, and having very serious detailed discussions with everyone he can. The biggest worry that people seem to have is, "what if he loses?" There is not a single person that I have met that is willing to lose Brad from Congress. Some, like me, want to see him get a promotion. Others, are afraid he would lose, and are afraid of losing him in the house if that happens.

I hope that you will consider sending him 5 bucks to let him know that yes, he should run.

Comments

long post

it was a big evening.

up at kos

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Liddy 44 Brad 33

"Keep the Faith"

I know it scares the Hell out of those close to him

I'm betting that it scares the Hell out of Biddy even more!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

And yes

this is a formal endorsement of Pat Smathers. He says he reads us once a day at least, but I think his son reads the site every chance he gets as a way to avoid doing his work for law school.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Liddy 44 Brad 33

"Keep the Faith"

I've donated to the Smathers Campaign

And I hope others will, too. I've said before, and I'll say it again, in the race for Lt. Governor, we have an embarrassment of riches. Dan Besse is very impressive, and I like what I hear of him. But I've got to go with Smathers, as well. You just can't beat plain old knowing what you're doing - and I believe he does.

Donate to Pat Smathers (if you're so inclined) here
. While you're at his website, please note that a click on "Pat's Online Journal" sends you right to BlueNC.

_____________
The Den
My darling girl, when will you understand that 'normal' isn't necessarily a virtue. It rather denotes a lack of courage." - Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic

Blue South ain't lying

I've recieved PMs from the campaign.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

As have I.

I like Pat.
_____________
The Den
My darling girl, when will you understand that 'normal' isn't necessarily a virtue. It rather denotes a lack of courage." - Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic

I like the fact that we is from over here in WNC

Means he would be more inclined to take care of us and also be one more nail in the coffin that WNC is "really" red. (Outside of Ashville, of course).

However, I don't see much about issues on his website, and that is first and formost what I look at, issues. What can y'all tell me about him?

CM

--
The Great appear great because we are on our knees – Let Us Rise!
-- “Big Jim” Larkin

The Great appear great because we are on our knees – Let Us Rise!
-- “Big Jim” Larkin

Well I hope Zeb

joins the conversation too

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

he said

he is afraid of doing so and then never leaving to do his actual work.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Liddy 44 Brad 33

"Keep the Faith"

Notice that the DNC is not mentioned once?

Rahm Emmanuel is indeed impressive, but I'm bothered that he and other Democrats don't seem to get that Howard Dean's 50 state strategy is at least as important at their big money centralized efforts.

I've talked to both Brad Miller and David Price and neither seems ready to acknowledge the contributions of Dean and the netroots. They don't attack Dean the way that Emmanuel has, but what appreciation for the resources that Dean has made available to state and local parties is grudging at best. Their eyes are focussed on big money. Not being a politician, I can't say that they are wrong, but as someone who actually works getting out the vote, I can only believe that our efforts are worth something, too.

-- ge

Besta é tu se você não viver nesse mundo
http://george.entenman.name

Besta é tu se você não viver nesse mundo
https://george.entenman.name

Old guard vs. new

The drama is being played out at the national, state and local levels.

The old guard doesn't want to give up the power structure that they understand (and can manipulate, they think, to their advantage). The new guard see that the old guard folks might be Democrats but they are not behaving in a democratic manner.

How to compromise? Mostly they ignore each other. Privately, the old guard spends more energy fighting each other than organizing against the Republicans. And the new guard struggles with moving forward and wondering how much attention they need to allocate to extracting the knives in their backs.

I would imagine something similar is playing out in the Republican party as well.
 
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

I dont know about

his thoughts on a 50 state strategy, but if Brad runs against Dole I will spend every minute working to get his campaign focused on winning as many of the 100 counties as possible.

What I didnt include was the 100 county focus that Jerry highlighted. In North Carolina we not only control 7 out of 13 US House seats. We also have 31 of 50 in the state senate and 68 of 120 in the house. But you knew that.

What I didnt know, and what Jerry harped on, was that we now control about 63 county commission boards and 65 of 100 Sheriffs are Democrats. He really stressed local elections in his speech. So, there are some people in charge who get what you are saying.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Liddy 44 Brad 33

"Keep the Faith"

Here in one of the counties that has 100% Red representation

we're really looking forward to support from the state party for ideas on turning a little purple. I think we've got a good start, working from the precinct up, but we're still going to need some help.

_____________
The Den
My darling girl, when will you understand that 'normal' isn't necessarily a virtue. It rather denotes a lack of courage." - Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic

It all starts local

Yeah, things are looking up. At least right now. Lots of new county chairs elected that seem fresh and new and smart ready to get down and do the hard work it takes to win elections in a purple state. Many returning county chairs are the absolute best, too. So, in two years maybe we'll have more local dems in office. And another congressional seat or two.

And perhaps a US Senator ?????
 
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

Just curious

Is the title a reference to the Johnny Cash tune?

I thought

that it was a reference to the U2/BB King collaboration.

I guess it's all in your reference points.
_____________
The Den
My darling girl, when will you understand that 'normal' isn't necessarily a virtue. It rather denotes a lack of courage." - Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic

jung

collective memory or something like that.

wasnt meant to be a reference.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Liddy 44 Brad 33

"Keep the Faith"

BlueSouth

has just been declared a Democratic Insider! What will they think of next?

Explains a lot

Mr. Beckwith seems to feel that having an excuse to leave a Bruckheimer movie is a bad thing.

you know

the press could get into a lot more places if they were just willing to spend the 100 bucks it cost everyone else to get in.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Liddy 44 Brad 33

"Keep the Faith"

Exactly

I really wanted to be in Raleigh this past weekend, but just couldn't afford it with the cost of the new house looming in the future. I don't pay, I don't go, I can't report back on the event.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

new pics

from Jerimee:
Deborah Ross, my State Rep and Tricia Cotham, blogger, and new legislator.

Dannie Montgomery and Husband. Dannie was Larry's campaign Chair, Anson County GOTV extrodinaire, and is now 1st vice chair of the state party. She is amazing.

Kerra Bolton and Rahm.

Mr and Mrs Kissell

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Liddy 44 Brad 33

"Keep the Faith"

Looks like I missed out

:(

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks