Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Many Standing Ovations

LHfromSeattle reports from Dean's appearance:

I was at Howard Dean's Washington (state) appearance for the Washington State Dems. It brought together almost twice as many people (and donations) as their biggest year previously.

We're lucky to have a Democratic woman Gov, Christine Gregoire, (thanks to grassroots and Dean supporters who helped fund a recount!) plus 2 Dem senators, and 6 out of 9 reps are Dems. And the state Dem party has an energizing new chair, Dwight Pelz, who was and is a Dean supporter. Most all the politicos on stage kept their speeches short because we all wanted to hear Dean.

Dean walked on stage with that wonderful smile lighting up everything, to exuberant standing applause. After several minutes of applause and "Thank you!"s on Dean's part, he started out by saying "I wish we would have started in Washington instead of Iowa. Things might be different now." -- which got even more enthusiastic applause. (I used to think Howard had a soft spot for Washington state, but on the DFA blog Demetrius set me straight -- it's really Ohio!)

Howard was in fine form, radiating confidence, energy and yes, happiness I think (at the huge turnout and local grassroots strength.) (I was going to tape his speech and transcribe it but left the tape recorder at home (curses!) so these are highlights from memory). He said "we are accused of having no clear stand as Dems. Do you know what the Democractic Party stands for? Here it is in 25 seconds -- take notes, memorize it."* Good-paying jobs that stay in America.*Education so everyone can have "optimism and apportunities." (love that "optimism."*Energy policy that's not dependent on the Middle East.*Honesty and integrity in politics.*Accurate vote-counting methods.*Strong defense; telling the truth to our allies.

A woman at my table was taking notes, but I figured doing that would interfere with my enjoyment of Dean's speech. So I don't remember many details. But it was classic Dean. Pointed concise condemnation of the Rethugs, their approval ratings and the immorality of letting kids go to bed hungry and seniors deprived of meds. Dems don't want big government that's small enough to fit in Terry Schiavo's bedroom or in a medical office with a woman and her medical provider. Civil rights for all.

He thinks immigration will be the next hot topic for Repugs. They want to find and export all the immigrants. But that can't even find a 6-foot Saudi, so how can they find a hundred thousand+ immigrants? He said that illegal immigrants, if they've been here, working, paying taxes, basically being good people, they should be able to apply for citizenship after paying a fine for the illegal status. No vigilantes. No guest worker status which is indentured servitude.

He told us that we need to keep working, the grassroots will given time and energy and work, take over (not in so many words, but it was there).

Many standing ovations; the crowd was so energized and happy. Afterwards I got in line to meet him, after having trouble finding just which line to get into and inadvertently crashing the line in my oblivion and getting rightfully kicked back. My husband, watching, was so impressed by how magnetic Dean is and how sincerely involved he is with all the people who want to talk to him and shake hands. (Husband has not been to many Dean events, obviously.)

I wasn't going to say anything to him -- the last time I met him and shook hands I think I flubbed my lines -- so I handed him my copy of You Have The Power to autograph. But then I had to speak up and say something "thank you for all your hard work and having to put up with the Beltway Dems. We're waiting for 2012 and we'll be behind you then too!" I'm sure it was the 2012 part that made him laugh and smile even more than he was already.

But the whole event was full of smiling people walking around in a flow of energy and friendliness. I was so proud to be a part of this, with all types... suits and ties, faded Dean For America T-shirts, grandparents, teens, different coloured faces, teachers, waitresses, engineers, lawyers, proud papa who couldn't take his eyes off his 2-wk old daughter on his chest in a snugglie, with a lace band round her perfect head....and more.

Just a typical Dean event.Click for Olympia newspaper article; better IMO than the SeaTimes.


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