DNC Winter Meeting Speeches
The first major cattle call of the Democratic field took place in Washington, DC today. At the Democratic National Committee's Winter Meeting - a gathering of liberal activists key to any primary victory - Dodd, Obama, Clark, Edwards, Kucinich and Clinton all showed their stuff, with Vilsack and Biden to come.
Going into the meeting, the smart money was on Edwards and Obama.
The results (a personal estimation but also based on the buzz in the room/press pen)...
* Dodd did better than expected
* Obama... gave an odd speech and may have wasted a very valuable opportunity with this very select audience. On paper, it was the best of the bunch. And actually the delivery was also solid. But in terms of how the winter meeting has been used in the past... Obama didn't really connect with the activists in a significant way.
* Skipped Clark to make a phone call (I don't feel too horrible about it).
* Edwards... met expectations. It shows that he's been around the block before. It was polished and well pitched for the audience. Probably the most rousing. For those who have heard speak before, there was a lot new but a very familiar feel.
* Clinton... Introduced a new formulation on Iraq. She was heckled from various people while talking about the war (that should give you a sense of the room) but she handled it well and introduced - at last - new language on her Iraq vote that I'm sure we'll all hear ad naseum in the months to come. She basically said that if she had been president in 2003, we wouldn't have gone to war and that if she's president in 2005, she will end the war. The room reacted as you'd expect it would. She went from being jeered to cheered.
All in all, the Edwards staff and Clinton team should be all smiles. Obama's team did well but I wonder if their Iowa/NH organizers felt they got what they needed out of today's performance.
Don't you dare try to talk Obama down dude! Not only is he clean, but he's also articulate.
Hillary and Edwards should just pack it up.
Obama was great. If you're an Obama supporter, you wouldn't have been disappointed. But the Winter meeting is about the activist crowd. It's often a predictor of things to come. For example, Dean lit the room up like a rocket last go around. Of course, Dean didn't win. But that was the first time the press and the room got even an inkling of the impact he would eventually have.
Obama didn't hurt himself but didn't help himself either. They seem to be keeping their powder dry for the eventual announcement speech.
Last edited by Jake Plane; 02-02-2007 at 01:48 PM.
Hey, thanks for the insights. I'm sure you've mentioned it before but what is it that you do which had you hanging out with the DNC today (or was this on C-SPAN?)?
Oh the usual. I'm a secret serving, capitol hill staffing, political reporting, sergeant-at-arms... arming?, subcommittee ranking, supreme court ruling, muckraking politico.
Call me Dennis K. No wait. Call me D. Kucinich.
(sent you a PM)
Dennis... I mean "Jake," what did Denny K have to say today?
I haven't seen much press coverage panning Obama -- has anyone else seen good coverage of today's events?
It was a bizzare speech truth be told. There was a lot of eye rolling. Last go around he was at least "received." This time... he was tolerated. Barely.
No wonder you do so many damn polls.
This doesn't surprise me, as much as I like Denny K's politics. The activist crowd in particular isn't going to have a lot of goodwill towards Kucinich. During the last primary, he did a good job of agenda-setting (he knew he wouldn't actually win), but towards the end his people started using some somewhat underhanded methods of driving up his numbers. I was a Dean delegate to my State Convention, and the Kucinich people were trying to convince all of us Dean people to vote for him instead because Dean had dropped out, whereas the truth was that Dean had just stopped campaigning. That's just one example.
Originally Posted by Jake Plane
I actually had an opportunity to hear Kucinich give about a one hour talk early in the '04 campaign season. Quite frankly he didn't appear nearly as nuts as he's portrayed on TV or the internet. Maybe I caught him on a good day. What impressed me the most about his presentation was his candor about the issues. He actually addressed them as opposed to subtle hints that things would be fixed if elected like most politicians do. Then, he actually fielded questions. I've never been to another presidential campaign visit where the canidate takes questions. Never.
Really? Both Bush and Kerry did it all the time in 04. That said, the difference was that for Bush they gave the local organizer instructions only to allow Republicans who support Bush into the event. Further, they made some people sign loyalty oaths before entering. I kid you not.
The Post's Froomkin was all over those appearances with entries in his daily "White House Briefing" (Now 'White House Watch") blog. It was very 1984. Folks would be denied entry if they weren't Republicans or guests of supporters. One guy, I think, was detained briefly by someone claiming to be Secret Security because his car had a Kerry bumpersticker on it. It was totally nuts. Everything prescreened and predigested and marketed as an unscripted townhall meeting with the public at large.
This happened at my school, too, when Cheney and others. You even had to give your social security # to get a ticket to go see the Bush Daughters speak.
edit: Obviously, I didn't go. They'd never have let me in anyway.
Last edited by Cosmic Hippo; 02-04-2007 at 03:13 PM.
Must be pretty specific to the event - when Bush was in here at my company this summer, there was a ton of security (of course) but nothing related to political preferences, in fact we had some pretty anti-Bush employees who got to ask him some questions (they were respectful but straightforward.) This was all with a lot of video being taped by the local media. Obviously, though, very different from a nationally significant political meeting.
They've probably loosened up since the election. 2004 was under complete lockdown though.