9:45pm: Dan Parker closes the dinner. Time to go home! Pictures will follow!
9:40pm: "Some of my colleagues aren't happy about working on Fridays. We may not work each Friday, but as long as I'm the majority leader we'll stay until the work is done."
"I come from Maryland. We're a very blue state. It's easy to work when you know you're gonna win."
"You're gonna turn your state from red to blue."
"I've probably talked too long." No argument here...
Wrap up with more "Baron Hill is a great guy," and morph into a John Mellencamp quote since he's from Seymour too. "This is our country." Only not just "This is our country," he's reading a good section of the lyrics... It would have been more entertaining if he'd sang it.
All in all, not a very stirring speech - but decent. Rather long in the tooth though.
9:30pm: Hoyer is still speaking.
Minimum wage and Pell Grants have been talked about. "Someone who works 40 hours a week should not live in poverty."
Iraq, of course, has been a major focus for each speaker - especially the troops.
9:15pm: Hoyer takes the podium with a joke about Bayh being the keynote speaker and the Marriott being on West Maryland Street.
Hoyer remembers Evan Bayh's father, Birch Bayh. He also had kind words for Julia Carson and Jill Long Thompson (another rumored gubernatorial candidate).
He also reminisced about his duty to elect more Democrats to the House and how helpful one governor was in particular. Then he complimented the governor's wife as a wonderful person - Judy O'Bannon. That brought a standing ovation for the former Governor's beautiful and gracious widow...
The speech definitely isn't a barn burner. Hoyer is rather bland actually. I'd be hard pressed to tell you what the speech is actually about... While he keeps name dropping the Indiana representatives and talking about how great they are, ("Joe Donnelly represents his district." "Brad Ellsworth represents the good people of his district."), he's not really saying too darn much.
Good knock at Governor Daniels there - and how he killed the federal budget and turned a surplus into a deficit.
9:00pm: Tonight's theme is "Turning a Red State Blue" and Hill is expounding upon the theme. He's even wearing a blue tie! *grins* Now that's dedication! LOL
Hill talks about how tonight's Keynote Speaker, House Majority Leader, Maryland Representative Steny Hoyer, would call him during the campaign to encourage him onwards.
Hill introduces Hoyer.
8:50pm: Bayh talks about his family. He's also pumping Ellsworth, Hill, and Donnelly. Ah, here comes the Julia Carson references. :) Bart Peterson's kudos are next: "Bart Peterson is doing a fabulous job in the capital city and we need to keep him there."
Quick shout out to organized labor and teachers.
Now it's time to talk up Indiana Speaker of the House Pat Bauer... Bayh remembers working with Bauer when Bayh was Governor. Bayh has attended over 30 JJ Dinners... (After all, his father was in politics too!)
Bayh presents Pat with the 2nd Annual Hoosier Democrat award.
This is first appearance for Bayh since announcing he was dropping out of the presidential race. "I may be the only Senator not running for President!"
"I didn't want this to be about my vanity or my ego."
Health care policies are a birthright - 21st Century Scholars - Energy dependence, Iraq policy - all hot topics for Bayh.
"The administration is about two things: fear and greed... That's not what makes America great." There was a shout-out to "those with lifestyles different from you" in there, but he said it too fast for me to get all of it.
"We may have all arrived here on different ships, but we're all in the same boat now."
Bayh introduces Baron Hill.----
8:40pm: Speakers have started.
Brad Ellsworth is speaking now. I'm hoping to ask Ellsworth and Donnelly about their votes on the hate crimes bill. As a former Evansville resident, I paid special attention to Ellsworth's race - Hostettler drove me nuts and I wanted him out of office no matter what... That guy was so far right it was pathetic, but we replaced him with someone else that buys into the fundie talking points? Geez.
Ellsworth introduces Senator Evan Bayh.
8:35pm: Sitting in the back of the room now with Jen Wagner and Abdul. I snapped a pic of the two of them. Also got some pics of the room and attendees. There's about a thousand democrat movers and shakers here tonight.
Julia Carson spoke briefly before dinner, as did Indianapolis Mayor Peterson and State Party Chair Dan Parker.
Dinner was the typical rubber chicken served at these things, but the dessert was really cute. It was a little chocolate donkey stuffed with custard and berries.
7:03pm: Jerame and I came together, obviously. As soon as we arrived we ran into Jennifer Wagner from Taking Down Words. She'll also be live blogging the dinner. Contributor Ellen Andersen was hanging out in the group around Jen and Don Sherfick arrived a little later. We got a group photo, but I forgot to bring the camera cord! Yikes!
We've moved into the ballroom now. (The reception for Shellinger was packed! Sardines! I've seen Abdul from Indiana Barrister in here, plus Jon Keep, Randy Studt and John Joanette from Indiana Equality.
As promised, the live blogging of the Indiana Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner will start shortly. The reception begins at 6pm and the dinner starts at 7pm.
Updates will be at the top with a time stamp.
So far, contributors that are attending include: myself, Jerame Davis, Ellen Andersen, and Don Sherfick. Hopefully, I'll get a group photo!