Alex Blaze

Live-blogging at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner

Filed By Alex Blaze | June 20, 2009 6:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics, Politics
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Bill Clinton's speech: The eloquence differential between him and Bayh is remarkable.

Starts by thanking Bayh:

I personally think he can do any job in the United States, and I hope we see him do a few more.

There ya go.

clinton.jpg

A few personal stories. Calls himself "Hillary's wife." LOL from the crowd.

He's talking about autism now, child development and health care. It's still his issue. He makes the important point that a downturn in the economy means that there's more need for health care reform than when the economy is doing well with a story about a Hoosier mother who needed to take on extra work and still couldn't pay for her child's health care (the child had a chronic illness). "What kind of country is this where we have to choose between whether we're going to eat or our child is going to live."

He says that: two-thirds of people have incomes that are lower, after they're adjusted for inflation, than before I left office.

He blames movement conservatism of the last 40 years on Robert Kennedy being assassinated. It's an interesting proposition that Nixon set it forth, I'm guessing with his infamous resentment. If there's anyone who gets movement conservatism's backlash, it's this guy.

"We lost the culture. You know it. We lost it here in Indiana," referring to the 80's. "Nixon looks like a Communist compared to most of the people who have been running for Congress in the Republican Party."

He says that the Republican majority was over in 1998. George W. Bush's slogan "compassionate conservatism" was clever and got him the election in 2000, well, that and the Supreme Court handing it to him. 9/11 happened and that helped the Republicans, along the war, to win in 2002 and 2004. "People were restive under their experience with what we had been promised by Reagan." He calls Reagan "lucky" because he couldn't get all that he wanted with the Democratic Congress. This led to 2006 and 2008 Democratic victories because "we had 6 years of experience."

It's glad he reads history this way, since between 2000 and 2006 there were plenty of people talking about a permanent Republican majority, why the country is so stupid as to vote against its interests, how Republicans were campaign geniuses. It's more obvious now that it was an aberration, not a baseline. Anyway, I've mentioned this before on the site, and it's good to see one of the brightest political minds in the country agree with it because it's more flattering to America and justifies a further leftward movement.

Haha, calls Evan Bayh a "fiscal conservative." But he disses tax cuts right afterwards and gives the people a brief intro to Keynesian economics.

Back to health care. He links single-payer/public option to economic prosperity - American automakers can't compete with other countries since they have to pay so much on health care.

Energy: Says that switching to "clean coal" and alternative energy are necessary to prevent 100 million deaths in 50 years because of global warming. Calls it an "economic opportunity" for Indiana.

Gets a standing ovation for saying we don't have time to hate each other and not work together. It's not a black/white country anymore, it's multiracial.

Shout-out to Evan Bayh for voting for college loan funding in the 90's.

"The world has not become more liberal. It has become more communitarian."

Great moment of celebration with the Democrats in office. The Democratic Party should become the "How Party."

That was a great and interesting speech. The man's still got it. And putting him on stage next to Evan Bayh is like putting Britney Spears on stage next to Michael Jackson... it makes the differences between the two fairly obvious.

Evan Bayh's speech: He gets a standing ovation here. Bayh opens with a story of a guy who saw him in the airport and said:

If Evan Bayh is elected president, you're gonna be one lucky guy.

Ha ha! But I won't be; the last thing we need is a Blue Dog in the Oval Office.

He says the economy is doing bad.

This is true:

This shows that the candidates they come, they campaign, they invest in Indiana, they can win here.

Now he's going through a litany of legislation passed. Praises SCHIP, stimulus package, Lilly Ledbetter Act.

Says what they're going to do: energy independence, foreign oil, Sonia Sotomayor confirmed.... Wow, Pat Bauer's shorter in person and Evan Bayh is smarmier.

Now he's talking up Clinton: balanced budget, jobs, poverty, welfare to jobs, more police on the streets, AmeriCore, college loans and Pell grants.

Praises Hillary Clinton. Quite a bit.

Closes with memories of Bill Clinton and Robert Kennedy. "The dream has finally been realized with the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States."

Pat Bauer's speech: He opens by attacking the governor, and goes back to his time in the Bush Administration when

Says "Pat Bauer is threatening a hostile takeover of this government.[...] He will take over the appropriations branch, which is the legislature."

Shout-outs the union workers. Running theme here... go unions!

Food lettucf.jpgservice update: They decided to put the wasted food dump right in front of me here (yay media creds!) and I'm seeing that the "salad" here is a quarter of a head of iceberg lettuce with the root still in it. Didn't J. get kicked off Hell's Kitchen this year for accidentally serving one butt of lettuce? Not too many people seemed to like it as they're throwing away quite a few.

And, yes, before I get comments telling me how hard it is to serve this many people, blah blah blah, shredded lettuce in a bag exists.

Whoa! They just dumped a whole tray of food! Carrots everywhere!


I'm downtown at the Marriott liveblogging at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, where Bill Clinton will be speaking later tonight. We just got through the Pledge and the opening prayer - oh, yeah.

I'm dinner.jpghoping to get some face time with a few Dems after the speeches and see what they think about upcoming LGBT legislation, like DADT and ENDA. I'll update the site after each speech. Chairman Dan Parker, Speaker Pat Bauer, Sen. Vi Simpson, Sen. Evan Bayh, Rep. Andre Carson, and President Bill Clinton will speak here tonight, and there are few other faces in the crowd.

So, question for the audience as everyone eats and there's nothing to post about: Do we still call him "President Clinton" even though he isn't president anymore? I know that's the standard practice in the media, as elucidated once on NBC Nightly News by Brian Williams. But Miss Manners says no, he should be called by his last elected title before he became president, so he's "Governor Clinton." I trust her more than I do Brian Williams, but she's fighting against a strong tide.

n.b. I'm way too far back for my camera to get any good pictures of the speakers.


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That's funny, Alex. I thought the same thing about the lettuce when I sat down. We've watched too much reality tv!