Thursday, October 19, 2006

Mr. Charisma on the stump for the D's

Last night at the Montgomery Park building, the top dogs of the Oregon D's gathered together to raise money and volunteers for Ted Kulongoski's reelection efforts.

One of the best ways to bring progressives out in the rain is to promise them a chance to hear DNC Chair Howard Dean. And hear him, they did.

This was my first time viewing Dean up close. I've been to several events where he was a speaker but never really got within a stones throw. But this event was set up so that folks were right up near the stage.

Last night I was close enough to take "red-eye" photos!

Howard Dean definitely knows how to light up a room. He charged in with a force and energy that's infectious.

Dean is a fantastic public speaker. And its evident that his 50-state strategy is working--well beyond even his own high expectations. Dean also made note of the Oregon Democrats picking up on that idea with the 36 county strategy.

As Dean said, We have to have enough respect for people to ask for their vote. Even if we don't think we win, its dissrespectful not to at least ask.

The event showed Kulongoski at his most energized. He gave a hellfire and brimstone-style speech, which is something I've never seen from Ted before. He was en fuego! And he had the crowd cheering.

Maybe he feeds off the energy of his fellow D leadership, but Ted was definitely on a roll last evening.

Even with all this energy and excitement, there was a fascinating turn of events early on in the event. Oregon Democratic Party Jim Edmunson introduced Oregon Senate Candidate Paul Evans to the crowd. Edmunson announced that Evans had been called up to serve in a combat zone in Afghanistan, set to leave 2 days before the election.

Paul's demeanor is so calm and stoic. The announcement hushed the crowd and it was evident that the room wanted to envelope Evans and wish him safe journeys.

All in all, this was a fantastic, well-attended event that did the Governor well. I'm glad I had the chance to take it in.