Friday, May 04, 2007

P3 Puts You There, at the Edwards "Veto Rally"

I saw it yesterday already, but it was kind of commenter Tenskwatawa to make a note in our little blurb about John Edwards attending MoveOn's hurriedly put-together "veto rally" on Wednesday. If you weren't able to make it, there's a great rendition of the event--including a full transcript of Edwards' remarks--from our good friend Bill over at Persuasion, Perserverance and Patience (or P3).

He also includes a copy of the "Send it Back" ad Edwards had quickly made to urge Congress to simply send the vetoed supplemental bill back to the President in its same form, over and over until he's forced to sign it. It would appear that gambit is not one the Democrats are willing to try, but it was a bold move and a pretty good commercial (although I hear some of the people in it are staffers and other Beltway politico ground soldiers, which erodes some of the "everyday Americans" patina they were going for), so let's reproduce it here:

Definitely read the whole thing to get the vivid picture that Bill lays out, but here are some favored excerpts:
A crowd of people had already gathered around the Teddy Roosevelt statue--for those who like their symbolism to be unsubtle--with signs and banners. It was a pretty representative Portland crowd, running the spectrum from Columbia rain gear to Nike to R.E.I. to Lands End, and even some die-hard Eddie Bauer enthusiasts among the lot.

The organizers had provided "Keep 'em safe/Bring 'em home" signs for participants. There were a lot of others, mostly homemade:

A long war is a disaster for whoever wins--Sun Tsu
Disavow AIPAC [triggered quite an argument near where I stood]
911 was an inside job: Google 911 truth
War against terror--stupid as a war against shooters

At 5.15 a light rain had begun to fall, although not nearly enough to chase anyone away--this is Portland--but enough to bring out those huge, magnificent golf umbrellas that always make it tough to maneuver in a crowd. The rain lasted about 10 minutes, and then there were brief sun patches until Edwards arrived.


Twenty 'til six: When I first arrived, I was at the front of the crowd. Then, when they found the bullhorn, the center of activity shifted so I was on the fringe, standing on a bench to see. Now one of Edwards' team tells me nicely that the Senator is going to stand where I'm standing when he gets there, so I'll have to move. I smile agreeably and tell her I'll move as soon as the Senator gets there. You can see on her face that she's clearly spent a day--a week--a whole spring--in an environment where everyone wants to negotiate everything, and she instantly sizes me up for the utter lightweight I am, but she smiles and nods. Bless her heart. I stand on the bench as the crowd shifts and presses close--looking up at me. Just to be clear, I announce, "I'm not him." No one had asked to shake my hand.

Two minutes later, Edwards shows up, walking up the path from the south. Blue sport coat, open collar blue check shirt, blue jeans. Probably the only candidate for either party who looks remotely plausible in blue jeans. He shakes a few hands on the front edge of the crowd (including your humble narrator's), and mounts the park bench that I will insist to my dying day I was saving specifically for him.

and from the transcription:
And I want to say to all of you, and all the MoveOn members all across this country: You've spoken out with strength and courage and passion about this issue. I'm proud of you for what you're doing. I'm proud of what you're doing, in speaking out, and standing up with strength and courage...this is such an important movement. Here's the truth--the great movements in American history did not begin in the Oval Office in Washington DC. The great movements--the civil rights movement, the movement to stop the war in Vietnam, the movement to stop the apartheid regime in South Africa--and today, the movement to stop the war in Iraq starts right here, in Portland, Oregon, with all of you...