Yeah, it’s, like, a day late. Perhaps a dollar short. But here are some of the more interesting tidbits from the 2007 Jefferson Jackson Dinner:
- Unlike 2003, there were no dirigibles in the house. Sen. Chris Dodd had one miniature blimp flying outside, but it carried no new slogan.
- Sen. Hillary Clinton’s new line, “Turn Up The Heat!”, is kind of strange. Its imagery is similar to Sen. Barack Obama’s “Fired up! Ready to go!” chant, which led to unfortunate contrasts because of Clinton’s relative difficulty riling up a crowd with call and response. At the same time, it played right into Obama’s criticism of Clinton — that she’s too partisan. For when Clinton suggests that we “Turn Up The Heat!”, she thinks we should be doing it to the Republicans.
- Clinton stood and applauded with others at her table when Gov. Bill Richardson said that his fellow Democratic candidates should stop attacking each other.
- A few folks have now suggested that they thought House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may have been tipsy by the end of the evening. I’m not sure if I agree, but there was definitely a lot of drinking going on during the event, which stretched on much longer than scheduled.
- No candidate fit his or her speech into the allotted amount of time. Any threats issued by the IDP about cutting off microphones (was this just a rumor?) were empty.
- Former Sen. John Edwards’s speech was good, but it seemed so long ago by the end of the night that he was at a disadvantage when pundits began declaring winners.
- That said, Obama’s speech was perhaps the closest we have seen to his 2004 Democratic National Convention speech yet. When he is in front of a crowd of 9,000, he is more at home than anyone. This doesn’t translate very well to small town hall events, but if he wins the nomination, this may be the only kind of speech he ever has to give.
- Obama beat all of the other campaigns combined at the sign war, if you can even call thousands of people marching together a “sign war.” I thought the marching thing was hokey when they did it at the Harkin Steak Fry, but I’m beginning to see its value. When General Obama and his army took the hill on their way into the auditorium, the faces of other campaigns’ staff displayed a mix of awe, resignation, and indignation.