Culver and Kerry in Iowa City
Pseudo-live at Vito’s for Chet Culver and John Kerry. I’m seeing signals but they don’t seem to like me. Channel 7’s here and so is the dean, Mike Glover. Lots of the local politicos here. Heard someone asking Larry Meyers about the split ticket signs: “I’ve got nothing to do with it.”
Speaking of yard signs, the signs for Joe Bolkcom’s “independent” opponent seem to be showing up only in GOP yards…
We’ve also got the sheriff, the senators, the county attorneys old and new, and most of the supervisors. Lunch is deemed “amazingly good”
The guests of honor arrive on campaign standard time (12:38) along with more TV and radio. Stage lighting is dual disco balls, let’s hope Chet and John don’t dance… where are the Nussle Hustlers when we need them?
Our MC is Rod Sullivan doing the local intros and professor Jim Throgmorton intros the speakers. Mari Culver’s here too accompanying The Big Lug (her line not mine). “I want a governor who knows what it’s like inside the classroom.”
We must be over 150 folks here. Kerry goes first. “I was on CSPAN this weekend, most of the Republicans I saw were on Cops.”
He skips the re-introduction of every politician in the room. Sticking to the Iowa Values vs. Washington Values Culver message. He’s tie-less, wonder if Dick Myers auctioned it off? Now moving to veterans’ issues, touching on his own service and swiftboating. Ties it back to Nussle voting record.
Energy independence is a “four-fer”: jobs, health, environment, and national security.
I don’t know if it’s just me, but congressional pay raises just don’t resonate for me as an issue.
“Iowa doesn’t need Texas $ to tell you what to do and mess up Chet Culver’s reputation.” Wrapping up with the traditional get out the vote call to action. Successfully amps up the crowd for giving Chet the biggest round of applause thus far.
Culver steps up to speak and Mari steps up along side him (she’s been higher profile lately). Says Republicans who’ve had enough have joined us, and Dems are proud to be inclusive.
Chet’s sounding sharper and more confident these day. The poll? Time on the trail? Finding his voice? In any case he’s sounding more extemporaneous, more comfortable… like a winner. Pretty good for side by side with the 2004 presidential nominee.
“You can run but you can’t hide from a bad 16 year record in DC.” I’ll put my last 16 years against his any day. Mentions the bully bill (yay)
A few minutes for education, some time for energy. The call to action and a call for sleep deprivation. “We’re unlimited in terms of how big this year could be.”
He wraps up and my seatmates say “he’s gotten better!”
Media scrum surrounds Kerry; regular folks are talking to Culver. I decide to be a regular folk.
Outside after the event some young Republicans try to disrupt Chet's interviews by standing behind him and singing "Kum Bah Yah" loudly. Tip, guys, next time don't do it wearing Nussle and Leach shirts. Kinda makes you stand out...