We're live baby live at the 2012 JCDems BBQ.
2:15 and Terry Dahms is starting in with intros. Our keynoters times two today are Mpls mayor RT Ryban, the DNC vice chair, and House Dem leader Kevin McCarthy. McCarthy is here, haven't spotted Rybak yet. Dave Loebsack will also be on hand.
Big round of applause for Neuzil pork, the staple food of these events.
We've got about 100 here on hand, including a big chunk of electeds who we'll just list as so: MascherJacobyLensingDvorskyBolkcomDvorskyPulkrabekLynessKrizSullivanRettigNeuzilHughesSchwabThrogmortonGrossWeipertSchwab (some people got two mentions some families have two to be mentioned). This probably took much less time at the Johnson COunty GOP BBQ.
By tradition, electeds and candidates serve. L to R: Bolkcom (typecast on the veggie entree), Jacoby, Sullivan, Weipert, Pulkrabek, Lensing; Schwab and Retting eat early and come back for the second shift.
The speeches start in earnest with Dick Schwab. He keeps it short with thank yous.
Pulkrabek himself is unopposed but he makes the pitch for the justice center. "The No side and the Yes side both agree we need a new jail. THe no side says we should just plan for today, we're planning for tomorrow."
Mary Mascher makes the pitch for Sally Stutsman (absent with a schedule conflict)
Travis Weipert is also unopposed for auditor and thanks folks for the support in the primary. "I will do everything I can to oppose the voter ID law," he closes to big applause.
Rod Sullivan and Terrence Neuzil do have opponents, but Sullivan takes his time to thank chair Terry Dahms. Neuzil notes the long D win streak for the board (since 1958) "and we would like to keep it that way." Makes the straight picket pitch and the calls of "flip the ballot" start before he can even get the words out.
That wraps it for the locals; Mary Mascher takes the intro for McCarthy."We helped with the recruiting effort, but Kevin was the motivator."
"We have well over 20 races in play now" McCarthy says of the 'inside baseball' stuff. "Because of candidates like Sally Stutsman and Sara Sedlacek and Dick Schwab, our polling shows that if the election were today we'd be at 53 seats."
McCarthy's father is Polk County sheriff, and the son used his dad's opponent as a microcosm of Teh Republican Crazy. "We're trying to propose real solutions, and they just yell CONSTITUTION. When you look at the policy prescriptions the Republicans propose, it's to move things back to a time that never was. If we let them do all these things, Democrats would control everything in two years."
Rybak and Loebsack spotted in the house 2:42.
Bob Dvorsky takes the Loebsack intro, and offers praise for the UDems and the field staffers, who are mostly working and thus not here. TV folks arrive. I throw on the beret for Dave's benefit.
"It's competitive in Iowa and it's competitive in this district" says the congressman. " I know you get tired of hearing how we need the margin in Johnson County, but we really do." A shoutout for the Hamburg Inn Coffee Bean Caucus: "If it's any indication, which it has been in the bast, we're gonna win this county big." (Remember, this is a poli sci PhD...)
"When my opponent was asked if social security privatization was a good idea he has a one word response: 'absolutely.' Now he's trying to walk it back, but I'm not going to let him pull a Mitt Romney. As long as I'm in Congress, and even when I'm not, I'm going to fight to make sure nobody ever turns Social security over to Wall Street."
And Loebsack says Archer had a Romneyesque 47% moment, quoting: "One of the weakness of America is that 50% of the people believe they're entitled to a government handout." "I think that makes him singularly unqualified to be a congressman."
Loebsack wraps at 3:07. Dahms passes the hat (NOT the beret) for the House Democrats as Sue Dvorsky takes the into for Rybak. "Our opponents have completely collapsed in their ability to get their voters out," she says "and we started our effort two years ago."
Rybak offere the 30,000 feet view: Several different states are convinced that they'll be "that one state that everbody will look at and say the election's over and the president has won." The crowds consensus is it will be Iowa, though there may have been a problem with sample bias.
The Minnesotan "thanks" Iowa for the "gift" of Michele Bachmann and predicts her loss, with a few shots at Steve King to follow.
"Our message is simple. Are we better off than we were four years ago? YES. 31 straight months of private sector job growth, 30 million Americans on health care, and we are out of Iraq and on the way out of Afghanistan. We need to put a human face on Obamacare. We've got to remind people just what it is."
"The only thing that has been consstent in Mitt Romney's career is resistributing wealth from the bottom to the top."
"I was raised a Republican but I don't recognize the party; they've driven off the edge of the flat earth."
Quote of the speech as it wraps: "George Bush was the captain of the Titanic and Paul Ryan was his little skipper." Done at 3:31 and Dahms makes the pitch to take some yard signs and leftovers home.