22 hours after GOP bloggers figure it out, the Iowa Democratic Party officially announces:
Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell will serve as the keynote speaker for their 2010 Jefferson Jackson Dinner, which will take place on October 16th in Des Moines. Gov. Rendell, the former Democratic National Committee chairman, has been a strong voice for the Democratic Party at a local, state, and national level.So the Republicans win this battle by getting their party's number one draw - at her initiative, it seems. Democrats, meanwhile, frankly get a B lister. Maybe we'll see Rendell in a second Obama term cabinet, or with a talk TV gig, but for now the term-limited Pennsylvania governor's star is on the decline. (Last year things were switched: Republicans settled for Tim Pawlenty, while Democrats got Vice President Biden.)
“Governor Rendell’s lifetime of public service and dedication to the Democratic Party has made him one of our strongest and most outspoken voices, it is an honor to welcome him as our keynote speaker for the Jefferson Jackson Dinner,” said IDP Chairwoman Sue Dvorsky. “The Jefferson Jackson Dinner is always a great opportunity for Iowa Democrats to hear from our great leaders from across the nation and build support for the Party. This year Governor Rendell will help us prepare to reelect Governor Culver and send Roxanne Conlin to the Senate as we build on our past success.”
The IDP’s annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner has welcomed many national political figures, most recently hosting Vice President Joe Biden in 2009. For more information about the Dinner visit http://iowademocrats.org/JJ.
But there's silver linings to all that. First off, there's a month between events, so the side by side comparisons will end today. And the sheer magnitude of the Republican speaker and the accompanying lamestream media feeding frenzy will eclipse any hope of Iowa's own Republican candidates being noticed. Terry Branstad and Chuck Grassley will get small sidebar stories or buried paragraphs in print and zilch on TV. It's all about Mama Grizzly.
Democrats, meanwhile, will be a month closer to the election. Rendell will rally the faithful, to be sure, but the night and the stories will be about Roxanne Conlin and Chet Culver.
Update: Jonathan Martin of Politico tweeted Rendell at 10:09 AM yesterday, six minutes before iowasnewzliter. I'm still steamed I wasn't first...