DL21C Annual Summer Bash: Barack Won The Straw Poll
from Paramendra Bhagat
Brooklyn For Barack
Audacity of Park Slope
date Jul 21, 2007 2:24 AM
subject Invade The DL21C's Annual Summer Bash! July 31
Event Name: Invade The DL21C's Annual Summer Bash!
Time: Tuesday, July 31 at 8:00 PM - 6 hours
Location: Iguana Lounge & Nightclub (New York, NY)
240 W. 54th St (at Broadway)
New York, NY 10019
Directions: 1 train to 50th St., B/D/E trains to 7th Ave
8:00 pm until the break of dawn
DL21C is a premier progressive organization in the city, it is so
mainstream its founder is now state Dem party chair. And it is their
event. But it is open, and I expect many top progressives in the city
to show up, including many Hillary supporters. I suggest we also show
up in force and work the room. Do not bring along any literature, or
buttons to pass around. You can only engage people in conversation,
and be very respectful when doing so. I suggest about 30 of us show up
and work the room. "Hi, how do you like Barack Obama? Why? Why not? Do
you like Hillary? Would you like to see her as Obama's running mate?"
Please RSVP at the DL21C site. http://dl21c.org
Mr. President is my nickname for Charles. This guy has been an activist for decades. He once tried to impress me with the very many details he knew about Indira Gandhi's tenure in India, especially "the emergency." I don't know as many details. I met Charles during my DFNYC phase in the city, when I was new, and they were failing to get me excited about the local races. My specialty is presidential politics, I told myself. I am a foreigner. If you are a foreigner, you start at the presidential level. That is the entry point. This was 2005. This was not even 2006 yet. And Charles was one guy who was one step ahead of me. He would do this survey thing that he does at every event I have seen him at, which is many many. He will give this sheet of paper to everyone in the room. You basically tally your favorite Democrats for president.
Last night Charles told me Barack won. This is huge. The DL21C Annual Summer Bash is the place to show up at if you are a young progressive in the city. The event also draws many top dog politicos. Terry McAuliffe himself was there. A long list of names was read out. Chris Owens was there. My man Bill Perkins was there. Bill and I sat next to each other at the Manhattan for Obama Organizational KickOff Meeting. I heard Hakeem Jeffries' name. I looked for him. Perhaps he left early: I could not find him. Scott Stringer was there. And many others. One City Council person, staffers. One guy with a local TV station. He promised me he will put me on TV.
Video: New York City For Barack Obama 1
Leila was there. I interacted with Leila more than any other DFNYC person during my DFNYC phase. She does not live in the city no more. So it was like, long time no see. Carolyn gave me a hug. Kenya was there with a friend. Frieda was there. She chairs the state Young Dems organization. They just had a national thing in Dallas. Elizabeth Caputo was looking great, this was her big night. Usually she shows up in work clothes she has not bothered to iron at events she might be hosting: she must be very good at whatever it is she does for her bank.
I have cooled off DL21C too. The little time I have for politics these days goes to Obama.
My relationship with the political and social reality out there - and that includes race - is the relationship between an astronomer and a galaxy, it is sophisticated and quite detached.
I met this young white guy punk in shorts with a major attitude problem, one of those guys who you want to ask, who invited you. He said Obama can't be president, it is a W-h-i-t-e House! He talked some more b.s.
I might finally be at a point in life when Nepal no longer bothers me, Kentucky no longer bothers me. I bother them. Folklore had it when I was growing up that when a dog gets sick, it goes into the woods, eats grass, vomits, and gets well. I wrote an online autobiography. The two years of intense work I did for Nepal is also largely behind me, otherwise it felt like a zombie existence: body in NYC, mind in Nepal. And I am super excited about my tech startup, what I came to NYC for.
Working the room, I bumped into Holly. She was for Hillary, I was for Obama, and there was this white guy who claimed to be a union guy who was for Edwards. I said it sounded like identity politics. The guy said he is pretty much a socialist, he is so far to the left. Then he said if it is between Hillary and Rudy, he would go for Rudy.
Holly was for Hillary. "I like Hillary, I have always liked Hillary," I said. She works for a hedge fund. I would not feel comfortable in a big, mainstream bank, I have to feel entrepreneurial, she said. "I could not do the job thing, I have to have my own company," I said.
She went to get beer. I walked closer to the stage. David Pollak was in sync with his bandmates. This guy was totally into it. It made me respect the politician in him more. If you have some other passion besides politics, especially something artsy like music, you are more believable as a politician. I am looking at him and thinking, this guy could go national before Spitzer does. He started in 1993, Spitzer in 1998. There is this Zen quality to Pollak, never more at display before than this night. This guy looks too comfortable being state Dem party chair to give the impression he has hit the ceiling. And New York is the epicenter state in American politics, New York City the capital city of the world. He is situated just fine.
Pollak's short introduction speech was better than McAuliffe's speech that followed. McAuliffe was not his usual self. He looked tired, like he had had a long day. Pollak had a shirt on that had curve cuts on both sides: that is my style.
Holly caught up with me. She said she wanted to take me to some Hillary events, and she would like to go to a few Obama events with me. I said I would like that a whole lot. Are you on Facebook? Friend me, she said. I did. Then she left. Got to go to work tomorrow.
My man Aaron was in the hall. Funnyman Aaron.
After McAuliffe left, Bill Perkins showed.
"Mr. Chairman, you have been running a great campaign," I said to him. I expect to read about a guy like McAuliffe, I don't expect to meet him. This was my second time seeing him. Thank you, New York. McAuliffe has a place in history like Bill Clinton. McAulifee does not have a parallel, if you think about it. And his record might stand since more and more fundraising in the future will be direct and online.
McAuliffe showed up during a break in the music. He said he was coming from an event with Bill Clinton down the road where "2600 people" showed up. It was fundraiser for the Clinton Foundation's fight with AIDS in "Africa and China."
Bill Clinton has done amazing work since leaving office. He has been able to do more for the poor countries than the UN system at some levels. That is mind-blowing.
McAuliffe had left, and Bill Perkins took the stage, right before Chris Owens played the flute. I once heard a DFNYC story, an insinuation, that I had been a small reason why Owens lost his bid for Congress. That is such hogwash. I did not campaign for or against him. I was too into Nepal at the time. I did live in Brooklyn where he was running.
I happened to meet Owens at a Brooklyn for Barack barbecue in Prospect Park. He was there with his family. I was so surprised he approached me like he knew me. He knew me. That was our very first conversation.
Dave Pollak got off stage saying "Dave is out to get some beer." I left not long after. I went to the 99 cent pizza store, a ritual when I am near Times Square, kind of like my having gone to numerous Walmarts all across America. You marvel at the business model.
I learned today DL21C now has a Facebook page, as does Pollak. One small step for a man, one giant step for mankind.
Treat Hillary Nice, Accenuate The Differences
It is fundamentally important that Obama maintain excellent personal relations with Hillary, both publicly and privately. These two genuinely like each other. When Obama got elected to the Senate, Hillary was one of the first people he called upon. He wanted advice on how to handle his newfound fame. When Obama first said he might run, he immediately also said that was no statement on Hillary who he thought had been "an excellent Senator." At all the early debates, it has showed that they like each other.
Treating Hillary nice is not going to look fake. Actually a downward slide in personal relations is what is going to look fake. It is going to feel new and unreal.
No attack ads should be traded, most certainly not personal attack ads.
All this goes with Obama's talk of a "new kind of politics."
In the recent spat, Obama won the debate on substance, but he lost the debate on tone. And the women voters noticed. Hillary got a boost in polls. Obama is going to have to work on tone.
Women feel like it is about time. We live on a sexist planet. This is a sexist country. Women know that intimately. Growing up on a sexist planet, having to slowly and painfully learn the gender strictures, women know. They all instinctively know. And now Hillary provides them with an outlet. A lot of Republican women in New York state crossed party lines in 2000 to vote for Hillary. And I am so glad that happened. Pundits say Hillary will have a tough time in a general election. I don't think so. What planet do they live on? They don't know Hillary. They don't know women. They don't know the gender dynamic.
There was this Rick Lazio moment in 2000. Lazio walked over to Hillary and pushed this piece of paper in Hillary's face and said let's together sign this paper right now that would clamp both our fundraising this or that. Long story short, it was a pro campaign finance reform thing. Some stupid little stunt by a Republican who was feeling the heat of Bill Clinton raising money for his wife like a demon. Lazio was sweating like he was in a sauna, politically speaking.
If you were to look at the substance of it, Lazio was right. His position on campaign finance reform was closer to publicly financed elections than Hillary's. Hillary did not sign that paper there, can you believe that? What was she thinking? That is the strict substance of it.
But stupid Lazio lost it big time. Why? First, he was dishonest. His party is a money machine more than an ideas machine. It was like, look who is talking. Then he reminded women voters of how men routinely invade women's personal space. Why the fuck did you leave your podium and walk all the way to where Hillary was standing? Women noticed that invasion of personal space. We live in a world where the fact is that men do all the talking whereas the stereotype perpetuated by relentless jokes, many of them funny, is that women do all the talking. And the women voters responded. They voted for Hillary in droves. They did not blink once before getting the message.
I am not saying Obama is Lazio. Actually Hillary might have sent some wrong signals on race in this last spat. You can't be "angry" that Obama is proving more resilient an opponent than you expected. But Hillary was made to feel that she is "under attack by opponents from all sides." Women are not going to like that. That is how they are made to feel when they try to make forward progress in their personal and professional lives. They are going to hear the echo and they are going to respond.
Hillary leads among women 2-1. How do you respond as an opponent? You compete on the substance of gender. Indira Gandhi and Benazir Bhutto were strong, smart women, but neither helped the women in their countries on gender issues. They were more symbolic than substantive. Obama has to make the case to American women. For symbolic progress on gender, you go to Hillary. For substantive progress on gender, you come to me. And that requires hiring some feminist consultants in some top positions. Feminists are to women what civil rights attorneys and leaders are to black, brown, and yellow folks. Women voters might not always jive, but when they don't, it is because a lot of them are lagging behind in terms of their political consciousness. And they catch up pretty fast given the opportunity. And you don't make progress on gender by talking about the weather, or Iraq, or even health care. You make progress on gender by talking about gender. Casually mention you would want about half your cabinent to be female.
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- Be super nice to Hillary at a personal level. Give her the "new kind of politics" and "politics of hope" treatment.
- Make gender talk as important as Iraq and health care and race at a policy and outreach level. Don't be blind. It is the number one issue. Look at the numbers.
- Accenuate the differences. If voters think it is a choice between Coke and Pepsi, you lose.
Finishing number two in Iowa, and number one in New Hampshire is momentum: and that is what Obama looks like will do right now, if polls were held today; he will only improve. And there are a few different permutations and combinations possible that will all look good to great. Howard Dean was leading in the polls nationally and in Iowa, but he came third in Iowa. That was a blow. If he had been third in the polls in Iowa, and had finished third, it would have mattered little. He would have gone on to see better states.
But this is not 2004. People in New York, California, Florida and Illinois are not going to say, let me see how the good white people in Iowa voted. They are going to say, fuck Iowa. Iowa is Djibouti. It is just that states like New York and California are huge media markets that are going to feed on the early results. But it is very important to make many stops in New York and California along with the first four states.
This is going to be like elections in Britain and India. It will be over in a month.
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by: nysdems co chair
Fri Aug 03, 2007 at 12:04:50 PM EDT
(Dave Pollak responds. - promoted by phillip anderson)
We agree with Colin from Upstate Blue that the New York Democratic Party needs a 62 county strategy based on DNC Chairman, Howard Dean's 50 state strategy. This has been a guiding principal for us since our election in December of 2006.
In fact, State Chair June O'Neill and I know that for New York to become a truly Blue state we must build infrastructure to compete in all of our 62 counties from Erie to Suffolk, and we have begun to do just that. We just concluded a 7 day 12 county road trip meeting with county leaders to discuss the upcoming elections, strategies, strengths and opportunities. In addition, we recently launched a first-of-its-kind online County Chair Survey to catalog the technological and political capabilities of the Party statewide.
Even early on in the implemention of our 62 county strategy, our focus has already paid off with electoral results. Since January 1st there have been 6 special elections in NY and the Democrats have won 5 of them - including Craig Johnson's victory on Long Island for a Senate seat held by Republicans for generations.
In Tuesday's special election to replace outgoing Assembly Member Paul Tonko, the NYS Democratic Committee showed up in force. Last Thursday, June and I campaigned at a senior center in Schenectady with our Democratic candidate, met members of the press and visited campaign HQ.
June and Deputy Upstate Political Director Hal McCabe stayed in the district thru the close of the polls on Election Day attending fundraisers, doing door to door canvassing with our candidate, attending the debate, making phone calls (real, not robo), dealing with voting rights concerns and rallying the troops starting at 6am on Election Day. Joe Mondello was no where to be seen on the ground, in the trenches, or elsewhere in the district.
While many would consider victories in 5 out of 6 elections a success, the New York Democratic Party will not rest, but will continue to fight Republicans in every corner of this state. However we need your help! In the coming months we will be bringing online our new website and social networking/civic engagement architecture. We will need you to issue a call to arms to progressive voters across NY State. Together, let's get people signed up - engaged - and motivated to partner with the Democratic Party as we fight to make all of NY truly Blue.
NYS Democratic Committee
nysdems co chair :: Our Response to "A 62 County Strategy"