Ohio Democratic Party Annual Dinner
Sherrod Brown: "I'm warning you, Joshie — no more lies or I'll wash your mouth out with soap."
I got a last-minute invitation to yesterday's Ohio Democratic Party annual dinner in Columbus, so of course I cleared my schedule to drive down.
I managed to get to Columbus a little early to stop in at Angela Zimmann's meet-and-greet across the street at Barney's. she and her campaign manager Dan Lipner had just returned from a trip to Washington D.C. meeting with various individuals and organizations relevant to her campaign and seemed pretty upbeat about the trip. Angela is quite a dynamo; it would be great to see her elected to Congress.
After that, I headed over to the convention center ballroom, stopping to pick up some of the nifty Obama merchandise on sale. I browsed the silent auction prizes donated by various county parties (too much sports stuff for my taste, but I know other people like it) and found my seat at state senator/Supreme Court candidate Mike Skindell's table among the vast sea of tables packed with Democrats from across the state.
The program, hosted by the odd couple of state representatives Kevin Boyce and Kathleen Clyde (she's a head taller than he is, but then she's a head taller than most of us, probably two heads taller than me), opened with the pledge of allegiance led by former congressman John Boccieri, a knockout performance of the Star Spangled Banner by the Columbus Gay Men's Chorus, and an invocation from Zimmann who is a Lutheran minister. (A fun fact from Lipner: only five clergy are running for Congress across the country and Angela is the only woman).
That was followed by a batch of awards to outstanding contributors to the party and a real treat: a musical performance by Frances Strickland who led a singalong to a self-penned topical song about the current election campaign.
Sherrod Brown spoke and was given an enthusiastic standing ovation — clearly the most popular person of the night.
The special guest of the evening was Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, whose folksy, entertaining keynote address captivated the crowd. He talked about his immigrant grandmother, a dig at the ramped-up xenophobia of the Republican Party, the fight for justice for Indians, Montana's biggest minority group, and the lessons he learned from 4H Club. The audience ate it up when he talked about the crazy bills the increasingly ideological Montana legislature was sending him (ranging from defunding Planned Parenthood to allowing Montana to secede from the union — great patriots you have there, Montana Republican Party) and how he proudly vetoed them.
He produced a board with the word "veto" written on it that he said was one of the ones he would staple a bill to when he returned it to the legislature. He auctioned off the board for $1,600 to raise money for the ODP.
Schweitzer: "I think I saw Mitt Romney running that way."