Monday, August 31, 2009

Better late than never.

Yes, I'm the last in with the Jackson Day report, but I have my set of pictures up here if you would like to see them. Of course, for video of the event, go see Vibinc here and here.

After arriving in town about 1, checking in to the hotel and grabbing lunch, Ross and I hit the Renaissance Hotel to grab our media credentials and go to the Shelby County reception, (kudos to Lexie Carter for putting together a great event) that featured Dr. Greg Rabidoux (running for TN-07), General Sessions Court Clerk Otis Jackson, among others. My friends who are running against each other, Norma Lester and Reginald Milton were there, as was Sara Kyle stumping for Jim, and Mike McWherter.

As Ross tried (in vain, I might add) to drop off his video equipment early, I hit the Mike McWherter hospitality suite where Mike greeted me and introduced me to his wife. I saw Sidney Chism there, and finally had the good fortune to meet Brenda Autry, my Twitter buddy from Jackson, along with Hamblen county chair Landree Brotherton (whom I met at the TNDP Summit) and Jordan Huffman, VC from Washington County and co-blogger at Open Pen, the new East Tennessee blog that gives hope to Easterners that we WILL have Democrats in charge up there.

However, it was packed worse than Raifords at 1 AM, so I stepped out just in time to run into GA Hardaway, whom I spoke with for a while before heading downstairs.
After running a gauntlet (I kid you not, it was at least TEN different people from the Roy Herron campaign trying to sticker me. Since A), I was technically press and B) I HAVE a candidate already, I felt like Robert Stack in Airplane dodging people in the airport.

However, I got to the Convention Center area only to be met by our beloved Trace Sharp (Newscoma to the uninitiated) who promptly stickered me for Mike McWherter. Then, my pal Wade Munday from the Kim McMillan campaign stickered right afterward. I STILL didn't put on a Herron sticker, though. (Sorry, Roy, we still want you to come to DL, we will treat you right and Vibinc will cover you well)

Then, the media were let in about 5:30, as Ross and I were led to the media platform, where I learned my place quickly as all but one of the bloggers were put BEHIND the TV camera riser. (Just teasing, Amanda, you were great and gave us a lot of freedom, it's much appreciated). We were joined by Mary Mancini of Liberadio and Ilissa Gold (GoldnI) along with our old friend Jackson Baker of the Flyer, seated up front.

I was delighted to learn that we raised 600K for this event, along with over 6K from the buckets placed on each table that will go to the campaign of Ty Cobb (yes, there's another one) who is running for the vacated seat of Curt Cobb in District 62.

I was heartened by the long moment of silence for Ted Kennedy, who will be missed for generations to come. After a nice invocation by Becca Stevens, TNDP Chair Chip Forrester gave a rousing speech thanking all who helped put together the evening.

Harold Ford Junior gave a nice speech to introduce Al Gore, but to me it wasn't as strong as some of the speeches I heard him give while representing TN-09. Gore knocked the place down and cranked out a great speech, reminding everyone how great the Clinton-Gore years were.

Then Phil Bredesen came up to introduce Bill Clinton and zzzzzzzzzzzz....WHAT? The Big Dog was EARLY???????????? That's NEVER happened before! They moved him up ahead of entertainers Beth Nielsen chapman and Marcus Hummon, and did I ever feel sorry for them having to follow the greatest President of my lifetime.

Well, while I may not agree that we have to get SOMETHING passed on healthcare (sorry, half-assed just won't cut it) President Clinton DID call out the Congressmen for not getting with Obama to get the job done. Oh, and did I mention he gave a shout-out to AC Wharton? (Sorry, Myron, Carol, et al, but it happened, even if AC was home celebrating his anniversary with Ruby).

As I said, go watch the video at Vibinc, it's worth it.

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