We're ready to announce the first Democratic pick-up in their charge toward a 60-vote Senate supermajority. Of course, if we'd told you 2 years ago that this path would start in the old Confederacy, you would have called us "Macaca" and encouraged a mob to taunt us.
Well, apologies to everyone from Jefferson Davis to George Allen. Mark Warner will be the next Senator from Virginia.
And apologies as well to Warner's opponent, Jim Gilmore, although we're pretty sure he stopped paying attention several months back.
Tags: George Allen, Jim Gilmore, Mark Warner, Virginia
Maybe it's because the Beltway passes through it, or because it's known as the "Mother of Presidents," or just because it doesn't like getting left out of big events. Whatever the reason, Virginia is factoring large in this year's elections.
The marquee races look to be leaning towards the Democrats. At the top of the ticket, Barack Obama is holding on to a seven-point lead and poised to pull off an upset in this traditionally red state in which guns outnumber drive-through espresso stands by nearly two to one. And in the Senate race, Democrat Mark Warner is so far ahead in the polls that his opponent Jim Gilmore has stopped campaigning in order to spend more time preparing for his next presidential bid.
The real excitement in the Old Dominion is in the state's 5th Congressional District, where incumbent Republican Virgil Goode has seen his seat go from safe to highly threatened in just a matter of days. Starting last week, the following has been revealed to damage the Republican in this socially conservative district:
* The names of Goode and his wife were listed in the closing credits of the 2003 gay-themed art house film “Eden’s Curve.”
* Goode's long-time press secretary appeared in the film, which features graphic gay sex and drug use.
* The fax number for Goode's Congressional office was listed as a press contact for the "Eden's Curve" in a film festival brochure.
So for those of you wondering how to spend your time when the election is over, you've now got a new addition for your Netflix queue!
Tags: Barack Obama, House of Representatives, Mark Warner, Senate, Virginia
The confetti has fallen, the "world's biggest celebrity" has spoken, and the McCain campaign has issued its grumpy retort to the nation. Now it's time to look back and reflect on the Studs and Duds of the Democratic National Convention.
Hillary Clinton: Her endorsement of Obama was so rousing and sincere that it even convinced Bill.
John Kerry: Swiftboated and left for dead four years ago, Kerry struck back with what the New York Times' Michael Cohen is calling "possibly the best non-acceptance speech at a Democratic convention since Mario Cuomo and Jesse Jackson."
Brian Schweitzer: The Montana governor lassoed the crowd with his bolo tie and never let it go. We haven't heard the last of him.
Those Adorable Obama Girls: Their sprightly cameo following their mother's speech ought to be worth at least a walk-on in the next Jonas Brothers movie.
Mark Warner: His keynote address reassured uneasy voters that even after the coming Change, politicians will still be boring.
Tags: Brian Schweitzer, Chris Matthews, Democratic National Convention, Denver, Focus On the Family, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Mark Warner
Mark Warner delivered the Democrats' keynote address last night and while he might have fallen a bit short of 2012 nominee status, he certainly reached out to a vital constituency in American politics: New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman.
o Warner: "The race is on, and if you watched the Olympics, you know China's going for the gold."
o Friedman: "We are so cooked. Start teaching your kids Mandarin."
o Warner: "If you can send a job to Bangalore, India, you sure as heck can send one to Danville, Virginia and Flint, Michigan and Scranton, Pennsylvania and Peoria, Illinois."
o Friedman: "I've been in India for only a few days and I am already thinking about reincarnation. In my next life, I want to be a demagogue. Yes, I want to be able to huff and puff about complex issues — like outsourcing of jobs to India — without any reference to reality."
o Warner: "With the right policies, within 24 months, we'll be building 100 mile-per-gallon plug-in hybrid vehicles right here, with American technology and with American workers."
o Friedman: "I was visiting my local Toyota dealer in Bethesda, Md., last week to trade in one hybrid car for another."
The only difference between the two is that Warner is at least attempting to mask the fact that he’s filthy rich, while Friedman seems happy to divulge as much.
Meanwhile, with Thomas L. safely in the bag, the Democrats can turn their focus to his equally influential colleague Maureen Dowd—who could most likely be won over with a speech plagiarized from US Weekly.
Tags: Colorado, Denver, DNC, Mark Warner, Virginia
11:10 – Question: How do you know when you are in a room full of heathen atheist liberals?
Answer: When two pastors come on the TV to deliver a benediction, they mute the TV and tell us to "come upstairs for comedy and beer."
Well… They do make a good point. We're going to go check out this evening's comedy event with Eugene Mirman and Rachel Sklar and a bunch of other people presented by Huff Po's 23/6.
11:06 – Allison just bet me five dollars that the story in the media tomorrow is that Hillary Clinton gave too good a speech to show up Barack Obama and make him lose.
I might lose this bet. – DDC
11:01 - The Twin Cities! Bush and McCain! Oh my god! Why did nobody think of that before? Home fucking run! – DDC
11:00 – She's doing a really good job. She should consider running for president one day. – DDC
10:57 – Bill looks proud and happy. I'll bet he even tries to seduce her after this speech. – DDC
10:53 – Clinton's shout out to her companions in the "sisterhood of the traveling pants suits" was pretty funny. However, the close captioner wrote it as "sister hood of the traveling hansards." This is less funny because a hansard is (according to the wikipedia)
"the traditional name for the printed transcripts of parliamentary debates in the Westminster system of government." – MK
10:52 - "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits." I think she stole that from a blog. – DDC
10:48 – I honestly can't even get into the head of a hardcore Democrat who would vote for McCain over Obama just because Clinton lost. That said, this speech seems really effective for what she's obviously trying to do.
And, let's not forget. She doesn't want her legacy to go down next to Nader's. – DDC
10:47 – Well, out of the gate, she's trying to pull in the PUMAs. (Well, not the PUMAs specifically. Those people are just Republicans.) – DDC
10:45 – She hit the word "Democrat" really hard. I wonder why. – DDC
10:39 – So, what is Hillary gonna say? Adam (from North Decoder), who's sitting right next to me, says she needs to lay superhard into McCain to pull her supporters over to Obama. I hadn't considered that. I assumed she'd just talk Obama up.
If she goes after McCain half as hard as she went after Obama… – DDC
10:37 – Hillary Clinton rock montage! It's for the young people. – DDC
10:33 – Schweitzer's doing a lot better job than I thought he would. – DDC
10:29 - "Even if you drilled in all of John McCain's backyards…" Wow! They are hitting that meme hard. I always thought Democrats were limp-wristed to twist a knife. – DDC
10:28 – John McCain voted against wind energy? Why… why… he hates the atmosphere! – DDC
10:25 – This guy got the worst spot of the convention. Right before Hillary Clinton. He's like Led Zeppelin's opening band. They didn't even try to put somebody interesting before her. Why waste a decent speaker? – DDC
10:21 – Okay, so, I realize that Brian Schweitzer is the Governor of Montana, but, c'mon! A bolo tie? How are you gonna wear a bolo and do your best Woody Allen impression?
This guy just thinks all Democrats who don't live on a mountain are Jewish. – DDC
10:16 – You know what's weird? I grew up in New Jersey and eventually moved to Philadelphia and New York City. I've spent my entire life in cities that are practically indigo. Meeting conservatives, for me, has always been like spotting a Yeti.
And yet, here in this Tent in the middle of the Democratic Convention, suddenly I feel like Newt Gingrich. (Well, that's a stretch. How about Barry Goldwater?) – DDC
10:10 – Apparently Deval Patrick is my Spanish Harlem Mona Lisa. Also, why do Democrats let people from Massachusetts who are not named Kennedy speak? Didn't they learn their lesson last year? – MK
10:07 – That was a very complicated and long baseball joke, but it was kind of funny. Americans like baseball so it should play well. . The set up went on forever, but the punchline was "Bush on third, and stole second." – MK
10:03 – Ted Strickland is talking now. I know the Democrats need Ohio and that's why they let him speak, but you'd think in "a big diverse state" they'd be able to find someone who could kind of sort of modulate his voice to convey emotion. – MK
9:57 – You know how I know I'm in a liberal safe house? They've invested in a screen that makes Mark Warner's teeth look normal sized. This technology must be why Warner believes in science. – MK
9:52 – "If an idea works, it really doesn't matter if it has a D or an R next to it." Just so long as it doesn't have a G next to it.
9:50 – You had me at "In four months, we will have an administration that actually believes in science." – DDC
9:49 – Is Warner telling us to be afraid of China? – DDC
9:47 – George Bush never asked us to step up? That's his biggest problem with George Bush? – DDC
9:45 – So, Mark Warner invented cell phones? – DDC
9:44 – Don't forget. This is the exact space that Barack Obama filled in the 2004 DNC. You know what that means? Mark Warner is a Muslim. – DDC
9:42 – Here's Mark Warmer, the keynote speaker. Is he gonna rip into McCain? I'm so excited. And I just can't hide it. – DDC
9:41 – Please, no more dancing Democrats. – DDC
9:39 – "I'm So Excited!" is playing in the convention center. Allison (see below) just said, "I'd don't like the implication that we're all fucking Barack Obama." I agree. – DDC
9:34 – I'm trying to watch this nice looking lady (Lilly Ledbetter) who's talking about women's issues, and for some reason, soft acoustic guitar rock keeps getting pumped through the speaker system here in The Tent. That's not change I can believe in. – DDC
9:30 – And then he drops "Four More Months"! Who writes this guy's bumper stickers? – DDC
9:29 – Oh, snap! "That's not a maverick, that's a sidekick." – DDC
9:23 – Senator Bob Casey just started talking. See that hair. That's what Joe Biden's would look like without the comb over. Not so bad, huh? There's nothing wrong with just admitted you're going bald. – DDC
9:05 – Kathleen Sebelius is making a Wizard of Oz joke. Because she's from Kansas. Get it? "For John McCain, there's no place like home, or a home, or a home, or a home." – MK
9:02 – I just met aspiring congressman Jared Polis who keeps a diary over at Daily Kos (which I'll provide a link for if/when I find it). I like Jared and here's why: he's a closet nerd. He just told us that he blogs because he, like me, used to go on BBS's on a 300 baud modem. Now that's a guy I can relate to. – MK
9:01 – The sound came on just in time to hear Nancy Floyd of Nth Power. She's the Founder AND Managing Director, don't you know? – MK
8:37 – Here's a guy who's supposedly been hanging around in front of The Tent all day long.
He seems well-intentioned, but you'd think he'd be able to find some better place in Denver to protest than a tent full of the most progressive grass-roots bloggers in the city.
On the other hand, I just posted his picture. – DDC
Update: I just had a nice long with they guy in the picture above. His name is Ben Masel and he ran for U.S. Senate in 2006. He didn't win. But he says that he got more votes than he (and, presumably, a lot of people) thought he would get. – DDC
8:27 – Ok, so I can't hear anything, and by anything I mean Janet Napolitano, but I can see this which is very entertaining. – MK
The biggest story right now is: David Greenberg: Biden's Plagiarism Should Not Be Forgotten. I've also learned that police trapped peaceful protestors in Denver. – MK
8:25 – As soon as we got here to the Big Tent (which, yesterday, I mistakenly called Digg's Big Tent; Digg is one of the sponsors, but this is really all put together mostly by the people at Daily Kos), my computer decided to join the website in its protest of America. It just refused to work properly. Anyway, I decided to leave it be for a little while to take some pictures (which I'll start posting in a bit). Since I came back, it seems to be playing nicer. – DDC
8:02 – Some band is playing. Looks like two guitarists, a cello and a fiddler. I bet they're awesome. I wish I could hear them. – MK
7:51 - Robin Golden, an auto worker from Grand Rapids Michigan is on the TV right now. I don't know more about him because they still inexplicably have the sound off here. Our new friend, Allison from First Draft correctly points out that though he is probably a nice guy, and a good Democrat, he does look like he just rolled out of bed.
He also doesn't seem to have bothered to tuck in his shirt. – MK
7:33 – Sitting here in the blog area of The Big Tent on night two and just met Matthew Taylor and Anastasia Kousakis who are here representing the Progressive Book Club, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. They are predicting a completely saccharine Hillary Clinton tonight, with no innuendo or damning with faint praise.
Their logic is that everyone is watching her so hawkishly for any sign of dissent that she can't afford to be anything but super sweet. – MK
7:23 – Testing, testing. Is this thing on? Is this thing on? – DDC
Tags: Barack Obama, Colorado, Democratic National Convention, Denver, Hillary Clinton, Mark Warner