Three speakers, three listeners

Here’s the Columbus Dispatch coverage of the dinner I attended last night:

Something awful happened to the Ohio Democratic Party between last year’s annual dinner and the one last night – an election. With the exception of Vice President Joe Biden, the keynote speaker, the Greater Columbus Convention Center last night featured politicians with the word former attached to their names, including former Gov. Ted Strickland. At the same venue 10 months ago, the stage was crowded with incumbent statewide officeholders.

The first paragraph is inaccurate. There were four speakers featured: a sitting state supreme court justice, Ted Strickland, Sherrod Brown and Joe Biden. So one of the four is a “former”. I know, I’m a stickler. I’ll stop there and just go ahead and tell you what I heard.

Ted Strickland, the former governor of Ohio, connected completely. He has a great voice with a beautiful rolling cadence, and when he lit into former FOX News personality John Kasich and roared that Kasich “has disrespected and insulted you” people rose in unison in that spontaneous way where the back of their knees push the chair back. Strickland connected because it’s true. Kasich isn’t a public servant and he isn’t a governor. He’s a bored and irritable CEO who is not pleased with our quarterly earnings and wants us to shape the hell up before he’s forced to make good on his threats to fire us all, whether we’re public workers or not. We’re not meeting the high performance benchmarks Kasich became accustomed to at his former employer, the now-bankrupt Lehman Brothers, apparently. Get cracking, peons! Yes sir.

Sherrod Brown addressed us on video, because he was at his daughter’s wedding. He also connected, but in my experience (since 2005) he always does. Sherrod Brown was a populist well before it was fashionable to appear on Morning Joe and hand-wring and moan about the middle class and he talks like a populist. He took Strickland’s narrow state-specific theme and expanded it to include national conservative attacks on workers and the middle class.

Which brings me to the Vice President. I like Joe Biden as VP and I haven’t met a single real live Democratic voter who finds his weekly “career-ending” gaffes anything but humanizing and endearing, so the following isn’t savage criticism but is instead a recitation of the facts. He does speak in a slightly eccentric, rambling way. He has a script. He just can’t stay on it. So, most of this address was like those of his I’ve heard, where we’re in Scranton and then we’re in Delaware, and somewhere in there he remembered a word he’s supposed to hit so he (literally) yells out “IMAGINE!”, completely unconnected to anything else he said. Like that.

But, Biden did hit one specific subject that I haven’t heard him cover before, and that was voting rights. He used the word “suppression”. He asked us to think about the fact that 15 or so years ago there was some bipartisan support for passage of the motor-voter law, which is (enacted) federal legislation designed to make it easier and more convenient to register to vote. Biden asked us to compare that law with the current conservative assault on voting rights underway in 22 states, and said “this is not your father’s Republican Party”.

Good that he said it, and nice to have a report from DC to the states that (shockingly!) the GOP is not and has not been for a very long time the mainstream Party that misty-eyed nostalgic pundits would have us believe. But, everybody in that room just came off a 3 month campaign to gather 700,000 signatures to try to roll back one piece of The National Conservative Agenda, so everybody in that room already knew that.

*The Columbus Dispatch reporter wrote that Sherrod Brown said “disrespected and insulted”. That’s not what I remember. Ted Strickland said that. This reporter’s account of events is ( I believe) correct.

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63 replies
  1. 1
    Yutsano says:

    The Dispatch reporter is angling for a Fox News gig later in their career. Probably right around the time Kasich gets run out of town on a rail.

  2. 2
    phillygirl says:

    Wish I could commit voter fraud and vote in Ohio.

  3. 3

    Apparently the Columbus Dispatch wants to think that Democrats are a bunch of hasbeens. Well, good luck with that. Maybe they won’t see us coming.

    Any ideas on how we can spread the word that the Republicans are trying to sabotage the economy in an effort to unseat Obama?

  4. 4
    Spiros Vondas says:

    Ah, the Dispatch. A rag that hasn’t endorsed a Democratic candidate for president since… 1960? 1940? Doesn’t matter: the paper has earned an (R-OH) after all these years of shameless shilling for business and Republicans, along with carrying their water in between election years.

    Edit: just bothered to do the research, and apparently the Dispatch has endorsed every Republican candidate for president since 1916, when they endorsed bleeding heart hippie Woodrow Wilson.

  5. 5
    Kay says:

    efgoldman

    Thanks. That’s nice of you to say. I hope I got it right. It’s a little disconcerting when I read an account that is different from my memory. I then have to search for another account. ONE of us is right.

    We took a picture, but it sucks. Someone is going to have to teach me to use my (borrowed) camera, because I’m trying, but it’s not going well :)

  6. 6
    ABL says:

    in that spontaneous way where the back of their knees push the chair back.

    i love that.

  7. 7
    Phyllis says:

    I worked at Social Services when Motor Voter came into being. We were pushed to get clients to complete the forms. Many opted not to, because they didn’t want to be called for jury duty. Some had the most visceral negative reaction to being asked if they wanted to complete the form, it really left me wondering what caused it.

    But a lot of folks got registered to vote that way. Whether or not that translated to actual voting, I can’t say.

  8. 8
    Valdivia says:

    Kay–I just love how you simply and with facts undo all the bs of the propagandists. Right on point as always and informative. Thanks.

    OT @ efgoldman–ha, you sound like my parents pinning for a grandchild. except the hints I get are so no hintish anymore it’s actual ‘when are you finally going to do it?’ :)

  9. 9
    Kay says:

    Some had the most visceral negative reaction to being asked if they wanted to complete the form, it really left me wondering what caused it.

    This is my gut, and speculation, but my feeling from being a pollworker and a lawyer with (some) low-income clients is that people who have encountered the state apparatus in any negative way have some reluctance to fill out yet another form. I also saw it at a rural (low-income customer) post office, when I worked there. Bluntly, they think we’re out to “get’ them for something, which is not completely irrational. A lot of times, “we” are.

  10. 10
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Great post.

  11. 11
    Kay says:

    Kay, practical question: Is Strickland likely to run for office again?

    I don’t think so. He’s fairly old, and that’s a hard job. He’s working for the Obama Admin on state implementation of PPACA. That’s good, because when he was in the US House children’s access to health care was one of his huge moral issues, so he’s been at health care forever. He’s religious and he believes it’s a human right. Ohio is also fair representative sample of the US, in terms of race, ethnicty and income tiers, so it’s a good fit.

  12. 12
    Yutsano says:

    you sound like my parents pinning for a grandchild

    Waitaminute…I thought you had spawned already. Didn’t you post something about your son once? Or am I just losing it?

  13. 13
    Valdivia says:

    @Yutsano–definitely loosing it :)
    no valdivia-spawn yet. #1 reason I had to break up with the guy I was seeing since I wanted to spawn and he did not.

    @efgoldman–my parents have been pretty great but in the last year or two they started actually saying it, even in public. I don’t have a problem with it since it’s a goal I share, to use a euphemism.

  14. 14
    ppcli says:

    Dispatch has endorsed every Republican candidate for president since 1916, when they endorsed bleeding heart hippie Woodrow Wilson.

    Wow. They endorsed Wendell Wilkie, Alf Landon and Barry Goldwater! (The crazed Goldwater of ’64, not the guy who was counted as a “moderate” in the Reagan years – not because his positions had budged any but because the Republicans had careened to the right.) That’s hard-core. No wonder they liked Jim Tressel so much. (Ducks and runs.)

  15. 15
    Yutsano says:

    Seems to me, we should nominate you for Official Balloon Juice Everyone’s Super-Indulgent Uncle.

    Heh. SamKitteh and Mia have no idea what they’re in for.

  16. 16
    Valdivia says:

    @Kay #14–I had no idea Strickland was doing this. Is it still happening even with Mr Fox as Gov? I wish there was more info on how the states are progressing towards ACA but I fear that if it were in the public domain too much we would get a lot of crazies trying to stop it.

  17. 17
    Violet says:

    Kay, I really appreciate your posts. Your knack for detail is excellent.

    I’m glad to hear Biden mention voter rights and “suppression” and the “not your father’s Republican party” bit. I know he was preaching to the choir, but it has to start somewhere. Maybe if that bit gets some play it’ll be seen as successful and get used in other venues. I’m glad you highlighted it.

  18. 18
    stuckinred says:

    efgoldman

    The nice thing about living where we do is that, even though we (I) am old, many of our friends are the people having kids.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    Kay says:

    I had no idea Strickland was doing this.

    It’s like some health care policy gig. I was sitting with the med marijuana lobbyist-lady, and she kept distracting me. She was like a stereotypical pot-smoker, which I found hysterical. IT’S NOT TRUE, I want you to know that, she’s earnest and sincere and medically-oriented, but I was clowning around with her.

    It’s hard to follow the PPACA, so forget about hearing anything about it in MM. I tried to follow the funding for the community health centers last week, but it’s so hard to determine what’s appropriated and what’s available or spent or in the pipeline. You also have to parse the difference between community health center advocates screaming with their hair on fire (which is their JOB, to scream with their hair on fire, squeaky wheel, etc.) and what funding is actually at risk or threatened.

  21. 21
    cat48 says:

    Hi Kay, What a great post; appreciate you! I’ve always loved Biden. I live in SC & was planning on voting for him in the primaries, but he didn’t get this far. He’s very human & his “gaffes” don’t bother me cause he has a good heart. I think Obama appreciates and respects him a lot, too; because he’s given him a lot of responsibility since they got there. He shunned Gates/Petraus & went with Joe’s plan to draw down in Afghanistan I read.

    Gov. Strickland is a very effective speaker. I wish Obama would hire him.

  22. 22
    Svensker says:

    @ Valdivia

    Speaking as a parent of a potential grandchild producer who is Not. Doing. His. Bit.: get going. Do not wait. The biological imperative is calling and it’s getting pissed. Also, too, if not responded to appropriately and in a timely manner, the b.i. has been known to pass us by and favor better listeners.

    (It’s amazing how much of an instinct I am at the moment, pretty much untouched by any rational “higher” self. The lizard brain rules! Breed! Breed! Erp. Sorry. Trying to regain control…)

    ETA: Sorry, just read you’re trying. Shut me up.

  23. 23
    Valdivia says:

    @ Svensker–believe you me. I am working at it. Really.

  24. 24
    passerby says:

    Wow, Kay. Thanks for the intelligent eye-witness reporting on this.

    Some had the most visceral negative reaction to being asked if they wanted to complete the form,

    Phyllis @ 9 and Kay @ 12

    And I would like to add that, from my experience, I suspect that many of these low-income/low-education citizens are not quite literate and are deeply ashamed to admit it. Often when asking them to fill out a form, I would commonly get a response like “Could you do that for me, I don’t have my glasses”.

    And with regard to a literacy issue, it occurs to me that perhaps they would not feel confident going into the voting booth either. On top of that add the new-fangled electronic ballot systems and we can begin to see why a lot of LI/LE voters don’t turn out on election day. It’s a daunting task for them.

  25. 25
    Corner Stone says:

    Kids are hard fucking work. That is all.

  26. 26
    Valdivia says:

    no problem @ Svensker. I know how the breed imperative can make people a little, um, fervent :)

    ETA–Thanks Kay for the info on Strickland and the work he is doing. I try to follow as much as I can on ACA but the information, as you said, is scarce.

  27. 27
    Violet says:

    Why did this turn into a thread on people trying to get pregnant and having kids?

  28. 28
    Jennyjinx says:

    Thanks, Kay. Great report.

    Do you per chance write for Plunderbund too? Anyway, I so hope these guys can gather a force strong enough to undo Kasich’s damage. He’s toxic to our state. I saw another Ohioan on Twitter say he wasn’t going to vote Dem, he didn’t care about the election outcome, Progressives deserved Republican rule and he was able to insulate himself from the damage they do. My head almost exploded. Can he not see what his attitude has helped foster in our state?

    I’m so damned happy there are people like you to counter idiots like him.

  29. 29
    stuckinred says:

    Violet
    because it’s Sunday afternoon.

  30. 30
    Kay Dennison says:

    Thanks for covering the dinner so well, Kay! I was invited and really would have loved to attend but couldn’t afford to attend. Sigh.

    That said, I’ll still be working to rid the State of the insanity and inanity plaguing us.

  31. 31
    Valdivia says:

    @ Violet

    my fault but I have been trying to get back on topic and talk about ACA and Strickland. Though I have no problem talking about the other stuff too.

    Edited for clarity

  32. 32
    Yutsano says:

    Why did this turn into a thread on people trying to get pregnant and having kids?

    I dunno, but as for myself I am perfectly content to be the Great Gay Uncle.

  33. 33
    Corner Stone says:

    I took care of mine from day one with equanimity. Fed him, changed, rubbed him down, rocked him and bathed him when the time came. Woke up every night with him.
    The baby part is easy. It’s all the decisions you make for the rest of your life where the main concern is, “how will this effect my child?”

  34. 34
    Corner Stone says:

    Why did this turn into a thread on people trying to get pregnant and having kids?

    Well, the process can be kind of enjoyable. :-)

  35. 35
    Valdivia says:

    @ Corner Stone
    yes I am mean, I am not under any illusion that it won’t utterly change my life.

    @Yutsano
    and a great one you will be :)

  36. 36
    stuckinred says:

    the big bummer has arrived

  37. 37
    ChrisNYC says:

    Did the supreme court justice strangle anybody at the dinner or is that just in Wisconsin?

  38. 38
    Valdivia says:

    @46 well TPM now has more follow up and it seems the story is really heating up in Wisconsin. Let’s see if the MSM picks it up. I doubt it.

  39. 39
    Violet says:

    Since this thread seems to be serving as an open thread, does anyone know anything about Lyme disease? And the persistent problems with it? And any treatments for those? I’ve been reading up on it for a friend and have stumbled across some alternative clinics and don’t know if they’re even worth considering.

  40. 40
    Valdivia says:

    @ 48 Violet

    I dated someone who had it. If you catch it early enough I think there is a lot that can be done with traditional medicine. I do think though that complementing that kind of treatment with a healthy lifestyle can really help, as well as acupuncture and other alternatives.

  41. 41
    BO_Bill says:

    I thought Yutsano was a female. Anyway, I agree with Kay. Joe Biden is a great Vice President.

  42. 42
    Violet says:

    @Valdivia:
    My poor friend hasn’t been diagnosed with it, but I’m not sure she’s had the blood test for it yet. It’s not something routinely tested for where she lives. But she’s got so many problems it’s crazy. And every doctor says she’s got something different. She has seen a zillion doctors and none of them can really help her, although they’ll each help with the portion of medicine that is their specialty.

    She’s doing the best she can with diet and exercise and acupuncture, etc., but it isn’t really enough. She’s pretty certain there’s something more there and I recently stumbled across something about Lyme disease and how it can manifest is so many crazy ways if it’s not caught early. She grew up visiting grandparents in the northeast, so she has definitely been in a Lyme disease area.

  43. 43
    amk says:

    Thanks Kay for doing a real reporter’s job.

    And FO mclaren.

  44. 44
    mclaren says:

    And FO mclaren.

    Thanks for maintaining the high standards of rational debate we’ve come to expect from Balloon Juice. The facts and logic of your rebuttal are unimpeachable.

  45. 45
    stuckinred says:

    mclaren

    you are such a drag

  46. 46
    Anya says:

    Violet@48

    I have a friend who’s mom had a Lyme disease. I think it was diagnosed at an early stage, so it was treated by antibiotics. The sooner treatments starts, the better. Her case was cured within a 3 week treatment. I think if someone has a neurological or cardiac problems it might be a bit tricky. They may require intravenous treatment with penicillin or ceftriaxone.

    I don’t know how people get the disease if they’re not living in woodland areas.

    @Kay ~~ I echo everyone’s sentiment. I really appreciate your fact based analysis. Most of the FP are emotional people (there’s nothing wrong with that), so sometimes we go from one emotional topic to another, but you stick with the reality on the ground. Really appreciate your approach.

  47. 47
    Sly says:

    I once attended a minor Biden speech quite a few years ago when the subject was supposed to be about something I can’t quite remember, but instead he gave a thirty minute, impromptu talk on Iraqi security issues. Pretty lucid and penetrative. He basically just stood there and walked the audience through his own thought process.

    That’s the point with Biden, I think. His penchant for going off-script is not a sign that he can’t keep it together, but is rather a sign that the man would rather stand there and say what he’s thinking at that moment than engage in conventional political pablum. And this is something that he can be really, really good at. Mostly because he’s not afraid to do it, when many politicians get that deer-in-the-headlights look the moment they are put in a position of having to make a statement on an issue for which they haven’t been “prepped.”

    So the proper thing to do is not give him a script to begin with. He knows how to connect with his target demographic, so just let him.

  48. 48
    Sly says:

    @mclaren

    Thanks for maintaining the high standards of rational debate we’ve come to expect from Balloon Juice. The facts and logic of your rebuttal are unimpeachable.

    Well, we can’t all display the level of conversational etiquette one finds in a call for a sitting Vice President to be shot. Next time don’t set such a high standard.

  49. 49
    amk says:

    @ John Cole – Hopefully your blog doesn’t come under SS scanner because of pos like mclaren.

  50. 50
    debbie says:

    Kay,

    Has the Kasich-won’t-sleep-in-a-barn scandal gotten up to your neck of the woods? He’s handing off the hallowed State Fair sleepover tradition to Voinovich. While his office said it was to spare his daughter who has serious allergies, there’s video of him at a speaking engagement, saying in a snickering and condescending voice, “I’m not going to sleep in a barn.”

  51. 51
    passerby says:

    @ 57. Sly

    Well, we can’t all display the level of conversational etiquette one finds in a call for a sitting Vice President to be shot. Next time don’t set such a high standard.

    ZING!!

  52. 52
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    Violet @ 48

    DailyKos has a group that talks about Lyme Disease that can give you a lot of background. I had a deer tick bite a couple of years ago. Didn’t get the bullseye marker and the test came back negative, but a year or so later I ended up with a fever and aching joints with no other symptoms. Found a doc who did a blood workup, found other markers, and got 30 days of antibiotics and I’ve been OK since.

    If you can’t find the Lyme group, search for user strandedwind, who went through a long period of undiagnosed Lyme. He’s part of the group ahd his diaries should help you out too.

  53. 53
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    Hurrah for VP Biden raising the voting issue. My mother-in-law is moving to a condo after 55 years in the same house. We told her — get your driver’s license updated when you first get mail with your new address, then your voter registration, otherwise you will not be able to vote. She was shocked.

  54. 54
    Yutsano says:

    Next time don’t set such a high standard.

    It just occurred to me: that’s a Secret Service investigation right there. I hope mclaren has fun with them.

  55. 55
    merrinc says:

    Has the Kasich-won’t-sleep-in-a-barn scandal gotten up to your neck of the woods? He’s handing off the hallowed State Fair sleepover tradition to Voinovich. While his office said it was to spare his daughter who has serious allergies, there’s video of him at a speaking engagement, saying in a snickering and condescending voice, “I’m not going to sleep in a barn.”

    Excellent! Now when his opponent gets tired of using the tape of him calling the cop an idiot (He was an IDIOT), this one will fill in nicely. Is there any group in Ohio he hasn’t insulted?

  56. 56
    Svensker says:

    @ Violet

    If your friend has been in Lyme area, tell her to get tested. Treatment for Lyme is much harder after passage of time, but I’m pretty sure antibiotics are the only thing that can treat Lyme — alternative medicine ain’t going to do it. She needs to get the critter killed, stat.

  57. 57

    Is there any group in Ohio he hasn’t insulted?

    The bigots, the 27%ers, the rich.

  58. 58
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    That’s the point with Biden, I think. His penchant for going off-script is not a sign that he can’t keep it together, but is rather a sign that the man would rather stand there and say what he’s thinking at that moment than engage in conventional political pablum. And this is something that he can be really, really good at.

    This. Exactly. Saw him speak during the runup to the Iowa primary, and was just blown away. His passion, his eloquence, and his humor won me forever.

  59. 59
    Ken says:

    Kay, nice job with this post. Aa a native Buckeye, I wouldn’t use that Dispatch rag to clean my car. Any resemblance between what they produce and professional jornalism is coincidental.

  60. 60
    Anne Laurie says:

    I don’t know how people get [Lyme] disease if they’re not living in woodland areas.

    Doesn’t take much ‘woodland’ to support white-tailed deer and more importantly, mice. A rambling suburb with “mature” vegetation is a deer buffett — ask your gardening neighbors whose landscaping (& tomatoes) get devasted. Lyme is so prevalent in the Northeast now that it’s becoming part of the standard veterinary workup to test for it, and I’m told it’s almost that common in the ‘mountain suburbs’ centered around Denver.

    (We live in a tired old industrial city, 350+ years of serving as a waste dump for the nicer places downstream, in a residential pocket off a light-industrial area, but we still pick common ticks off our dogs every spring. Heck, we had a moose sighting between the tire place and the highway intersection not a quarter-mile away, but she escaped police pursuit somewhere in the office parks nearby — no lie. I’m sure there are deer within mouse-migrating distance, so I’d never discount Lyme as a possibility.)

  61. 61
    Xenos says:

    AL, I always discounted those stories until I saw a coyote loping along the VFW Parkway where it dips in and out of West Roxbury and Brookline. Maybe it was on its way to the Arboretum.

  62. 62
    Bender says:

    I like Joe Biden as VP and I haven’t met a single real live Democratic voter who finds his weekly “career-ending” gaffes anything but humanizing and endearing,

    No kidding. I’m stunned. Democrats finding other Democrats’ stupidity “endearing?” Whodathunkit?

    I heard this same notion expressed in 2000-2008 by Red State Republicans. Congratulations for once again proving that you are Just Like Them.

  63. 63
    kay says:

    Democrats finding other Democrats’ stupidity “endearing?” Whodathunkit?

    I think it’s all punditry bullshit. Marc Halperin cares if Joe Biden swears publicly, because he’s a little old lady who’s more conventional than the most conventional member of the local Rotary Club.

    I don’t know a single Democratic voter who cares if Biden swears when he’s joking. Not one. Now, if he were to start swearing at a Senator who accused him of war profiteering, like the last VP, or physically assaulted a colleague, like your judicial brain trust there in Wisconsin, I think they might object.

    I’ve never even heard of a county or municipal judge here assaulting a lawyer or judge. Not once. Not close. I got news for you. That’s fucking bizarre.

    Rein in your lunatics, and stop worrying about pundit’s objections to Joe Biden. You got some serious problems.

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