Over 100 enthusiastic supporters greeted Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean when the Register for Change Bus Tour reached Denver on Friday afternoon.
Introduced to a rousing round of applause by Patricia Waak, chair the Colorado Democratic Party, Dean took the opportunity to give a speech that was at once a campaign speech("Vote for Obama") and a motivational speech ("Work to get other people to vote for Obama, too") -
...He blasted John McCain, George Bush, and the Republicans for the damage that they have done to America, its economy, and its standing in the world.
...He cited a laundry list of the differences between Barack Obama and John McCain, including the fact that Obama, like most American homeowners, owns one home while McCain has so many that he can't keep track of them all.
...He talked about how in Bush's hometown of Crawford, Texas, more than 700 people turned out for the kickoff of the bus tour because they knew that a vote for McCain is a vote for four more years of Bush's failed policies.
...He wryly observed that the McCain of 2000 wouldn't vote for the McCain of 2008.
...He challenged Waak, the Colorado Dems, and the Young Dems on the campus to walk and knock on 40 doors 4 times between now and the election, saying that could be done over four weekends during the next 11, and that it wasn't too big a sacrifice to help put Barack Obama into the White House and the country back on the right track.
...He reminded the audience that people have the power, more power than talking heads like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly.
...And he called on people everywhere to understand that the campaign isn't just about the economy, Iraq, or gas prices; it's about a "new America."
He closed his speech by highlighting the need to restore American moral authority in the world and the fact that Democrats are the ones best suited to do just that, citing the examples of Harry Truman (Marshall Plan), Jimmy Carter (the treaty between Egypt and Israel), and Bill Clinton (his work in the Middle East peace process and also in Northern Ireland.)
He wound up his speech with "You can't preach democracy and human rights unless you practice it at home and abroad."
Other observations from a day spent on Blake Street and the 16th Street Mall (a shopping district built for walking) -
- A number of Convention staffers and volunteers were in the area for lunch. They looked young enough to make the Chinese National Team in gymnastics. :))
- Anyone visiting the convention should be prepared to walk or bike around the convention site and nearby areas. An already congested traffic system will be further tangled with the massive road closings and blockages. A news story on this subject, with links to more info, can be found here.
- Chairman Dean, the spiritual leader of the grassroots elements of the Democratic Party, took a moment to show his appreciation for the grassroots, as can be seen in the pic below.
Ignore the date at the bottom of the pics; we were using my sister's camera. I'll crop later.
Rocky Mountain News coverage from writer Berny Morson can be found here. He's the bearded man in the hat behind Dean. :)