• WisPolitics

Friday, September 07, 2012

 3:17 PM 

Delegate Diary: Not exhausted, just energized

Sachin Chheda
Delegate diary
You wouldn't believe it, but I'm not exhausted today. Just energized. Writing Friday afternoon, I'm reflecting on an amazing experience, and one I'm sorry I didn't try to do earlier. Of course, it helped that I slept past 10 this morning.

There's so much to say about last night. The energy level was top notch from the moment we entered the arena. Most delegates got there pretty early -- getting the best seats, and not wanting to miss a thing.

A major highlight for the Wisconsin delegation, of course, was Tammy Baldwin on the main stage. Most of us wore Baldwin shirts, and from what we saw later, our enthusiasm was shared through many, many TV shots of the Wisconsin delegation during Tammy's speech.

She did great. She is a quiet, but tremendous leader who much more clearly shares the values of Wisconsin's middle class. We're ready to go to work and keep this seat in Democratic hands.

The stars (both political and Hollywood) were out in force last night. Although my personal highlight was hanging with Patricia Arquette earlier in the week (and I use 'hanging' very loosely here; it was like four sentences of interaction while she sat near me for an hour), the campaign's effort to get straight males to vote Dem this year was evident, with stage appearances by Kerry Washington, Scarlett Johansson and Eva Longoria. More than just beautiful women, all had substantive things to say, and compelling stories to tell of the role their community and government had in helping them succeed in life.

It was also a night filled with music, with the National Anthem performed by Marc Anthony, and James Taylor, Mary J Blige and the Foo Fighters doing sets as well. All helped the energy level stay high.

Former Michigan Gov Jennifer Granholm tore the roof off with a stemwinder extolling Obama's moves to save the auto industry, and if she is looking to get a network show, it was a great audition. The crowd was on its feet especially for her list of jobs saved by state, with Wisconsin coming just before states like Ohio and Michigan with more than 25,000 jobs saved.

The audience was also brought to tears again and again. Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords gave the pledge, and her courage and strength, and good humor (what a huge smile!) were evident. There were multiple tributes to our veterans and those currently in harm's way, and John Kerry's stand-up routine at Mitt Romney's expense (where was that guy in 2004!) gave way to a serious, quiet and proud examination of how Democrats have stood up to take care of military members and veterans. A four-star general then led a huge contingent of Iraq & Afghanistan veterans who support President Obama, and the crowd was feverish with gratitude for the sacrifices service members, veterans and their families have made. There was even a video about the woman in South Carolina who launched "Fired Up, Ready to Go" that was an incredible example of how volunteers really have an impact in this campaign, vs. the big money contributors.

There was also a surprising amount of attention paid to civil rights, for LGBT people and immigrants (clearly, the Obama campaign knows something about the good hearts of the American people), and the crowd loved Zach Wahls, an Iowa man raised by two moms who became a YouTube sensation for telling his story to state legislators. He gave a great speech. And obviously, despite the Thompson campaign's attempt earlier in the day to attack Tammy Baldwin's orientation, we're proud to stand with her and she had a prominent final-evening speaking slot.

The highlight of the night was of course President Obama and Vice President Biden giving their remarks, and the crowd was ecstatic. We loved Dr. Jill Biden as well, and there is no doubt the core of the Democratic Party left the convention energized, fired up and ready to go.

As I close this blog, and thank readers for following along, I want to just mention two quick things.

First, our seats were close to the stage but on the side, so in addition to seeing the speakers up close, we could also see the main central teleprompter. It was great fun all week to watch which speakers stuck to their prepared remarks, and which ones could deviate. Also, who stepped on their own applause lines. Obviously, President Clinton's tour de force was the master class in going off script to great positive effect. Ask my fellow delegates about that.

Second, we had fun. Like these guys: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nHPBvTP7ik. That guy's colleague lassoed me yesterday and pulled me across as I crossed that street. Awesome.

Go vote!

Follow Sachin on Twitter @skchheda or see his Facebook page (facebook.com/sachinchheda) for pictures from #dnc2012.


Thursday, September 06, 2012

 6:28 PM 

Thompson campaign: Baldwin a throwback to failed government excess

Tommy Thompson consultant Darrin Schmitz said Tammy Baldwin's policies are a "throwback to the failed big government excesses" that put the nation in debt and left 23 million unemployed.

“In the Wisconsin we know you don’t spend more money than you have, you don't kill jobs with overregulation, you don’t fund a failed stimulus program or massive government expansion on the backs of our children and grandchildren," Schmitz said in response to Baldwin's speech at the Democratic National Convention. "Wisconsin, and our nation, cannot afford to elect a senator who's considered the most liberal member of the House of Representatives. Tommy Thompson is the proven reformer who's ready to fight for our state and fix the mess in Washington that Tammy Baldwin helped create."

-- By Staff


 6:04 PM 

Baldwin says Ryan, Walker, Thompson don't represent the Wisconsin she knows

U.S. Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin told the Democratic National Convention that Paul Ryan, Scott Walker and Tommy Thompson do not speak for the Wisconsin she knows and loves.

"And come November, the Wisconsin I know – the America I love – can keep us moving forward, forward with a strong middle class, forward on a path toward prosperity, forward with President Obama," Baldwin told the crowd.

Baldwin, D-Madison, knocked Ryan as the person who wants to "end Medicare as we know it" and Walker as the one who took away basic rights from teachers, nurses and public employees, drawing boos from the crowd.

She then turned her sights on Thompson, saying her U.S. Senate opponent "went to Washington, cashed in on his special interest connections and never really came back."

"Well, I'm here to tell you that they don't speak for all of Wisconsin," she said.

Baldwin touted her introduction of the so-called Buffett Rule, saying it fits with Wisconsin values of ensuring millionaires and billionaires don't pay a lower tax rate than the middle class.

She touted her opposition, along with former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, to the repeal of banking regulations more than a decade ago that she said led to risky schemes that brought the economy to its knees, and she said she's standing up to "China's cheating" while betting on Wisconsin workers.

"The Wisconsin I know knows an economy built to last says 'Made in America' on the label," she said.

In each case, she said President Obama is standing with her to fight for the middle class while she charged Mitt Romney with positioned himself with the wealthy.

"We believe that if we're going to prosper, everyone has to have a fair shot and everyone has to do their fair share," Baldwin said.

Baldwin, who would become the first openly gay member of the U.S. Senate if she wins this fall, also praised the president for making history by repealing "don't ask, don't tell" for service members "so no American ever again has to lie about who they are in order to serve the country we love."

Read her prepared remarks.

-- By JR Ross


 2:00 PM 

Delegate Diary: Clinton's speech delivered

Sachin Chheda
Delegate diary
I'd love to write something pithy and wonderful right now. But a) I'm exhausted, and b) I'm pretty sure that most readers of this blog will have seen the entire Clinton speech or at least have read some coverage.

There is no doubt it was one of the best speeches I've ever seen. President Clinton has an amazing ability to engage an audience and make everyone in the room feel like he's talking directly to you. I don't say that necessarily as a fan -- it's just an observation. He's a very, very talented and charismatic politician. He makes one a fan even when you're not -- heck, the GOP thinks he's great too, now. Apparently.

And, for us delegates with very, very high expectations, he delivered. Even with all the politics, and all the speeches, it feels like every conversation I've had today has been about the Clinton speech.

Now, we're re-electing Barack Obama, so is that a problem? No, because we also saw genuine passion for the president. The hug was real. And I was convinced completely last night, that even though President 42 may have not liked President 44 very much in 2008, after the very close primaries, now I know that the Man from Hope truly does like and appreciate Hope and Change.

I'm writing on mid-day Thursday, and my body is dragging. The lack of sleep takes a toll. Yesterday I skipped one session to get some work done, and then made it to only two of the four events I wanted to attend in the afternoon. I couldn't drag myself around fast enough. It seems like now there are more small events -- receptions and the like, and less of the bigger events. Although, many of our delegation were off to see FLOTUS this morning at a women's caucus meeting, and I'm sure it was packed.

On the floor last night, until about 10 p.m. EDT, the energy level was clearly lower than the night before. The audience responded most, it seemed, to Sister Simone of Nuns on the Bus and Sandra Fluke. Union leaders Bob King and Richard Trumka fired up the crowd at points, but people seemed distracted. The CarMax and Costco CEOs had compelling messages, but as they are not accomplished orators, I'm not sure the room got the full effect. I missed the earliest speakers and the "panoramic photo" because I was attending an event for the Fair Share Alliance, but I heard the photo was fun and that people enjoyed seeing Gabby Douglas.

However, as the Costco guy methodically explained how he knew he wasn't alone in building his business, the crowd started to get into it. And when Elizabeth Warren hit the stage, the crowd treated her like a star. In the room, the speech was fantastic. This is not a room where people are enamored of big corporate power, and her lines about corporations not being people, because people live, die, fall in love, cry, laugh ... those will be memorable. She also reminded people of her humble beginnings, and that was important for an audience that knows her as an advocate.

Then, of course, President Clinton. He tore apart every Republican attack, and he did it with a smile, even graciously. His lines about birtherism and Paul Ryan's "brass" were brilliant. I think the meme about "It takes some brass to ..." is likely to stick with us for the whole campaign. But he moved quickly off the humor and into the substance, and I think devastatingly showed how independents will view this race. I saw the GOP had no response other than to try to draw a mythical gulf between Clinton and Obama, and that doesn't strike me as particularly compelling. As long as it was, it seemed like no one in the room wanted it to end.

Anyway, I could go on about it all day. After the speech, we had to wait through more than 50 other states and territories to announce our votes in the Roll Call, but it was a great time for camaraderie as we arranged ourselves around the podium. By the time we got out of the arena, it was 1 a.m. and there was time only for one quick stop at a party before heading back to the hotel.

This morning, our final delegation breakfast had another great lineup. Valerie Jarrett joined us, and reminded the delegation that in addition to the issues, this election will be about trust. People know the Obamas, and they like them and trust them. The president does what he says he's going to do. John Nichols reminded Wisconsin of our great tradition of support for civil rights, telling a story about how still-Senator Fred Risser led the Wisconsin delegation out so its seats could be given to African Americans at a convention more than 40 years ago. Rob Zerban fired up the crowd with the idea that people in Wisconsin's 1st CD are the only ones who can beat Paul Ryan twice and had a great line about how he would be the first classically trained chef in Congress, which is good because they're not only cooking the books, but burning them.

Governor Doyle and Senator Kohl both were very warmly and enthusiastically received. Doyle talked about the importance of helping people understand what's really in health reform, and like a fan after a game, just shared with the audience our appreciation of President Clinton's speech. Senator Kohl had the crowd in stitches with his stories, and it felt valedictory, as this will be his last convention as a sitting senator. He got an extended ovation. It closed with Tammy Baldwin's passionate reminder that real people are affected by the serious issues facing the country, and that right now, middle class people are falling behind because there's one set of rules for the wealthy, and one for the rest of us. And we need one set of rules for all.

It's been a work day today, but I'll be heading back to central Charlotte this afternoon to rejoin the activities and will post my last piece tomorrow.


 12:21 PM 

Kohl praises Clinton's DNC speech

WISN-TV's Kent Wainscott reports that outgoing U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl this morning told the Wisconsin delegate breakfast that "Bill Clinton gave what was probably the best speech of his life" last night.

Wainscott says Kohl got "loud cheers" as he was introduced this morning by U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, who's running to replace him in the U.S. Senate.

Baldwin spoke with reporters after the delegate breakfast:


 12:07 PM 

Thompson campaign pokes at Baldwin in advance of tonight's speech

U.S. Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin's address to the final night of the Democratic National Convention is already drawing a negative hit from Tommy Thompson's campaign.

The longtime Madison-area congresswoman has said her speech tonight will focus on "heartland values."

In response, Thompson campaign senior adviser Brian Nemoir last night circulated a link to a YouTube video of Baldwin dancing with a band at a gay pride festival in Madison. Wrote Nemoir in the email: "Clearly, there's no one better positioned to talk 'heartland values' than Tammy."

Baldwin's campaign declined to comment on the Thompson campaign email.

If elected, Baldwin would be the first openly gay U.S. senator.

Watch the video


 10:11 AM 

Wisconsin voices sound off on convention

Click below to read Wisconsin op-eds about the convention so far:
- John Nichols: Obama must speak at convention as real reformer
- Ruth Conniff: Bill Clinton's progressive speech
- Dave Cieslewicz: Bill Clinton makes the case for sanity in politics
- Jason Rae: A busy, crazy start to week in Charlotte
- James E. Causey: Better off? Yes, we are is the answer
- Kevin Binversie: The biggest 'Yes / No question' in politics

Go to WisOpinion.com for more


Wednesday, September 05, 2012

 10:47 AM 

Delegate Diary: Happy, but exhausted

Sachin Chheda
Delegate diary
I'm exhausted. It's a happy exhausted, but you just don't get enough sleep at these things.

Mostly, it's still about speeches. It's mid-morning Wednesday, and I could write 10 pages on Michelle Obama, NARAL President Nancy Keenan, Mayor Cory Booker, Govs. Deval Patrick, Ted Strickland and Lincoln Chafee, and so many more. I won't, but I could. One note is that the media and social media reaction and the room's reaction seem to be very different. On Facebook, people liked Gov. Martin O'Malley of Maryland a lot, but in the room it was just so-so. But in the room Booker seemed like a three-run homer, but some in the media apparently are saying it didn't play as well on TV.

We delegates are in a pretty good mood. Last night, there was a lot of emotion. The Kennedy tribute, the student, the firefighter, the woman with her daughter needing ObamaCare's lifting of lifetime caps, the mom who introduced her five children in different branches of the military and then introduced Mrs. Obama -- all brought tears.

I was especially moved by the directness and honesty of the Democratic embrace of marriage equality and abortion rights. No hiding our views, which contrasts, as I said the other day, with the GOP strategy. We are who we are, and we are progressive on social issues. Keenan especially energized the crowd -- she's a friend and a rising star after holding statewide elected office in Montana and spending the last eight years at NARAL. Many in the hall are eager to see what she'll do next. I think Rahm Emanuel had a great speech, but it was delivered flat and didn't seem to pump up the room the way many others did. Strickland made a lot of friends with an impassioned speech, and Patrick was the master of soaring oratory, as usual.

Breakfast yesterday and today featured heavy-hitters from the campaign and a lot of Wisconsin Democratic stars. Yesterday we heard from Debbie Wasserman Schulz, emphasizing the need to work hard for the next nine weeks to bring Wisconsin home, and the messaging focus on the middle class and how we need to not return to the failed policies of the past. We also heard from Senate Majority Leader Mark Miller and Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca. Both are very popular with the delegation, and it was a good reminder that the federal races that dominate the news aren't the only battlegrounds for the fall.

This morning's breakfast brought Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, who teased Gov. Jim Doyle about his enthusiasm for cheese. He also had a moving tribute to Vietnam-era veterans, who he noted didn't get treated very well upon their return, compared to those who fought in World War II, Korea, and in the Middle East conflicts of the 1990s and today.

We also got an updated brief from Obama Deputy Manager Stephanie Cutter, who proved that Dems aren't afraid to run on our record, and Dem ownership of "#AreYouBetterOff," which has to be seen as a failed attempt by the GOP to frame the debate. We aren't losing 750,000 jobs a month, Bin Laden is dead and GM is alive, so things do seem to be slightly better than they were four years ago.

Also speaking today was Howard Dean. He was fired up. And Congressman Ron Kind & Congresswoman Gwen Moore, although very different, both were very warmly and enthusiastically received. We have a diverse party.

And Tom Barrett closed things out with an adult, honest examination of where we are, where we're going, and how we're going to get there. He reminded us that Americans often have political amnesia, and we have to remind people how bad things were four years ago, and why they rejected the same policies and values that Romney and Ryan are promoting now. He also told a hilarious story about being on Geraldo Rivera's radio show at the GOP convention, with Geraldo having forgotten he was a Democrat until they were live on the air and Mayor Barrett was deep into his attack on the other side's Medicare proposals. And Tom made sure we showed our appreciation for Dem Party Chairman Mike Tate, Executive Director Maggie Brickerman, and their amazing staff to make sure we delegates have a great experience.

I also wanted to mention that there are still substantive things happening at the convention. A Small Business Council meeting yesterday drew a packed room of entrepreneurs and local elected officials. As a representative of Small Business Majority pointed out, there are 28 million small business owners in America, and only a small fraction are represented by any one interest group. There are many, many Democratic small business people (I was with a bunch from Wisconsin) and we have to have our voices heard louder. There was great discussion about how to start Democratic business councils across the country.

It's a convention, so I've bought some T-shirts. Ate some pizza. Gone to a few parties. I'm late for a lunch now. Until next time!

Follow Sachin on twitter at twitter.com/skchheda or Facebook at facebook.com/sachinchheda


Tuesday, September 04, 2012

 6:38 PM 

Moore touts Dem efforts to combat domestic violence

U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore of Milwaukee told the Democratic National Convention this evening the Dem women of the House are working to protect victims of domestic violence.

Moore introduced herself as the mother of three and the grandmother of three granddaughters. She said when Dems tried to strengthen the Violence Against Women Act, Republicans moved to weaken it and knocked the GOP for even trying to “change the definition of rape.”

She said Vice President Joe Biden wrote the Violence Against Women Act and is working along with President Barack Obama to “prevent violence for all.”

“Whether you were born on a reservation or in another country, and whether you love a man or a woman, the Democratic women of the House will fight violence against all Americans to move America forward,” Moore said.

Moore spoke to the convention as part of a "Women of the House" presentation led by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California. The speakers touted efforts such as the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the health care overhaul Dems approved that one speaker said is ensuring women are getting the preventive services they need, including birth control.

-- By JR Ross


 2:52 PM 

Baldwin attends LGBT caucus

The DNC's official Instagram account posted a pic of Tammy Baldwin today, saying she was "one of the crowd's favorites" at a meeting of the LGBT caucus today. The photo caption says the caucus meeting had a standing-room only crowd.

Click the thumbnail below to view the full-size picture.


 10:35 AM 

Delegate Diary: 'Now that's a first day!'

Sachin Chheda
Delegate diary
Now that's a first day! I woke up with high expectations Monday, saying to myself, "this is going to be a great day." I wanted the full convention experience. And I'm happy to report that it was.

I started out at the delegation breakfast, where we go over logistics for the day and as, you'd expect, hear some speeches. There's a lot of speeches at these things. A. Lot. Of. Speeches. Yesterday (I'm writing this Tuesday morning) was a perfect start -- my good friend Nancy Keenan of NARAL Pro-Choice America came to remind us about the stakes for women, health and freedom in this election, and we were treated to a traditional Wisconsin rally speech from Sen. Russ Feingold. Russ especially reminded us what the Republican budget means for our family's priorities of education, health care, and employment. He pointed out that he's worked with Paul Ryan and likes Paul Ryan. They are both graduates of Janesville Craig. But what Paul Ryan is proposing, and the patently dishonest campaign he and Mitt Romney are running -- Russ reminded us we need to work hard, every day, to re-elect President Obama, and elect Tammy Baldwin and Rob Zerban too.

Then, I was off to the convention hall for the first time. I started the day in the Asian American caucus, where we heard from campaign officials, national leaders like Donna Brazile and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and many, many elected officials and candidates for office. There was a great discussion of the changing demographics of our great nation, and a special acknowledgement of the Hmong community in Wisconsin.

From there, I explored CarolinaFest with a number of other delegates, and purchased my first bit of convention swag - a t-shirt from my colleagues in the Mecklenburg County Democratic Party - the host county for this convention. Maybe someday Milwaukee County could host...? The Fest was great, with a blend of National Convention delegates and locals just enjoying the day. There were booths from vendors selling t-shirts, jewelry, and buttons, and restaurants with local food. But there were also lots of civic engagement opportunities, from learning about how Charlotte's urban education system was innovating to more options to get healthy, local produce into central city kitchens and schools.

And of course, music. The highlight of the Fest for me was a performance by Janelle Monáe.

After a very quick lunch, I was off to join Rebuilding Together, Craftsman, Heroes at Home and Ty Pennington for a service project. These great organizations built the first half of a modular home in Tampa last week, and we're building the second half here in Charlotte. The two halves will be joined together (I think today) and then put on a foundation here in Charlotte. A disabled veteran will end up living in this home, and will be able to move in later this month or early in October. We owe a great deal to our veterans, and they need and deserve access to services and health care and benefits.

It's a great cause, and reminds us that we have a lot more in common as Americans than we have separating us. We may disagree on economic policy, health care policy, foreign policy -- but our families face the same challenges and deserve an honest discussion of the issues. That said, I am also reminded that community service simply isn't enough to, on its own, help all those in need. We need a strong government safety net as well -- something we used to have a pretty decent bipartisan consensus on.

After a shower to wash off the paint and a fantastic barbeque dinner, it was time to head for parties. Seeing Allen Stone, who opened the Start Up Rock On show hosted by three start-up companies, was a real treat. He was followed by The Roots, who tore the roof off. Best show I've seen in a long time.

Today, another delegation breakfast, a couple of more meetings and events, and then we start the Convention for real on the floor of the Arena.


 9:34 AM 

Baldwin campaign touts Thursday night speech

As the Democratic National Convention opens today, Tammy Baldwin’s Senate campaign is touting her convo speech Thursday night -- the same night as President Obama's speech accepting the party’s nomination.

"This is an amazing opportunity for her, and for our campaign," writes Baldwin campaign manager Karin Johanson in an email to supporters. "On that national stage, Tammy is going to represent the Wisconsin values we all share: a fight for fairness, a respect for hard work, and the knowledge that everyone deserves a shot to make it in America."

The campaign, along with Obama's re-election effort, is set to host over 200 watch parties for Thursday's agenda.

“We've heard from Paul Ryan and Scott Walker. Now it’s time to hear from Tammy about the Wisconsin we know and love,” Johanson writes.

In her appearance on “UpFront with Mike Gousha,” the Madison congresswoman said she plans to focus on “heartland values” during her speech.

-- By Staff


Monday, September 03, 2012

 10:00 AM 

Baldwin says she'll focus on heartland values during convention speech

U.S. Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin told "UpFront with Mike Gousha" she'll focus on "heartland values" during her speech to the Democratic National Convention this week.

"I'm going to talk about the Wisconsin that I know, talk about heartland values, basically the strongly held belief that if you work hard and play by the rules you should be able to get ahead," Baldwin said on the program, produced in conjunction with WisPolitics.com .

"And that that's not happening for too many Wisconsinites and too many Americans."

Democratic delegates will nominate the Barack Obama-Joe Biden ticket this week in Charlotte. Republicans met last week in Tampa to back the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan ticket.

Baldwin also painted her GOP rival, former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, as one who works on behalf of powerful interests, while saying she has stood up for Wisconsin families.

"It's about whose side you're on," said Baldwin, Madison-area's congresswoman since her election in 1998. "Tommy Thompson has spent this last many years giving access to some of the most powerful moneyed interests in the United States helping them write their own rules.

"I've been fighting for hard-working Wisconsin families making sure there is one set of rules that everyone gets to play by."

She said after Thompson left his public position as Health and Human Services secretary that he "essentially started working for those same interests on the other side."

In contrast, Baldwin said "my record is one of being a fighter and I am not afraid to stand up to those big powerful moneyed interests in Washington that he has worked for in the past few years."

She gave the example of voting against the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999.

"Glass-Steagall told the big investment banks you cannot gamble with people's life savings," she said. "I believe had that still been in effect, we could have averted much of the financial catastrophe that our nation went through."

She also knocked Thompson for supporting an extension of the Bush tax cuts, saying he wants to tax the middle class to pay for it.

Baldwin pointed out she introduced the so-called Buffet Rule, which she said is predicated on the belief that "millionaires and billionaires should pay at least the same tax rate as hard-working middle-class Wisconsin families."

Baldwin, who has been going after Thompson for refusing to release his tax returns as she has, defended the criticism as relevant.

"Tommy Thompson leads his campaign with a call for tax breaks for the top two percent. I think it becomes relevant about how his plans will affect him now that he has become a multi-millionaire since leaving public service," Baldwin said.


 7:57 AM 

Dems announce breakfast speakers

The state Dem Party has announced the lineup of speakers who will address the daily breakfast meetings of delegates at the national convention.

They include:

Today, NARAL President Nancy Keenan and former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold

Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, state Reps. Peter Barca and Mark Pocan, and state Sen. Mark Miller.

Wednesday, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, U.S. Reps.  Ron Kind and Gwen Moore, SEIU Executive Vice President Tom Woodruff, and AFSCME President Lee Saunders.

Thursday, U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl and U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin

-- By Staff


 7:51 AM 

Delegate Diary: A great first day in Charlotte

Sachin Chheda
Delegate diary
It's late Sunday night, and I'm just remembering a great first day in Charlotte.

I arrived this afternoon, making the snaking 3 hour drive from Raleigh on state highways and country roads. It was a great way to quietly prepare for the week ahead - which I know will be exhausting. I took care of the "batteries" issue I wrote about Friday, and arrived just in time to join my fellow Wisconsin delegates at a Welcome Reception at the Carolina Raptor Center.

Of course, many of us talked politics, but we also just enjoyed the chance to get to know each other a little bit. The party was one of more than a dozen around Charlotte, and included delegates and guests from Iowa and Nebraska as well. We sipped local brews, feasted on Carolina BBQ, and heard music and stories from locals.

I especially appreciated the chance to talk with a board member from the Raptor Center, a local tourism official who voted for Obama in 2008 but is still undecided for 2012. She was clearly not impressed by the GOP convention, but wants to see a clear articulation of Democratic ideas for the next four years. I think she'll be on board after this week. Our Convention has tremendous local participation, and a lineup that will clearly show the differences with the Republicans. I think our party's goal is an honest conversation about the issues. Last week, the GOP spent a lot of time burying the things they believe in that most folks oppose, and whatever side you're on, we all deserve better than that.

Tomorrow kicks off with a delegation breakfast at our hotel, and then a day full of meetings, service activities, a public street festival in downtown Charlotte, and of course, a few parties.

More to come!

Follow Sachin on Twitter at @skchheda or friend him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sachinchheda


Sunday, September 02, 2012

 7:02 PM 

'Women of the House' presentation to include Moore

U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore will be part of a "presentation of the women of the House" at the Democratic National Convention this week.

The party released an updated list of speakers this evening that said House Dem Leader Nancy Pelosi will address the convention and "lead a presentation of the women of the House."

Those listed besides Moore include: Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Carolyn Maloney of New York, Nydia Velazquez of New York, Allyson Schwartz of Pennsylvania and Donna Edwards of Maryland.


 5:57 PM 

Biden touts Obama’s record, highlights differences with GOP

GREEN BAY -- Making a stop here just two days before the start of the Democratic National Convention, Vice President Joe Biden took shots at Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, saying the GOP ticket offers nothing new or different.

“We’ve seen this movie before and we know how it ends. It ended in the Great Recession of 2008,” Biden said. “They want us to go back to the social policies of the 1960s, foreign policies of the Cold War and the economics that led to the Great Recession. Do they think we have amnesia? That we don’t remember who was in charge when things fell apart? They were.”

Biden’s stop at the National Railroad Museum on his way to the convention in Charlotte, N.C., gave the crowd a taste of what to expect at the convention as the vice president talked up the Obama Administration’s successes.

“The country faces the most starkest differences in a presidential election that I can ever remember. President Obama and I want to keep moving the country forward in the right direction while Romney and Ryan want to take us back to failed policies that didn’t work,” Biden said. 

See more in the WisPolitics.com Election Blog.

-- By MaryBeth Matzek



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