August 23, 2003
The Dean house party

I had a nice time at the Dean house party at the lovely home of Mr. and Mrs. GetDonkey. It takes a certain leap of faith to throw something like this, since the guest list was (I presume, anyway) quite a bit different than their usual social gathering. Rob said that they sent invitations to area folks who had voted in at least four of the last five Democratic primaries, plus of course there were folks who found out about it via the Dean campaign site and a few who came along with invited attendees. I'd say there were about 40 people there.

I chatted with various people - a Sylvester Turner campaign aide who recognized my name from this blog (rumor had it that Turner himself might drop in, but he never did), a young woman who moved into the Heights two years ago after she and her husband finished their graduate work at Cornell, an older woman from Brooklyn whose brother is a retired policeman who insisted on working on the relief effort following 9/11 despite his emphysema, Ted and his fiancee Leslie, who were the only other people there that I'd met before. The crowd was mostly white, on average a little older than me, and were all pretty plugged in to what was going on. I've had to fight the urge at gatherings like this to work in a gratuitous plug for my blog - one of these days I'm going to succumb to temptation and write my URL underneath my name on my name tag. Thankfully, I'm still a bit too self-conscious to actually do this.

There was a petition for us to sign to get Dean's name on the Texas ballot. You have to promise not to vote in the Republican primary (no problem there) and to not sign such a petition for any other Democratic candidate. There were forms available to collect campaign donations, which will count towards the Sleepless Summer million dollar challenge. Rob had various streaming video clips from DeanTV playing on the telly. A little before 8 (the event started at 7), Rob gave a brief speech in which he introduced the video of Dean's speech at a Democratic stump event in California the day before we invaded Iraq, saying this was what made him a Dean supporter in the first place. There were lots of nods and "uh huhs" as Dean outlined his vision.

Later, at about 8:30, we and all of the other Texas house parties connected to a conference call organized by Glen Maxey, which featured Governor Dean himself answering some of the questions that had been contributed beforehand. What I didn't expect, and I don't think Rob expected it either, was that the questions were read by their submitters. All except one, anyway, which was a question I had sent in (the "what do you think of the GeorgeWBush web site and their attempts to fundraise this way" question) and which Maxey read (he got my name wrong in the process, calling me "John" Kuffner). Oh, well.

Most people left after that, so things mostly wound down by about 9. Ted and Leslie and I hung out for awhile longer so we could spend a little time with Rob and Jenn, which included the chance to talk about some non-political things. (Leslie gives a thumbs-up to Freddie Vs. Jason, in case you're wondering.) All in all, a very pleasant evening. I'm not quite at the point of being willing to host one myself, but I'll be on the lookout for another one to attend later.

UPDATE: Rob has recovered sufficiently to post his version of events.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 23, 2003 to The making of the President | TrackBack

I'd think business cards, rather than a name tag, would be the right approach.

Posted by: Dancelf on August 23, 2003 12:37 PM

Thanks for the kind write-up, Charles. Jenn and I were glad you were there. You could have plugged your URL at will, or you could have left Off the Kuff Flyers on top of our toilet tanks. Kind of like the Turner folks did with their material. It was a great evening, and a good opportunity to meet so many like-minded folks in the neighborhood. Glad you had fun!

Posted by: Rob on August 23, 2003 3:50 PM

At what point do we just call this type of group what it truly is: a cult?


Posted by: Greg Wythe on August 24, 2003 7:55 AM

Did anyone circulate the memo suggesting he be referred to as DOCTOR Howard Dean? Just wondering, since I've been seeing lots of that reference of late. :)

Posted by: Kevin Whited on August 24, 2003 1:01 PM