One of the recurring themes of this election is the enthusiasm Democrats feel, locally and nationally, about their candidates and chances of winning this fall, and how that is translating into tangible effects. I got a pretty good taste of that yesterday when I took Audrey with me to the opening of the HCDP Coordinated Campaign Midtown headquarters on Travis at Alabama. The place was packed - I'd guess about 200 folks came out, many wearing T-shirts for various candidates, in preparation for subsequent blockwalking. The speakers, including Ellen Cohen, Michael Skelly, Sheila Jackson Lee, CO Bradford, and Gerry Birnberg, who was shown a lot of love from the crowd as he deals with the terrible tragedy of his grandson's death, got everyone fired up. Justice of the Peace Hilary Green introduced all of the local candidates present, and there were many of them; if nothing else, I can say that I see a lot more of the candidates, and a lot more evidence of them doing real campaign work, than I did for the 2004 or 2006 slates. They did a little fundraising, too - I plunked down $15 for an Obama/HCDP t-shirt on my way out - and promoted Dynamo Democrat Day.
Now, I know Midtown is Democratic territory, so maybe this isn't all that remarkable. But just a week ago, a similar size crowd showed up to open the West Side office, way out at Westheimer and Eldredge. Traditional Democratic turf that isn't.
Something one of the speakers - I forget who - mentioned: Do you think the Republicans are drawing 200 people to a campaign office opening these days? Obviously, I don't know the answer to that question, since I don't go to that kind of event, or even know if they're having them. But I suspect the answer is no, they're not.
So that's my observation for the weekend on the excitement factor. I see it, I feel it, and I know it will make a difference this fall.
UPDATE: Stace has some photos from the event.Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 10, 2008 to Election 2008