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Netroots Nation, day 2

Day 2 of Netroots Nation got off to a slightly weird start for me, when I woke up and thought “my, it’s awfully bright”. I use my BlackBerry as my travel alarm clock, and as with yesterday, I had it set for 6:15 AM. Turns out it was almost 8 – not only had I slept through the alarm, but my backup system – that is, Audrey – was still asleep as well. I can’t tell you the last time I got to sleep in this late, though had I been given the choice, I’d have picked a different day for it. Oh, well. On the plus side, nothing makes you feel AWAKE like eight solid hours’ sleep.

I was at the Rick Noriega/Turn Texas Blue/TDP/Texans for Obama/TexBlog PAC party last night, which was well-attended. Noriega was the guest of honor, of course, and he got a raucous introduction from Gen. Wes Clark, who was in turn was introduced by Rep. Lloyd Doggett. I got a few photos of that, but thanks to my slovenliness this morning, I haven’t had the time to upload them yet. The buzz at the event last night was the big fundraiser Noriega had had in Dallas the night before.

Comparing his battle for the Senate to David’s rumble against Goliath, Democrat Rick Noriega held a fundraiser in Dallas on Wednesday night that attracted nearly 700 people.

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark gave a keynote speech for Democrat Rick Noriega in Dallas. Before the event, he explained remarks he made about John McCain. “We recognize that it’s an uphill fight,” Mr. Noriega said of his race against Sen. John Cornyn. As of June 30, Mr. Noriega had just $916,000 in cash, compared with the Republican’s $9.4 million.

“If it has to be all about money, then we shouldn’t have elections,” he said.

The fundraiser featured retired Gen. Wesley Clark, a former presidential candidate who was criticized this month for saying John McCain’s service in Vietnam didn’t qualify him to be president.

Before Wednesday’s event, Gen. Clark explained that remark. He said military service is “a wonderful test of your character and what it means about your willingness to sacrifice for the country.” But, he said, judgment is also important.

In his speech, Mr. Noriega took a shot at his rival, saying, “John Cornyn’s record in the Senate has made it hard to be hopeful. This nation, this state, is on the wrong course.”

I’m told the event raised well over $100,000, which is welcome news. As we know by Noriega’s success on ActBlue, the grassroots folks have strongly supported him. He’s also gotten quite a bit of support from national Democrats such as Clark, and other Senators like Jim Webb, Jon Tester, Barbara Boxer, and Ken Salazar, not to mention Harry Reid. It’s been the traditional Texas Democratic donors, as documented in that John Spong article from Texas Monthly, who have lagged behind. Maybe now this is finally starting to change. It’ll be about time if so.

I’m sitting in the Lone Star Candidates 08 session, which is one of three going on at 9 AM that I’d like to see – Noriega is speaking as I type this. I’ll probably sneak out at some point to visit the Different Tones and Wider Nets panel, but that’s as much multi-tasking for now. My panel is at 3. At least I can feel confident I won’t be nodding off midway through it.

UPDATE: Vince Leibowitz, who is emceeing this panel, has just observed that the interloper in our midst is here in the audience for this panel. I think that’s him sitting about ten feet away from me, with a really sweet video camera, no doubt hoping for a “macaca moment”. On behalf of the Texas Progressive Alliance, may I say “welcome to Netroots Nation”. Have fun, and be sure to attend the Pub Quiz this evening.

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One Comment

  1. Patrick says:

    You’re not going to like this Charles, but Wes Clark has a terrible reputation among many of those who served in his command. Wes Clark was all about Wes Clark and positioning himself for the next job. He’s bad news.

    You can include that or not on the blog, but that’s a “boots on the ground” assessment of the guy from another former military guy.