Howard Dean and Robert Reich

I went to an event put on by Campaign for America’s Future, where Howard Dean, Robert Reich, Michael Moore and others spoke. (I’m posting about Moore later.) I’ll post pictures soon. CAF is a Progressive organization, and describes themselves this way:

Over 100 Prominent Americans ? citizen activists and policy experts concerned about our country and our planet ? joined together to launch and build the Campaign for America’s Future. We are challenging the big money corporate agenda by encouraging Americans to speak up ? to discuss and debate a new vision of an economy and a future that works for all of us.

They have a series of event just across the river from the convention center this week.

Howard Dean spoke at our Blogger Breakfast the other day, but that was much more of a conversation. This was a speech event, with an enthusiastic crowd. This was at least as good as any speech I saw him give during the primary campaign. He talked about rebuilding the party structure and about running candidates. He said that 70 Republican members of Congress are not contested and we need to be running candidates in every single district. We won’t win this time, but each time we’ll get closer.

Then he talked about how YOU should be running for office. He said that as long as people think someone else is going to do the job, things will stay the way they are. He said he used to encourage people to vote, but voting is just the bare minimum of what people need to be doing to take the country back. He repeated that he wants YOU to run for office. He’s even campaigning for one guy who is running for Library District Administrator to make the point that EVERY office is important, and we can’t expect to take back the country from the top down, we need change across the entire system. It takes more than organizing, more than raising money — it takes going out there and doing it yourself.

He also talked about Democrats taking their case to Utah and Alabama and Mississippi and Texas (yes, he had the cadence going). He said the most underrepresented person in the US is the White Southerner who is not rich because they vote for Republicans and the Republicans head for office and immediately forget about them, and take away their pensions and health care and government services and hurt their public schools.

My description isn’t doing justice at all, I’m just talking content. It was an amazing fiery wonderful speech and it made me feel like I was listening to a true leader.

So someone just handed me a copy of Dean’s speech for tonite. It’s not the speech he gave earlier today. It’s toned down, short, I don’t see any room for his fire. So if you get a chance to see his speech this afternoon online somewhere (I’ll post info if I find out) — especially if you are a Dean fan — be sure to see that.

Later Robert Reich talked, and gave a great speech talking about how this recovery is not recovering things for average people. He used his great line about him and Shaquille O’Neal having an average height over 6 feet.

Later – I just got a “floor pass” and was on the convention floor while Dean spoke. The speech was just nothing like this afternoon. I’ll write about the convention floor later. It’s late, and I have four or five different posts underway… This post was just descriptive – I have some things coming. But there is so much coming at me from so many directions…