Last Week’s Take Back America Conference – Building Bridges

I attended the Take Back America conference last week, and it was great. I am inspired, and you should be, too.
Two years ago I was at this same conference and it was a very different experience. I felt it was attending a tired, demoralized gathering of people associated with the older, Washington-based, established, celebrity-driven issue-organizations. I left discouraged, wondering when the liberal establishment would start to catch up with the ideas circulating around the blogosphere – especially with the ideas about building “progressive infrastructure” organizations for reaching out to the public and promoting core progressive values and ideas, instead of the focus on issues.
After that conference I wrote,

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Right Circulating A LIE About Hillary and Take Back America

Here is a lie we should try to nip in the bud.
Hillary Clinton spoke at the Take Back America conference this morning. The Corner on National Review Online is circulating the following lie about the event:

When she declared, “The American military has done its job,” boos began to be heard around the room. As the boos increased, Sen. Clinton raised her voice. “The American military has succeeded,” she said, to more boos. “It is the Iraqi government that has failed to make the tough decisions.” Still more boos. [emphasis added]

I was there. I heard what happened. NO ONE in the crowd booed her for saying “The American military has succeeded.” That is simply a lie by a professional propagandist.
Bill Scher has more, with video to prove it.
Taylor Marsh has more at Huffington Post.

TBA – Hillary Clinton

(I will be updating this as the speech continues, so scroll down, and come back.) Huge crowd, lots of people standing in the back.
Ellen Malcolm is introducing. After becoming a lawyer Hillary chose to work for people instead of joining a big firm and making money. The only Democratic candidate who has taken on the full might of the Republican machine and come out the winner.
Hillary is walking out, crowd on their feet cheering.
Here with so many people who share our goals to take the country back. Bush today will veto stem cell research. I have worked to help fund the research to fight so many devestating diseases. When I am President I will list the ban. This is just one example of how the President puts ideology before science, politics before needs, example of how out of touch he and his party have become.

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TBA – John Edwards

I will update ths post as he speaks so come back, scroll down…)
Obama just finished, is shaking hands. John Edwards speaks next. Obama will be a tough act to follow…
Former NARAL Head Kate Michelman introduces Edwards. You are going to make the difference in this election in 2008. You are at the center of historic change.
I know these candidates as people I have worked with many years. I know what they say in private and what they do in public. I’ve known John Edwards for ite a while now. Watching him commit himself to leading on all the issues that I know you value. Johns Edwards is ready to lead, willing to lead, ready for change. I am ready for change, are you ready for change? Politics of conviction and principle.
Edwards comes on stage. People standing and cheering…
Thank you for your support of my wife Elizabeth.
I want to start taloing about the ar in Iraq because we need to bring this war to an end. I voted for this war and I was wrong to vote for this war and I take responsibility for that.

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TBA – Opening Session

I’m at the opening plenary session at Take Back America. This is the 5th annual conference.
Live blogging: (I’ll update it as it proceeds)
Bob Borosage is speaking, his theme: the conservative era is at an end and our task is to outline what comes next.
Summary: They failed – Iraq, Katrina, economy not working for working people. So we have to make sure he public understands this. The conservative words sound good because they are meant to — they have been tested to sound good. But the reality of what they did is different.
Katrina was a teachable movement, but you do have to teach it. Republicans aren’t going to, they will say that things went wrong because they were not conservative enough. But they failed not simply because they were corrupt and incompetent – they failed because they get the world wrong, and we have to teach this lesson over and over again so Americans learn it.

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