Dodd's Big Night

Nancy Pelosi spoke. Ned Lamont got a huge and sustained standing ovation. The victories of Chris Murphy and Joe Courtney were on every speaker’s lips. But last night was really all about Chris Dodd–who is running for president.
Dodd speaks at the Jefferson Jackson Bailey dinner
Everybody who wanted one–which was pretty much everyone in attendance–was given some bit of Dodd paraphernalia, whether a Dodd shirt (CGG managed to score one of these–it’s nice!), a Dodd button or a Dodd sticker. Dodd campaign workers were visible throughout the convention center, and no other presidential candidate’s buttons or stickers were on display at all.

Dodd campaign workers watch House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speak

Friday was the night when Connecticut’s Democrats showed their loyalty to a man who given extraordinary service to the party and the state for decades and, at least outwardly, to show their support for his presidential bid.

Dodd himself spoke in the middle of the program, before Rosa DeLauro and Nancy Pelosi, and threw all of his usual rhetorical flourishes into his speech. Dodd may very well be one of the finest orators in the country–when he can get an audience willing to focus on what he’s saying. He loves to build up to his high points, and whip the crowd into a frenzy by the time he reaches that crescendo. This happened a few times during the speech: he got a big round of applause for declaring that the Iraq War must be brought to an end, and was warmly applauded at the end of his eight minute remarks. However, he did seem to fall a bit flat near the end of the speech as diners concentrated on eating.

The press didn’t seem to be taking him very seriously. Dodd was available to the press for about twenty minutes long before the dinner got underway, and at least one reporter asked him what venue he was considering for when he dropped out, and how much he spent on his hair (more on all of this from Gabe later). Dodd handled the questions with his usual unruffled grace, but I have to wonder if Edwards, Clinton or Obama would have received such rude treatment.

So that was Dodd’s big night. Connecticut Democrats like him, and they showed their support for him. But how seriously do they really take his candidacy? How many will vote for him next February? If the latest polls of Connecticut Democrats in general are an accurate predictor, maybe one in five will–unless he can turn things around this summer.

Pelosi Warmly Greeted

Nancy Pelosi ran late, thanks to her plane being delayed in Washington, and because of that the dinner itself started almost an hour behind schedule. She was given a rousing introduction by Rep. Rosa Delauro, who said of her, to applause, that “shrinking violets do not get to be Speaker of the House of Representatives,” and that she had brought “powerful change to the House of Representatives.”
Rosa Delauro speaking about Nancy Pelosi bringing “powerful change” to Congress
Pelosi herself thanked Connecticut Democrats for helping to turn the tide in November 2006, and laid out some of the priorities of the House. She spoke for about fifteen minutes.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Ned Lamont’s Big Night?

Maybe the moment that stands out the most from last night was not Speaker Pelosi or Chris Dodd, but the rousing ovation given to Ned Lamont. Nancy DiNardo was thanking all of the candidates who had run, and was mentioning those who had lost. At the end, she spoke about Lamont, who she (graciously) gave credit for driving interest in Democratic candidates around the state. Lamont received a sustained standing ovation from the crowd–many of whom had probably supported Lieberman. People started chanting “Ned, Ned, Ned!”


Joe Lieberman, of course, was not present. I wonder how he would have been received? Remember that at last year’s dinner he was the recipient of scattered boos, and that even Barack Obama couldn’t settle the crowd down.

Fourth District Candidates: Himes and Shapiro

Jim Himes had a strong presence at the dinner, as his fledgling campaign had worked up stickers for people to wear. I did get a chance to meet him, and he seemed very energetic and sincere.

Rep. Jim Shapiro was also in attendance, although he stressed that he has not yet made any final decision about whether he’s going to run against Shays.

The other candidate who had a significant presence at the dinner was Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez, who spoke briefly to welcome attendees to Hartford. Is it me, or does Perez manage to speak at just about every Democratic event?

The convention center itself is gorgeous, and affords great views of downtown Hartford. I’m looking forward to the completion of the Front Street project across the street, to make the city more attractive to convention-goers.
Downtown Hartford from the convention center

CGG and Gabe will be putting up their own reports of the night over the next few days.


25 responses to “Dodd's Big Night

  1. I think it is just wonderful that folks who formerly supported Sen. Lieberman in the general election now give Ned Lamont a Standing Ovation and chant Ned Ned Ned. This both validates Nancy DiNardo’s strategy to create party unity through an invitation printing faux pas and brings to light the answer to what many have asked, “Since the election, Sen. Lieberman has moved even closer to the Republicans and solidified his position as an enabler and apologist for the White House, what do those Dems who supported him in November say now?”

  2. I think that it’s wonderful, too.

  3. Yes, it was a big night for Dodd. Probably a big night for CT Dem Dodd supporters, because who knows when he will be back. I appreciated the unity that came from the most visible support being only four our home state candidate. We did not need t-shirted Clintonistas glaring back and forth with Doddheads across the room. But Dodd was by far NOT the only supported candidate. There were Kucinich button wearers and plenty of talk about his interest in solidifying his grassroots support in Connecticut, AND I saw a Gore 2008 button or two as well. Sorry Joe Biden, I looked for your table but could not find.

  4. Actually, Lamont supporters should be a good fit for Kucinich. Within the United States, there is probably no regional group that is a better fit for Kucinich than the Lamont supporters in Connecticut. Kucinich would probably be wise to spend a lot of his time in Connecticut. Who knows, he might meet a rich woman with his identical radical left views (the John Kerry approach) — he’s still single, right? Or did his last run for the presidency help him land a marriage? I recall his discussion during a debate a few years ago — indicating that his run for the presidency should help him find some dates …

  5. Kucinich has a fiance named Elizabeth.

    See How Kucinich Found Love:
    From the article:

    On May 4, [2005] Elizabeth Harper walked with her boss into Dennis Kucinich’s Capitol Hill office for a meeting and immediately noticed three things. In the reception area, she saw a visiting nun in white robes. In his inner office sat a shelf bearing an illustration depicting “light consciousness” and a bust of Gandhi.

    She studied the lean and intense congressman and felt an attraction.

    “Now this is an interesting man,” she thought.

    Dennis had also closely observed Elizabeth, a statuesque Englishwoman with waist-length red hair.

    “I saw her eyes go to the light consciousness picture, then to the Gandhi bust, then to me,” he says. “It was like one, two, three. That’s when I knew.”

  6. Dennis and Elizabeth got married last year. BTW she’s a very intelligent and compassionate person.

    My video interview of Elizabeth:

  7. Where’s Pelosi’s Hijab, the one from her visit with Assad?

    As for Dodd, perhaps his speech will help him move up from third most popular Dem candidate in the state?

  8. ConnCon–

    When do we send “an air-mail message” to Iran? You know, in the immortal words of John McCain, “bomb, bomb, bomb, … bomb, bomb Iran…”

    So scratch a McCain candidacy. That leaves Giuliani, Romney, and that actor…

    Which “leader” do you favor??

  9. TBCT: I agree with you that McCain is a sinking ship.

    As things stand today, as far as the parties go I find the best to be Richardson for the Dems and Giuliani for the Reps. Romney and “the actor” don’t do much for me, but my conservative friends in Washington swear by “the actor.” (I just don’t see it.)

  10. You two might wish for the McCain ship to sink, but that is very different from it actually sinking.

    A lot of Democrats like Giuliani. A lot of Democrats like Mike Bloomberg and Arnold Schwarzenneger, too. So far, according to various polls, a lot of Republicans consider Giuliani to be their favorite candidate for president in 2008. It will be interesting to see when, if ever, Giuliani will fall behind another Republican in the polls before the 2008 primary …

    Is Richardson still running for president or did he drop out?

  11. ConConn,

    If you think it’s neccasary I can go find a link to a picture of Laura Bush who also wore a Hijab(headscarf) when in a Moslem country.Thats called being culturally aware.

    Laura Bush in a Hijab

    I’m wondering if you were as upset when Chris Shays wore a Yarmulke ( Shays is a Christian Science member) when he attending a forum at a Synagoque?

    How about the Idiot on Cheif?

    The fact that you would link to little green slimeballs says tons about YOU.

  12. ctkeith: Are you seriously comparing a yarmulke to a hijab? The latter is rife with anti-women attributes and the former is a reminder that God is above us. When Pelosi ascended as speaker in January she made much in her opening speech of how her election to the speakership broke the glass ceiling for women. Why then resurrect it in a foreign country?

  13. Neither Head covering is Rife with any of the sickness YOU hold in YOUR heart. Both Headcoverings are symbols of people reverance for their god.

    Only a Bigot would profess one is different than the other.

  14. ctkeith: Your name-calling doesn’t provide a substitution for facts. The hajib is certainly religious in nature but it stems from a belief held by many muslims that WOMEN must cover their bodies so as not to draw sexual attention. If this was required of a Christian religion here in America I have no doubt that you would condemn it!

  15. I haven’t heard CTKeith say anything bad about Amish women and their conservative dress. Have you?

    But honestly, Conncon, wtf is your point? That women politicians never visit the mid-East? Or that when doing so, they don’t honor other countries’ cultural norms?

    Or are you just desseminating a LGF pot-shot at America’s first female Speaker of the House? Shame on you. (and what you are highlighting isn’t that anyone is anti-Israel, but instead that you’ll go to any lengths in a right-wing smear campaign!)

  16. Dodd may very well be one of the finest orators in the country–when he can get an audience willing to focus on what he’s saying.

    Dodd was a serious snooze-fest. Yes, sometimes, he’s more than that, but at the JJB, he spent 5 minutes lauding the CT delegration before delivering another 5 minutes of the stalest Democratic platitudes possible -ending the war, fighting for families, pursuing a sane energy policy, etc. Hardly hair-raising stuff.

    Why Dodd? That’s what I wonder every time after I hear him speak. Yes, he’s right on the issues and he’s been in D.C. for 30 years, but why run for President?

  17. Why? It’s great for his ego, that’s why. Also, he’s the SENIOR Senator from Connecticut and the JUNIOR Senator from Connecticut has been getting an awful lot of attention during the last seven years. Dodd needs to show that his seniority makes him ripe for the position of leader of the free world.

    Dodd to his grandkids and everyone else who will listen to him: “Yes, I ran for president of the United States of America, leader of the free world. I gave it my best shot, but, unfortunately, it just wasn’t my time to hold that position.”

  18. ConConn,

    Keep writing,I’m sure theres at leat one person here who hasn’t figured out your a bigot yet.

  19. ctkeith: Just like a far-left ultra-liberal, you avoid debate and resort to name calling. Where is your “tolerance” for an opposing viewpoint? You equate a yarmulke with a hajib and I am the biggot? Where are all the feminists out there? Please, join the debate. I can’t speak for ctkeith but I, for one, will not call you any names….

  20. Conncon,
    The Hajib is meant to show modesty and devotion to God, much like the yarmulke. Also, I think you seem to forget that many conservative and orthodox Jewish and Christian Communities have similar restrictions on dress.

  21. Also, I’m sure a better comparison would be the tichel, instead of the yarmulke. For those of you not familiar…

  22. I meant to say that’s what they look like at the end of that last post.

  23. ConConn,

    In case you haven’t figured it out you have already insulted a half a billion woman by insinuating that the covering of their head in respect of their god also means they accept second class citizenship.

    Before you make more of an ass of yourself than you have today I suggest you sit down with an female follower of Islam and ask a few questions and LISTEN.

  24. ctkeith: I’m not trying to be overly argumentative, but I am curious, what other customs around the world that are only required of women do you believe do not render women second class citizens? Wasn’t the equal rights movement about making it so that women did not have to engage in behavior that was not required of men? You are making the classic mistake of making exceptions for “cultural” differences without engaging in an objective analysis of whether those differences demonstrate a bias toward the sexes. Foot-binding in China is an extreme, but illustrative example. Read the UN Convention on Human Rights. There is no exception for cultural beliefs; wrong is wrong.

    My point with respect to the Speaker is that from the beginning of her tenure she has portrayed her ascendency as a great moment for women’s equality. At her opening speech as speaker she was surrounded by her children and grandchildren and she specifically touted the moment as a tremendous step forward for women. It was completely inconsistent for her to go out of her way (and arguably beyond her authority) to a muslim country that would NEVER allow a female to rise to such prominence and to adopt a level of dress that is required only of women.

    Symbolism and pictures matter. What Middle Eastern woman oppressed by her country would look at the picture of Pelosi in the hajib and feel like there was hope for her that one day she would be treated as an equal? No, the image of Pelosi adopting the custom has just the opposite affect and it is contrary to the principles on which our speaker claims to adhere.

  25. ConnCon,

    Are you really this stupid?

    Who was the democratically elected Prime minister of Pakistan BEFORE the present US backed dictator took over the country in a military coup.

    When your done with that little research project go read your Bible and see if you can figure out what status woman are afforded in that ancient storybook .

    PS-Heres a start

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