Sunday, June 10, 2012

Wild About Harry (Day 1 @NVDems Convention)

When glancing at media coverage of the Nevada Democratic Convention happening in Las Vegas this weekend, one gets the sense that it's a boring snooze fest because there weren't as many attendees as the Republican Convention last month. However, what they forgot to mention was that the Democratic Convention wasn't as full of unbridled batshit crazy as the Republican Convention.

Case in point: There was no need for armed guards. There was no all night showdown over rules. There was no fight over whether to vote with hands, with feet, with voice, or with signs. Oh, and there was no need for top elected officials to hide and find excuses not to attend.

Outgoing Assembly Speaker and current NV-03 candidate John Oceguera made it a point to come early and excite the base.

And this isn't even the entirety of Oceguera's speech! He really seems to have learned how to thread the needle in pushing issues that excite the base (like marriage equality, public education investment, and creating more green jobs and renewable energy infrastructure) while also appealing to the movable middle that tips elections in Nevada's key battleground district. Oceguera also reminded the crowd of that, and he wasn't alone in saying it.

Mr. Majority Leader himself also came by to say hi.

And Harry Reid kept singing to that tune. While Reid himself isn't up this time, this election will be crucial in deciding how much he can do for Nevada next year. That's why he urged the crowd to work extra hard for President Obama, Shelley Berkley, John Oceguera, and Steven Horsford. Reid pointed out the stark contrast between Democrats standing up for working families and Republicans' loyalty to "tea party" extremism over everything and everyone else.

And no, Reid didn't shy away from hot button issues. He framed the Affordable Care Act as economic justice, and he framed the DREAM Act & comprehensive immigration reform as a matter of social justice that we can't afford to ignore. Reid received thunderous applause during his speech, as well as plenty of happy supporters afterward. (He actually walked the room for a few minutes to meet some happy Nevada Democrats!)

And this is just some of the sights and sounds of the room at Bally's on the Las Vegas Strip. In addition to all the politicians on stage, there were activists on the floor discussing which campaigns to get involved with. And of course, there were activists busy recruiting even more volunteers for the likes of OFA. Here's a glimpse of the kind of energy that always defines OFA's Henderson grassroots team.

While they may not be as flashy or loud as the "revolutionaries" raising hell at last month's Republican Convention, they're also not as combative or power-hungry. Rather, they're just going about their quiet business in reelecting President Obama... And increasingly, helping local Democrats up and down the ballot as well. They may not make for a salacious story like the G-O-TEA's, but their story is just as compelling... And probably more productive.

So keep that in mind while you're hearing all the media hype & spin.

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