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November 21st, 2009

IDP Jefferson Jackson Dinner Live Blog

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Written by: Craig Robinson

biden 2Event set-up

The dinner is being held at Hy-Vee Hall at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. The stage is located in the middle of the room which is set for 1400 guests. On the far wall behind the state a huge sign that reads “Iowa Democratic Party.” There is also a large American flag above where the Vice President will enter.

Roxanne Conlin Reception

US Senate Candidate Roxanne Conlin held a reception before the dinner. Des Moines businessman Jerry Crawford introduced Conlin and made sure that everyone knew that Senator Grassley has held elected office for over 50 years.

In Conlin’s speech, she noted that she will not take a dime of from political action committees or federal lobbyist. However, she did say she will take money for state lobbyists. Interesting. Conlin’s speech was scripted and she was heard to hear at time. She did say she wants to send Grassley “Back to the farm.”

I do have You Tube videos of Crawford and Conlin that I will post after they are finished processing.

Sorry for the quality, I’m a little shaky.

Obama Approval Under 50% in Iowa

The Des Moines Register just released the results of their Iowa Poll that shows President Obama’s approval rating at 49%.

49% disapprove of his handling of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
50% disapprove of his handling of health care.
61% disapprove of his handling of the budget deficit.
55% disapprove of his handling of the economy.

I wonder if they will talk about this tonight. 🙂

The Bridges 2 Harmony Choir from Roosevelt High School rocked the National Anthem

IDP Party Chairman Michael Kiernan is giving his opening remarks.

These Democrats have broken a lot of dishes and glasses thus far. And they probably don’t know about President Obama’s approval numbers yet.

Congressman Bruce Braley is not taking the stage.

It’s great time to be a Democrat in Iowa. Now is not the time for doubt, now is not the time for fear. Brags about the Democrats edge in voter registration. Democrats from Iowa and across the nation have to speak truth to fear. Get back in the game and let your voice be heard. We will not be intimidate by a campaign of fear.

Braley invited everyone in the room to yell “Speak truth to fear” loud enough so Sarah Palin can hear it in Alaska.

Leonard Boswell is now taking the stage.

Hello Democrats.

Agrees with everything that Braley said. Talking about meeting with President Obama, was excited about Obama’s willingness to stop kicking the can down the road. Will do something about energy, health care and the economy. Loebsack is not here tonight he is on a mission outside the country. We’re combat ready, we’re ready to go.

Lt. Governor Patty Judge is now speaking.

This reminds me a lot of a great big family reunion. A lot has happened since a year ago. We were dumbfounded by John McCain’s choice in Sarah Palin to his VP running mate. Bragging about Biden. He’s a guy who is going to tell it to you straight.

Attacking Branstad: Tax cuts for the rich, tax increases for the rest of us.
Attacking Chris Rants: How to take a majority to a minority and then launch a gubernatorial campaign from the back bench.
Attacking Vander Plaats: He’s either has no respect for the law or he is just stupid.

Now bragging about the Culver/Judge administration.

Governor Culver now takes the stage.

He is the only candidate to use the podium. Has prepared remarks. He also might be using the teleprompter. A record setting night here at the JJ. We have delivered on our promises. Increased min wage, extended health care to children, helped Vets go to college, and started Iowa Power Fund.

Focus has been on flood recovery. Worked with 25 different agencies to secure the funds that will to rebuild cities. Major investment in infrastructure through I-Jobs. Created the 4th best state in which to do business. We did all of this without raising taxes. I’m proud of our record and look forward to running on it in 2010.

Iowans are at their best when their backs are against the wall. Iowa will weather this storm. Culver endorsed same-sex marriage in his remarks.

And yes, he is using the teleprompter.

Senator Harkin Video

I can’t see it. “Health Care bill will include a public option. This is a bill worth fighting for.” Under FDR we had a New Deal, under Truman we had a Fair Deal, and under President Obama we will get a Good Deal.

Kiernan announced that the Health Care bill was allowed to go forward with a 60 to 39 vote tonight. People went crazy.

Democrats now passing the money bucket.

Jokes Time

Gronstal: What is the difference between a Boy Scout Troop and the Iowa House? Adult Leadership.
McCarthy: What’s the difference between God and a State Senator? God doesn’t think he is a State Senator.

Giving away Terry Loves Taxes Shirts.

Gronstal is telling people that they can afford to put money in the bucket. Nothing new…

Culver takes the stage to introduce Vice President Joe Biden.

Strange – People with cameras walked up to the rope live and are standing upfront while he is giving his speech.

Culver inherited a difficult economy by no fault of his own.

Addressing the Tea Party movement – Progress has never been accomplished by simply yelling no.

Promises actual job growth after the first of the year.

Health Care = Reason for Hope

Biden was late because he was calling Senator to get the last vote.

We were told Health Care reform was dead, well its alive tonight.

We owe a gigantic debt to Ted Kennedy – He is the inspiration, he build the platform.

Expanding federal hate crimes legislation to include sexual preference.

I’m the most powerful VP since Cheney.

Don’t tell me we are not making progress.

We are not talking about incremental change. We are not talking about moving the margins. We are committed to substantial change. How could we do any less.

We must continue to invest in change.

I know what Republicans are against but I honestly don’t know what they are for.

What would they have done?

Either they want to return to the failed policies of Bush-Cheney or they believe they can only succeed by hoping we fail.

VP Biden’s speech is over.

Following the dinner, there is a after dinner party that will feature the US Senate Candidates. Roxanne Conlin’s campaign has dropped off here prepared remarks. Here is her attack on Senator Grassley.

We all applauded him when he blew the whistle on overpriced toilet seats at the Pentagon – but why is he not with the college grads saddled in debt?

Why is he not with the laid-off workers from principal and Electrolux?
Why did he oppose increasing minimum wage for low-wage workers?
Why did Chuck Grassley vote to cut taxes for the wealthy and not for the middle class?
Why did Chuck Grassley cut health care for seniors?
Why did he vote no on equal pay for women?
And why in the world would he join Sarah Palin in her chorus of death panels – fear mongering about pulling the plug on grandma?

About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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