Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Live from Yakima: Congressional Breakfast Recap

The Congressional Breakfast has just concluded. We heard from three of our incumbent representatives and our three challengers in the 4th, 5th, and 8th.

Leading off was Jim McDermott, who told delegates to "give Democrats the gavel." And why? "Because what the gavel gives is the power to set the agenda," McDermott thundered. (And, of course, he's right, we need that majority."

"On Election Night, the last states that will come in will be the West Coast states - and we're going to make Nancy Pelosi the first woman speaker in U.S. History," McDermott continued.

"And if you want a change, you've got to take the gavel away from Mr. Hastings and give to a Democrat who will change the Ethics Committee."

With that, Congressman McDermott welcomed Richard Wright to the stage. I hadn't heard Richard address a big crowd before and I was extremely impressed with his presentation and his sense of humor. He seemed more at ease than any other speaker - maybe because he's at home in the 4th District.

After describing his background, he launched into an appeal for support.

"If you want a fighter, you can look at me," Richard told the audience. "We are going to give this election everything we have. We are going to wake up with a Democratic Congress in the 4th Congressional District."

He was followed by Congressman Jay Inslee, our representative in Congress, who recalled when he represented the 4th District before losing his seat back in 1994. He was very inspiring.

"We believe it is time for America to start living our dreams rather than succumbing to our fears," Inslee declared. "We believe in the power of hope."

He introduced Peter Goldmark, who sounded kind of like Darcy did back in late 2005 when she got started. But if Peter's the kind of candidate Darcy is - and I believe he is - then a few short months he will be an excellent campaigner.

After summarizing the Republicans' failures to govern, he told the audience, "It can't go on, folks. We've got to turn this around - this year."

Representative Rick Larsen of the 2nd District followed. His theme was about reaching out - reaching out to neighbors, and fellow citizens, not just Americans, but world citizens.

"We know we have an obligation beyond ourselves - to help our community," Larsen said. He introduced the last speaker, our own Darcy Burner, who didn't manage to top her speech at the King County Convention (which I think so far is her best ever) but did elicit quite a few standing ovations from the audience. She did stumble a couple of times, but it was early in the morning - and it's very easy to be tired. I know I didn't get as much sleep as I wanted last night.

Darcy observed that "there are only five races the President has taken a personal interest in". (If you haven't heard, Bush is coming to stand side by side with Dave Reichert later this month.)

The main proceedings are about to start shortly, and I have credentials work to do, but I'll post another update soon.

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