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

Thursday, July 17, 2008

LIVE from Austin: Opening keynote

We're now just minutes away from the opening keynote address. Almost everyone attending Netroots Nation this year is gathered together in Exhibit Hall 4, the large cavernous space where most of the main festivities will be happening during the weekend. The atmosphere feels much like in past years, with the crowding outside of the doors inside and the sea of tables with signs on them inside.

Playing on the main screen now is a video showing the organizers' work in putting the convention together, along with some scenes from the first day, courtesy of Two Steps Forward Media, which is responsible for Netroots Nation video.

The main program is due to begin in just a few minutes.

UPDATE: Laughing Liberally is kicking things off with some comedy. Baratunde Thurston is up on stage, asking for shout outs from each time zone. He joked that anyone with a pager "should leave now" and climb aboard a special bus outside that would take them back to 1994, complete with a Vanilla Ice soundtrack.

UPDATE II: Brandon Friedman, filling in for Jon Soltz, has just taken the stage to introduce General Wesley Clark.

"I know I speak for thousands of other veterans when I say that General Clark has truly led the way," Brandon said, adding, "General Clark can go toe to toe with anyone when it comes to foreign policy."

UPDATE III: General Clark is now speaking.

"You've been a major force in my life," Clark said, praising attendees. Recounting how he became involved in opposing the invasion of Iraq, he credited the netroots with getting him involved and drawing him in, adding later, "You've given me hope and inspiration in this complex and difficult American political system. You've done that. You made it possible for me to run for office."

"This is a great community because it stands for principles," Clark declared, noting the netroots is also diverse. "You're united by your passion for good government that takes America in the direction it must go."

"If you want to see how significant we are, look at how many members of this community are running for office," Clark noted, asking all candidates present to stand and be recognized. He went on to recognize teachers, healthcare workers, public service defenders, first responders, service members, and veterans.

"You are the guiding compass for America. It's a very serious responsibility," Clark said solemnly to attendees. "Our country needs you. Needs you now. More, probably, than at any other time in recent history."

Donations, votes, and entertainments, are all important, Clark said, but in the end, most important of all in the fight to restore America is ideas - which the netroots community can ably articulate. "You're leaders, so let's move America forward together," Clark said, concluding his remarks.


Post a Comment

<< Home