Alright. The Black Keys are about to be on Jimmy Fallon as yours truly as back at it with a wrap up on a great event in downtown DeMo.
First off. Huge ginormous #goodjoboutofyou to Polk County for one of the best county fundraisers I've seen in my years in politics. But I gotta tell ya... Not surprised at all when you are doing an event with Darrell Kearney. Great job my friend and #goodjoboutofyou Arty Smith... Chairman John Bloom... And all the volunteers for a class act poltical event. With that long list of speakers... And Newt... And starting the program a little late... And getting peeps out at a decent time... You all knocked it out of the park.
Am I kissing their asses enough? :) - I kid, I kid... I meant everything I just said. Oh and thanks for giving the World's Crappiest Blog a press pass! Epic.
Now... Let's break this event down... QCI style...
PREGAME - So this is when the staffer/hack in me goes nuts. OK... So there's the reception that always goes on before these deals. And usually a sign war. No sign war. I blame myself. See 2002 RPI Spring Dinner... Yeah. Was reminded of a couple of good stories from a meeting at Scruffy's downtown back when I was... youngish? Come on guys... We need to teach this young new breed of staffers the stress... The rivalry... And yes, the fun that is a good ole fashioned sign war. Make 'em earn their keep a bit. More on staffers in a sec. Anyways... Great vibe in the room. Old faces, new faces and a bunch of great friends in the room. I love working the room with so many of my favorite people in the same place.
CAMPAIGNS - So no sign war... But the proof is in the pudding when you swing by the campaign tables. 10 campaigns had booths... Here's what I found out. Peeps need to hit an RNC training or two. First off... Of the 10 tables I visited... 6 said hello to me and chatted it up.... The others fail. Guys, its less than 2 weeks before the election... Only one of you asked me for my vote. Most of you I had to start the conversation. Not sure if this is your first rodeo... But I gotta tell ya... You can tell who is gonna win and lose elections when you visit a campaign table. And... BTW... Only one campaign asked me to wear a lapel sticker. The political winds are not going to carry you all the way to November. You need to work your ass off... And a lot of you aren't doing that. You had 600 plus effing voters in the room. Primary voters. You people are not leaving it all on the field. Get your shit together. I'm serious. Sorry for the language peeps... But... I found it rather disturbing. You got less than 2 weeks. Get to work.
Listen, I’m not the end all be all expert on this. And when you see me at the next event… I probably will expect to see you all hitting me up. But that’s not the point. The point is there were 600 plus others. And before you send your hate mail to me… I heard lots of the same comments from other higher ups in the crowd who told me the same thing. People notice this stuff.
CD 3 CANDIDATE SPEECHES - Alright... Let's get to the nitty gritty... The 3rd Congressional District was the show tonight. Let me say... Still haven't picked one yet. But let's get real.
SCOTT BATCHER - Dude, you're working hard. I appreciate it. Actually was talking to a buddy during yours. So I got nothing.
DR. PAT BERTROCHE - It was alright. Decent lines... And got polite applause.
DAVID FUNK - Good speech. Listen I loves me some Steve King. But don't over sell it man. Good lines though. Had the attention of the crowd.
JIM GIBBONS - Been impressed with this campaign. But the speech was a little... Unorganized. I get the bit. But still a little lost on the Cortez line. Yes, I like the winner push he did. But I think he over played that.
MARK REES – I thought his speech was a little somber. May be the way he talks. And the fire ‘em up speech might not be his deal.
BRAD ZAUN - There's something you get with Brad Zaun. What you see, is what you get. And tonight... He killed it. Most applause from the crowd tonight. It was real... And it was genuine. Probably the best candidate speech of the night. If you disagree, you probably work for another campaign or were having a cigarette when he was talking… and didn’t hear it.
Urgh… I think tonight got me narrowed down to 3… Good news is? We got 6 fellas who will be way better than GMLB errr Leonard Boswell.
STATEWIDES - Love that our main dudes... Watch Doggy Dogg Dave Vaudt and Bill Northey did the intros for all the statewide peeps. The candidates didn't talk. But here's my take.... Dave Jamison and Jim Heavens had tables and peeps. The SOS fellas were there... And Brenna Findley. Chatted with her. She is working her ass off. And raising a crap load of money. While she probably has the smallest crew, staff wise... Look out kids... We might have a special candidacy on our hands. But I told her she needs to tweet more... Other than that... That was the story when it comes to the statewides...
GOVERNOR CANDIDATES - There isn't much I got on this. All were great. And way better than the current one we got. For real... I thought all 3 gave good talks. No game changer here... But from the sticker wars and staff/volunteer work... From my view in the cheap seats? There's a reason why they call front runners, front runners. Also, whoever put that huge signage-ish in front of the lobby? Nice work.
NEWT - Dudes... Newt Gingrich? Not sure he gives a bad speech. After I read Barry Goldwater's book back in the day? I read To Renew America... And that officially got me hooked with the movement. That and John Kasich's Chuck Taylor sneakers on the floor of the US House... And the fact that I could have a conversation about Metallica, Pearl Jam and Radiohead with Kasich... But anyways... Great speech as always. Newt can always put things in ways that I can understand them. And his bit on the Oil Spill? Like a loyal reader told me at the event... "Don't even get me started! Seriously?!! Grrrr..." Yeah totally with ya. Good God... Nothing gets my blood boiling than this stupid effing mess. Get it together douche bags. Hell, even James Carville agrees with all this. Anyways... Great speech and it was great to watch all the peeps in the house get fired up... And get focused. Will he run for President? I'm not sure now. He sure is spending a lot of time here. I think he's gaining some fans... But who knows... Appreciate these types coming to the Hawkeye State... Helping push the ball forward in November.
FINAL THOUGHTS - A quick shout to the Funk peeps getting signs in the hotel lobby when Newt went live on Fox News. Rocked it Today Show style... That's how you hustle, son.
Dudes... How many times I gotta say this. Learn the damn disclaimers. I will not take you seriously...
Nice job out of half of the lit I scored (5 of the 10 pieces) that mentioned their campaigns were on Twitter and Facebook. This stuff matters. When campaigns are asking their volunteers to donate their profile pic and avatars... They are on to something.
Cool collateral material I found? Mark Rees tattoos for kids. Not many kids in the crowd…. But was told they are a big hit when families are shopping in Valley Junction where their headquarters is. I know kids tattoos are not new… but I like the clever thought behind it.
Sign wars... Bring em back. It creates hoopla. That's what most of this stuff is about. Maybe why this event was a bit classier (smirk)… but us old timers loves us a sign war.
Again great event. Fun night… lots of work to do. More stuff to come. Stay thirsty my friends.