What an amazing place! More than 500,000 day lillies and a wide assortment of other flowers and plants.
Hats off to all those in CD 6 and SD 19 who worked so hard putting that event together. The event ranks highly as one of the funnest DFL events of the year!
Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Bob Hill, Al Franken, and Mike Ciresi had tables at the event.
The Wellstone bus was also at the event. I gotta say I had some major goosebumps walking through that bus and taking some pictures!
Stump speeches were delivered by candidates for the US Senate and Congress, as well as some local candidates as well.
Bob Olson delivered a speech about his run against Michele Bachmann and issues around energy independence.
Franken delivered a shorter version of a speech he gave in Monticello. He nailed it once again!
Jim Cohen delivered a speech in which he spoke of not being beholden to special interests, after he spoke of his time as a lawyer for the Sierra Club. He appeared a bit irritated as well that he would not be given as much time as he had wanted for his stump speech.
Jack Nelson Pallymeyer was very impressive. He delivered a very impassioned speech and was right on time! He stopped Bluewoman and I as we walked around the cozy confines and engaged us in a 15 minute conversation, asking us what the most important issues were in our opinion. Bluewoman cited education and I, of course, cited Veterans issues and the quagmire in Iraq. He was very engaging and I was absolutely impressed!
I had also not had the opportunity to see Mike Ciresi speak before this event. Ciresi gave the most interactive and impassioned speech of the day. I also had an opportunity to speak to him before the end of the event as well.
With all of the passionate speeches I witnessed, no one was able to top Congressman Tim Walz, the keynote speaker for the event.
Congressman Walz did not speak to us or at us, which is significantly different than most other politicians. The Congressman engaged us in a conversation. It was a conversation about Iraq, Healthcare, earmarks, Transportation, and many other issues.
The audience was engaged throughout. I guess it's because our elected representative in Washington is AWOL. People wanted to engage with our elected leaders and get hear a frank discussion of what is really going on. Something we rarely get here from Congresswoman Bachmann.
Does Congresswoman Bachmann hold high quality townhall meetings like Congressman Walz, where your party affiliation determines whether or not you will get in?
Does Congresswoman Bachmann hold "office hours" in which anyone can see her?
Congressman Walz does. In fact, he did so earlier Saturday morning.
If she really cared about what constituents in the 6th thought, she'd hold at least one of these sorts of forums in the district. In stead, she holds phone teleconferences.
Congressman Walz was very frank and candid about what's going on in Washington. That's why I have a great deal of respect for the man.
Hands down, the line of the day was stated by Congressman Walz.
When talking about the culture shock of being a member of Congress he stated, "After the first couple of days you wonder 'How'd I get here', but after a few weeks, I started to wonder 'How'd they get here!'"
Indeed Congressman Walz...we're still trying to figure it out here too!
Since Bluestem Prairie asked the question, I'll answer it.
Rumor has it that in DC, Congresswoman Bachmann asked Walz what he was doing in her district. Perhaps he'll share the story in his remarks.
Congressman Walz did note that decorum normally dictates that members of Congress don't spend a lot of time at events outside of their district, fundraising against other candidates.
The 1st and the 6th have a lot in common. Most pundits would predict that a Democrat couldn't win in either area. They were proven wrong this past November.
With those commonalities, the Congressmen stated that he wasn't sure that our current elected official represented the district in the most effective manner. He did not agree with many of her votes in Congress. He said so, with the caveat that Bachmann would surely say the same about himself.
Another rumor was that since Walz had travelled into the 6th to fundraise for Democrats, that Bachmann would travel into the Fighting 1st to fundraise for Republicans.
It brought a great deal of laughter.
Please do Congresswoman Bachmann...please do.