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BuelahWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 01:45 AM
Original message
Notes from the Harken Steak Fry
About 150 of us from the KS/MO area took two buses up to Indianola today to support Gov. Dean and hear the candidates and our last elected President Bill Clinton speak. We first had a rally for Dean about a mile down the road from the SF. I'm not sure how many people were there in the rain, but we spilled out from the covered picnic area. The buses full of people kept coming and coming!

Dr. Dean did not disappoint. He gave a rousing speech and seemed really happy that he had supporters from so many states attending the steak fry. Besides MOKan, there was IA (of course), IL, MT, MI, WI, DC and even a guy who said he was from Alaska! And yes, I saw more than a few Dean/Clark 2004 shirts and banners.

Back into the bus to crawl at a snails pace to the Steak Fry. I heard they had expected to sell 5000 advance tickets this year, but they actually sold 7500. That's not counting what was bought at the door. And, contrary to what CSpan said, I didn't see any angry Democrats. I did see alot of happy ones, even though we were sliding around in the mud and we had at least a drizzle of rain at all times.

I must confess I didn't hear too many of the candidates speak, because I was in a long line for food (hadn't eaten since 6 am). But I DID get to hear (and see) our last REAL President. Bill Clinton looks and sounds better than ever! He's lost alot of weight, looks healthier than I've ever seen him, and, as most of you heard, he gave a rousing speech. Man, it was good to hear a REAL President talk again! Afterwards, he went over by the fence where hundreds of people were clamoring to touch him and held signs that said "We Miss You." You won't see Shrub doing something like this anytime soon. My friend Jeni got him to sign her Dean t-shirt. Now she can't ever wear it, but I think's she's going to frame it.

While I didn't see my fave candidate upclose and personal, both Dennis Kucinich and Carol Mosely Braun were out greeting people as they left for the parking lots and the buses. Dennis got on a few of the buses (not ours, because it was late getting there ;( to talk to folks. I have to say he generates alot of positive energy just walking by you and is very good looking in person. He smiled and said hello to all of us hanging out waiting for the bus.

I'm not sure where the other Congressmen/Senators went, but I know there was a high payers society so maybe they were hobnobbing with them while Clinton spoke. Edwards did hang around for a little while to greet Clinton, then left before his speech. I saw Graham, Moseley-Braun and Kucinich on stage with Clinton, but not Dean. Of course, I couldn't see very well, so perhaps he was out of my line of sight.

After being up almost 24 hours, I'm extremely tired and I came home with my feet dirtier than they've been since I was 5 years old. However, I wouldn't have missed this for the world. Thanks Senator Harkin for throwing a fantastic party!

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RevolutionStartsNow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 01:55 AM
Response to Original message
1. Thanks for the report!
Too funny about standing in line for food and missing most of the speeches...I hate it when that happens!

I saw the photos in the Gallery, looks like a sea of Dean people there. But there are no real wide crowd shots, so I'm curious what the turnout was like for the other candidates. Should have been a lot of Gep people there. What did you think? (Great idea for the Dean people to all wear orange; makes them stand out.)
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BuelahWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. My friend saw a big sign that said Steelworkers for Gephardt
but not much else. Gep had been there and gone before we got there. You'd think he'd have hung around awhile himself since Iowa's supposed to be one of his strongholds.

We got the orange t-shirts at the Dean rally before the Steak Fry.
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NJCher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 02:10 AM
Response to Original message
2. Clinton's speech
I watched it on C-Span and probably saw you guys because there sure were a lot of Dean signs!

Saw Clinton's speech, too. He is positively skinny now. I could really notice the weight loss in his face and the way the shirt draped on him. I guess it's OK; he has charisma either way.

I was kind of interested in the comments made by the C-Span reporter who interviewed the Washington Post reporter, whose name escapes me at the moment. He noted that Clinton is quite capable of rousing the crowd but did not do so during this speech. The reporter attributed it to his recognition that it's the candidates' moment; not his. So much for all those R-W claims that he's a hopeless egomaniac who can't stay out of the spotlight.

His speech outlined what the issues should be for Dems and he emphasized that the American public does not know the real impact of these tax cuts. Using himself as an example, he noted how he would get a big fat tax cut but that would be at the expense of policemen losing thier jobs (he cited the number, which I have subsequently forgotten) and noted that Harkin was able to get it so the cuts only affected 25,000 police losing their jobs, 80,000 students would lose their scholarships (this personally affects me right there as I see the struggles these students are going through to pay their tuition) and other cuts in programs. You could tell he was personally outraged because he did not see the value in his having money at the expense of societal investments.

Thanks for the first-hand report. It was very interesting, especially after having watched the whole thing on TV.


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CWebster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:16 AM
Response to Original message
3. Kerry and Edwards left
Graham, Kucinich, Mosely-Braun and Dean remained on the stage behind Clinton.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:24 AM
Response to Original message
4. Lots of photos from the Steak Fry and a pic of Dean and Clinton at podium
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sugarcookie Donating Member (563 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #4
13. Great photos
Edited on Mon Sep-15-03 07:51 PM by sugarcookie
Looked them over last night. My cousins from Greenfield, IA were at the steak fry and I was looking to see if they were in any of them.

edit: spelling
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radfringe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 06:28 AM
Response to Original message
5. Valuing Families
on and off for a few weeks I've been mentioning that the Dem's need to reframe the "family value" issue that repugs have been shoving in our faces since 1992

As we all know the repugs are long on rhetoric and hot air but short on action.

I had written to the Dean campaign and suggested that they re-frame the "family values" argument to "Valuing Families", I had also posted these ideas here on the DU

If Repugs really "VALUED FAMILIES" then why are programs such as after-school care for kids being cut, why are job-training programs being cut, why do we have millions of Americans without healthcare???

When you value something - you take care of it, you nurture it - you don't just blow alot of hot air on it.

Anywhoooo - John Kerry tossed that tidbit out in his speech at the Harkin Steak Fry yesterday....

Not sure if it's a case of GMTA, or if Kerry's staff is reading the DU...

In any event, and on the chance that other candidate staffers are reading the DU - here's another suggestion

A National Goal to break the oil habit - not sure what the time line would be reasonable and attainable (10-20 years?) - such a goal would stimulate job growth, advance technologies, would be good for the environment. And since our power infrastructure is in need of upgrading, this may also be a good time to start "rebuilding" it with an eye towards renewable energy sources instead of patching it with band-aids...
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dofus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:04 PM
Response to Original message
7. I was also on the bus from Kansas City.
The first bus to be precise. Which one were you on?

I would say a good 40 percent of the people there were wearing either the orange t-shirt, which was passed out at the rally, or some other Dean t-shirt. Maybe half.

The crowd photos don't do justice, because we were in a very large field, the one that's used for the big hot air balloon thing. I understand it's normally held at a different, smaller (maybe indoor?) venue, but the crowd this year was too large. And considering that it drizzled on and off all day, and was a bit chilly, the turnout becomes even more amazing.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:52 PM
Response to Original message
8. hey thanks so much for the report! Lots of us were glued to C-Span and it
really was a BIG EVENT! Your observations make it all the more real. I woke up this morning very happy after watcheing the "Steak Fries.! I't the first time in a long time.....I felt good about America! The energy was so great to see.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
9. Thanks for the report!
I missed all of it on CSPAN except for the end of Clinton's speech; saw the candidates that stayed on stage with him.
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indigo32 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 12:03 PM
Response to Original message
10. I was there!
I came with a large group from MN, we rented a couple large vans. It was one of my first opportunities to really get to know some of the supporters.... including a woman who is basically working full time (but is not staff). It was a pretty wide ranging group as far as age and occupation went. The rally was great. I was up quite close, and Dean has a great smile :) We then slogged through the mud walking to the Steak Fry. It was funny because Joe Trippi walked too... almost right beside me LOL. I too chose to just listen to the candidates via loudspeaker as I waited in line for food. Couple things I noticed. An excited group of Graham supporters huddling as I walked in. I think he was giving them a rally on site like Dean did off site. I was pleasantly surprised to see that. TONS of Kerry signs. I was also approached by a draft Wesley Clark worker while waiting in line. He told us that he was announcing Wed. Should be an interesting ride.

I would very much have liked to shake Dean and Carol Mosely Brauns hand. I missed her on the way out... and am not sure if I ever could have gotten close enough to Dean.

Clinton rocked the house...of course. I loved the line about 'falling in love, then falling in line" :) Will do.

Anyway despite the endless mud and wet... it was WELL WORTH THE TRIP. I had a great day.
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sugarcookie Donating Member (563 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. Any from Rochester?
My aunt (who lives in Greenfield, IA) said one of her sons came in from Rochester to see Dean.
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ISUGRADIA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
11. A great report, classicfilmfan
I was impressed that Clinton stayed around and greeted people along the length of the ropeline. At one point it looked like he was leaving so I gave up and left from where I was waiting. I looked back about 15 minutes later and hightailed it back there when I noticed the Pres vehicles were still there and I could see camera lights.

Was about 5 feet from Clinton as he shook hands. The grey hair looks fab in person and he seemed to be in great shape. Was able to get a photo of Clinton to a secret service guy and get it signed! Clinton was great on this to as he probably signed items from 30 people in the SUV that he was travelling in. It was almost 7:00 by this time so he must have worked the fence for a good hour or so.

I really respect him for caring about the people who braved the rain to see him.

Great turnout given a) the rain and b) it was on the day of the Iowa-Iowa State football game.

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prolesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 07:07 PM
Response to Original message
12. Great report!
Sounds like quite a memorable experience. I would have loved to have been there. I only caught part of the CSPAN rebroadcast. I hope they post the file on their Web site.
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