8:45 Jill & James K show up. Jill lived with us for a year about 6 years ago to finish high school. James was my son Sean's best friend in Kindergarten. We talk a bit.
9:00 Things sorta start. Joan Jett plays some songs with a guy she introduces as having been in Tommy James and the Shondells. She sounds OK, but apparently they never worked out actual duo arrangements for full band song, so there are stretches where they just bang on bar chords, and you're supposed to imagine a guitar solo or something. Oh, and she gives a pretty diffuse endorsement of Dean that has something to do with her playing USO tours in Afghanistan and Kosovo.
9:30 Spittle flinging Union guy from SEIU gives a speech. Say 'only one prescription will fix X: a doctor in the White House' where X is some problem. I resist the tempation to yell "MORE COWBELL!"
9:45 Janeane Garafalo comes out, and does a completely random, barely coherent standup for a few minutes. Given that she only has to do 10 minutes, and that she's had to do it 4 or 5 times in the last couple of days, I wonder why. Didn't she start out making a living with standup? She's proud to support Dean, not clear why.
10:00 Joan Jett again. Apparently Dean and Harkin are not in the building yet. She plays "I Love Rock & Roll" -- well enough. Nice crowd accompaniment. I realize that the song owes it's staying power to the fact that people really do love rock and roll, but not when it's too loud and scary.
10:00 Some other guy comes out and thanks a bunch of people for something or other.
Blabs on and on. Finally says "are we ready?"
10:10 Dick Myers (Dean's Iowa campaign chair) comes out and whips up crowd. Introduces Harkin.
10:30 Harkin comes out. Congratulates capacity crowd for being so capacity-y. Says he endorses Dean because America Needs Change. No real explanation as to why Dean over, e.g. Al Sharpton, but he had crowd at first awkward roundhouse punch. Makes weird Rosa Parks reference, quotes her as saying "My feets is tired, but my soul is at rest." and tells crowd that on caucus night that their feets will be tired but their soul will be at rest.*
10:45 Dean comes out. Very hoarse, but obviously pumped up; there's a thousand people in the room which is a big crowd. Says it's the biggest crowd he's seen. Crowd roars. Gives speech that alternates Bush bashing, and exhorting people that at the caucus they will be "taking back America." I've noticed before that he really likes to rhetorically turn the tables on an audience and try and make the speech about them; I think an essential part of his appeal and momentum and organization has been this "IT'S ABOUT YOU" thing -- it makes people who work for him feel important, like they're the real story, and he's just this guy that acts as their focus. I'm not sold; his whole plan is to try and scale up what he did in Vermont to the whole US. One thing you learn in Engineering is that techniques that work in a small system often don't scale up very well. I think he'd be a decent president -- his hearts in the right place, and he's pretty smart, and flexible enough ideologically to make the comprimises government demands. I'm not so sure that if he wins the caucus, that his campaign will scale up nationally eiter.
11:05 After standing up for 3 hours I walk back to the car. I pass up the chance to buy a 'Deany Baby.'