(First, I don’t know why my photos turned out so dark.  Sorry.)

On Thursday, the Fisher campaign announced a rally with President Bill Clinton for Sunday evening in Cincinnati—which is considered to be Rob Portman’s base.  By Sunday, they had packed house that had to resort to having overflow seating and speakers placed outside the venue.

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The event started with Hamilton County Commissioner candidate Jim Tarbell playing the “Star-Spangled Banner” rockin’ it on the harmonica.  Complete with Jimi Hendrix riffs.  No, I’m serious.

Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory entered like a rock star.  And I don’t mean that figuratively.  It was Colbert-eque.

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Mallory, as always, is great in firing up a partisan crowd.  After warming up the crowd, Mayor Mallory talked about how Lee Fisher was the only candidate who understand that our urban areas are the backbone of Ohio’s recovery.

But I got to say something I never thought I would write.  Congressman Steve Driehaus rocked the house.  He came in to a standing ovation and thunderous applause and cheering.

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Driehaus had two great lines.  “The opposition says they want to take the country back.  I want to take the country forward!”

And then he said he was asked in 30 seconds to say what the Democrats have achieved to justifying staying in power.  He said these four things:

  • We ended the recession and prevented it from becoming a Depression.
  • The most important advancement in health care reform since the New Deal.
  • Reformed meaningful Wall Street reform (that public polling shows is the most popular thing the Democratic Congress has done, and yet, Chabot and other GOPers are running to repeal it.)
  • We ended the Iraq War.

The crowd went nuts.

Fisher

Fisher took the stage, and I have to admit that it’s not the Lee Fisher I was used to.  He was loose and energetic.  He spoke with a passion and conviction I don’t recall seeing in 1998.

He opened with “I would like to think that you are here for one reason- for me.”  He stressed the importance of early voting.  How if those of us who voted two years ago vote today we will win.

For eight years, we had George W. Bush who had a shovel.  And on one side he had John Kasich and Rob Portman, and at the other Steve Chabot, and they took a $250 billion surplus and turned it into a $1 trillion deficit before the economic meltdown.

He talked about how they are now running to replace a Democratic regime on nothing more than we haven’t fixed in twenty months what took them eight years to wreck.  And he said let there be no mistake.  If they win, they will be sworn into office with one hand on the bible, and the other on that shovel.

Lee Fisher spoke about how this election was about him, it wasn’t about the folks even in the packed auditorium.  It’s about the people who couldn’t be here because they’re sitting at their kitchen table trying to figure out how they’re going to pay the bills, pay their mortgage, and still be able to send their kids to college.

Then Clinton came on.  If Barack Obama wasn’t President, you could almost feel the crowd wanting to chant “Four more years!”  Term limits be damned.

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Bill Clinton began by reminding people that 80% of the time when you make a decision when you’re angry, you regret it later.  We have to remind people of why they’re angry and how we got here.  How we went from a $250 billion surplus to over a $1 trillion deficit before the economic meltdown.  How we saw our national debt double before the meltdown.

Clinton acknowledged that Ohio is football country and said we need to remind people to watch the game film of the team looking to take over.  He called the Republicans a 2-14 coaching team that is angling to get the 8-8 coaching team fired because it’s been 22 months and we haven’t won the Super Bowl yet.

Clinton said the way we need to get this economy going is three-fold:

  1. We need to free up money for small business.
  2. We need to promote policies that focus on redeveloping our manufacturing base.
  3. We need to focus on improving job training because we have job openings right now that our current labor market cannot fill.

Clinton pointed out that there was only one party that was in favor of those three things, and it’s the Democratic Party.

Portman opposes the President’s plan to help out small businesses by providing them with access to more capital for equipment, expansion, and hiring, even though Portman issued no qualms with publicly backing the Bush Administration’s bailout of Wall Street.

The GOP plan for manufacturing?  LOL… next.

While the GOP talks a good game about retraining, Clinton pointed out that under the budget that House Minority Whip Eric Cantor and other has been so quick to embrace…. cuts funding for federal training programs by 25%.

As we poured out of the building, the coordinated campaigns had volunteers ready to distribute yard signs.  Every state and local race has people distributing signs and people willing to take them.  It was a really blood pumpin’ event to see.

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  • We strongly suspect that neither party really knows what they’re doing, nor does any group of experts know what to do.
    This is an area of uncharted waters, and everyone has theories, including the President. He’s placing his untested theories into action, and people are uncomfortable. Even if the executed policies are the “right” ones, that is something which we will not know for several years down the road, even if then.
    This economic problem is simply too large, complex, and interconnected with the economies of other nations, over which the US has no control. To fix most things in the universe, you have to get them to sit still at least for a short period of time. This is a dynamic situation.
    If we as a society actually knew what worked, and could establish a direct cause and effect relationship with any certainty, we would have done it by now. Don’t you think?
    If the solutions were that clear cut, wouldn’t you think that the governments of some other large world economics would have placed those solutions into action already? Any self-respecting, honest person would not claim WITH CERTAINTY that what they did at point X led directly to condition Y. Who really knows that? Let’s get real folks.
    Quite frankly, we don’t think that any leader or legislative body ever KNOWS that what they do will have a specific, desired effect. Like any business person, they simply just give it their best shot and hope and pray that things will turn out OK. At least business people have more control over their smaller entities.

  • We strongly suspect that neither party really knows what they’re doing, nor does any group of experts know what to do.
    This is an area of uncharted waters, and everyone has theories, including the President. He’s placing his untested theories into action, and people are uncomfortable. Even if the executed policies are the “right” ones, that is something which we will not know for several years down the road, even if then.
    This economic problem is simply too large, complex, and interconnected with the economies of other nations, over which the US has no control. To fix most things in the universe, you have to get them to sit still at least for a short period of time. This is a dynamic situation.
    If we as a society actually knew what worked, and could establish a direct cause and effect relationship with any certainty, we would have done it by now. Don’t you think?
    If the solutions were that clear cut, wouldn’t you think that the governments of some other large world economics would have placed those solutions into action already? Any self-respecting, honest person would not claim WITH CERTAINTY that what they did at point X led directly to condition Y. Who really knows that? Let’s get real folks.
    Quite frankly, we don’t think that any leader or legislative body ever KNOWS that what they do will have a specific, desired effect. Like any business person, they simply just give it their best shot and hope and pray that things will turn out OK. At least business people have more control over their smaller entities.

  • Anonymous

    who in the feck is we?

  • Mvportraits

    Getting beyond the smoke and mirrors the Republican party and FOX NewsEntertainment spew out is the biggest obstacle. It seems honest research and using facts does not apply to Republicans. For a Republican buying American is donating to their campaigns, and if you are the high bidder you will have bought an American Politician. Everything else seems to come from China, Cambodia, and other slave labor nations, where the republicans want to lead the United States.

  • “The opposition says they want to take the country back. I want to take the country forward!”

    Almost as good as “You want your country back? Did you vote for George Bush? Then no. You fucked it up. Can’t have it back.”

    …OK. Maybe it’s even better. And no damned cursing!

  • That Clinton football analogy is spot freaking on!

  • The Institute for Applied Common Sense, of which there are three Fellows. Our views are those of the Institute, not individuals, even though one Fellow might do the posting.

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