After getting my credentials this morning and eating some Thai food for lunch, I hopped in a cab with Aldon Hynes and David Weinberger and headed across the Charles to a rally for a group called Campaign for America’s Future which seemed geared toward inspiring progressive youth to support the Democrats and not stray into the Nader camp.
There was a huge crowd waiting to get in but we were whisked inside with our press credentials and got inside the room pretty easily. It was packed full, standing room only, with a huge press gaggle waiting for Moore to show up. He was late (“on Michael Moore time”) and some of the journalists were ignoring the current speaker to yak loudly on their cell phones about how they were about to give up and leave.
Howard Dean gave a wonderful speech, perhaps a preview of his address this evening, that was incredibly well received and eventually reached a fever pitch (although with no insightly screaming). He exhorted everyone to get involved in the process beyond simply voting.
Dean also touched on the Theresa Heinz “shove it” tempest in a teapot, noting that the reporter who she said it to worked for a Richard Mellon Scaife funded paper. Perhaps as one feisty character to another, Dean said:
Kerry’s gonna win this just because of his wife. Isn’t she great? Let’s hear it for Theresa Kerry. Tell it like it is, baby!
This got big cheers.
Robert Reich gave a good speech on the economic sleight-of-hand practiced by Republicans, and Karl Pope from the Sierra Club gave a strong speech as well, but it was clear that the audience was on tenterhooks waiting for Moore, and he delivered the goods.
I’m going to do a separate post on Moore’s speech because there were so many quotable bits in it. It was perhaps one of the best politically oriented speeches I’ve ever heard in my life, and he had the crowd in the palm of his hand.