Kerry Visits Cincinnati- DL Cinci is There

Senator John Kerry met with key volunteers from the '04 campaign this morning. Yours truly was lucky enough to be invited to talk with the Senator. Senator Kerry was on time; even though he had just concluded a "meeting" with local "business people". He was very gracious; he made a point to talk with each person individually and thanked us for all our hard work. We all sat down and talked.

We all assumed we were there as a way for him to gauge whether or not he had support locally for another run. Instead what we were a party too was a roundtable discussion on how Democrats can pull together and win in 2008. Luckily for him soon after the '04 election Kerry volunteers and various 527 volunteers got together to hash out what went wrong and published a report, entitled Campaign Lesson's Learned. We presented the Senator with a bound copy and he immediately leafed through it and started asking questions.

Many ideas were discussed, some of the highlights were:

Consultants. Specifically media consultants. By the way, if you read Crashing the Gate and have an inquiring mind, the Kerry campaign did not pay a commission on the Media Buys.

Voter Suppression: Kerry said that he is sponsoring Count Every Vote act, which I assume is still sitting somewhere in DC, since the Republicans have no interest in counting every vote.
House Bill 3, which would require voters to present a form of identification such as a driver’s license before casting a vote. (I call it a poll tax.) Kerry mentioned how it would affect seniors in nursing homes, who really don't need driver's license anymore. (Reminder, make sure Grandma has an I.D., so she can vote, I'm sure she wants to go out and get an I.D. card that she will never use.)

Religion: He talked about how he hates that the right has co-opted Religion. He is a religious man, as well as many other dems. Another Kerry volunteer offered that the "religious question" in the African American community should be addressed. She mentioned that the community feels like the Democrats aren't voicing their values. It's as thought they have none.
She talked about how African American voters are feeling slighted by the Democrats. They want to have fundraisers on Sunday, a day when many African Americans are in church all day. The Democrats would never ask a Jewish person to a fundraiser on a Saturday.
Another item that came up is repeatedly the African American community is not contacted till the week before the election. If they are lucky they get a call 3 weeks out.

A suburban community leader talked about how his area is overwhelmingly Republican, but his club is growing. They have events and the club is growing more each year. It's new but his people are starting to run for office, some get elected, but the process is beginning. The word is getting out. He mentioned that you have to be a part of the community to be elected.
(I'm telling you it's all about building the grassroots. Don't wait, do it now. It's up to us!)

Kerry said he would like to come back and visit a community. Talk to the people. So look for him to visit again.

No one asked him if he was planning on running again. We were all taken aback by him coming here trying to find out how to build the party. Maybe someone in DC, is hearing our plea.

I'm not ready to get on any Kerry train, but I feel for the first time there might be a bit of leadership in the Democratic Party.

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