ODP State Dinner

This years ODP state dinner, with 2,500 in attendance was the largest dinner in two decades. Let's hope that means the Ohio Democratic Party is on an upswing.
Paul Hackett attended the ODP dinner in support of the candidates. Photos, gossip and more follows just click on read more.

This was the first ODP dinner I attended. I carpooled to Columbus with some friends. As our car approached the Veterans Memorial Hall we were surprised to see the gaggle of people outside the hall. The registration area was as large as a convention registration. That was the first hint I had this thing might be larger than a few people jammed into a ballroom at the Westin.
Each Caucus has a pre dinner reception, as well as a few candidates. People try to catch as many functions as possible. They move between the functions, trying to network with as many people they can.
I snapped this pic of Obama as he was moving between rooms.
Obama in the hallway.

I caught a function or two myself. I happened to catch up with an ex-Hackett staffer that is working for Charlie Wilson now. That got me into the private reception for Wilson with special guest Joe Biden.

Joe Biden with Charlie Wilson

Let me tell you Charlie Wilson's story.
Charlie is a State Senator running for the 6th District Congressional seat, which is currently held by Ted Strickland. (Ted decided to run for Governor instead of keeping his safe seat.) Wilson needed just 100 valid signatures to run for Congress. When Wilson's signatures were audited by the state, only 46 of the 100 signatures submitted could be verified as legal residents of the Ohio 6th. (That was before my friend was on staff.) Anyhow, that meant that he would not be on the ballot for the primary.
Wilson's campaign launched a massive effort to write in Wilson on the ballot. They even had President Clinton for a robo-call to voters.

In the hallway is a good place to catch up with people. If you stand in the hall long enough you will see everyone eventually. I snapped this photo of our favorite State Representative Candidate, Connie Pillich with Congressman Sherrod Brown and his wife Connie. I call it the two Connie's.
Catch the DL interview with Connie, you'll love her too.

Speaking of ex Hackett Staffers, it was like a Hackett staff reunion. Ex Hackett people are working for Shamansky, Kaptor and Wilson. Wilson actually has two ex Hackett staffers. Paul and Suzi were in attendance as well.

After the private receptions then you move on to smoozing in the banquet room. The room was huge. When you walk in you can see the stage, it's that speck way at the front of the room. My assigned seat was way in the back of the room. After some negotiating I managed to get reassigned to a seat up front.

The room was so large the acoustics were bad, and the sound system was a disaster. It was impossible to make out what the early speakers were saying. You can tell Joe Biden has been in the Senate since 1972. That man is long winded.

Our own Mayor Mark Mallory was given the Democrat of the year award. No pics, you know what he looks like.

The system was improved enough by the time Obama spoke you could actually make out what he was saying. This first pic is of him on a large screen,(they had four screens) the other was taken with night shot from my (new improved) seat.

The evening concluded with a speech given by Ted Strickland. His wife Frances joined him on stage and sang and played guitar. (I would give you a review, but by that time I was out in the lobby catching up with old friends.)

Of course the night really concluded at a bar in the short north, where the bloggers got together to trash talk. By the way, we need to bottle short north and sell it here. It was hopping, even though it was raining like cats and dogs.

Next year join the carpool.

No comments: