We Will R*ck You

Anne Martens

The delegation welcoming party was grand, at the Boston Latin School – the oldest public school in the United States. But, somebody please tell Senator Wyden that nobody should ever use the phrase “there’s a frothing of excitement” in a pump-you-up speech. After visit to the Iowa delegation at a good old Irish pub, complete with bagpipes and good beer, we headed to the Avalon for the Rock the Vote party.

The line was about four blocks long and five deep, I had to ditch the posse (you would have done the same thing), cut to the front and thank The List gods that I was on it. Howard Dean was on stage as I walked in, talking about how it’s not enough for young people to vote, instead they need to run for office, and if you can’t run for office then work for a campaign. Good advice from the good doctor. Dean was followed by Jerry Springer (!), hollering about how the U.S. is a middle class nation. I still don’t really understand Jerry’s appeal, but suffice it to say that the crowd went wild.

Then came rockers Mission to Burma, then the Kerry daughters, the Edwards daughter (Kate), and Natalie Portman. Terry McAuliffe stepped in to call Bush “the worst president in modern history” and introduced Biz Markie as “the best dj” ever. I love inclusion but it just cracks me up to see a sweet middle aged lady signing the words to “Brick House,” “I Will Survive” and that Hall & Oates classic – “I Can’t Go For That.” Rev. Sharpton got his boogie on with Biz playing James Brown’s “The Big Payback” and the ever popular sports, I mean election year, anthem, Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” The Executioners displayed some of the best team dj artistry I’ve ever seen, and then the crowd waited and waited and waited until Lauryn Hill swaggered from her SUV limo to the stage. Never did see Paul Van Dyk, but I made it back to the hotel after too many beers in time to lay down for not enough sleep.

The Rock the Vote folks are unveiling a new t-shirt, in collaboration with French Connection, which reads, “fcuk you, I’m voting.” Hey, the Bus Project had it first. I'm glad the notion is spreading, but if you're going to get one, get the original. Vote, F*cker.

This morning, after the delegation breakfast and collection of goodies (bags, books, bears, special Dem edition macaroni & cheese) I went back to my roots and hit the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus. The message police might come after me for this, but I swear all the identities are interchangeable – as in YOU are a key group and YOUR vote is up for grabs and YOU can swing this election and everything depends on YOU turning out and politicians must pay attention to YOU. For YOU, please insert Asian, Black, Latino, gay, young or whatever kind of people form affinity groups. Or, it might be more effective to just leave it at you. One participant railed that the campaign is spending $2 million on outreach to the African-American community, $1 million on the Latino community, and $0 on the Asian Pacific Islander community. Kerry campaign staff quickly assured the audience that we are valued and targeted and they’re excited to work with us. The feeling is mutual.

As for star watching, there’s lots of it, as large pods of picture seekers slowly work their way down various hallways – Vilsack, Richardson, Cleland, and Brazille were among those I saw surrounded this morning. More to come.

  • (Show?)

    Anne- great post! It's lamentable that the Asian/Pacific Islander community is usually overlooked in politics.

  • (Show?)

    I am not sure, but I think C-Span may have briefly shown part of the Oregon delegation during the musical break between speakers. I'm about 70% convinced that I just saw Serena Cruz. Which would be funny because back at Phil Busse's "second stage" launch party, I was joking with her about keeping an eye out on C-Span for the people I know.

  • (Show?)

    Heh, from Ann Coulter's column for USA Today, which the paper killed:

    "Here at the Spawn of Satan convention in Boston, conservatives are deploying a series of covert signals to identify one another, much like gay men do. My allies are the ones wearing crosses or American flags. The people sporting shirts emblazoned with the 'F-word' are my opponents. Also, as always, the pretty girls and cops are on my side, most of them barely able to conceal their eye-rolling."


  • Dylan W (unverified)

    Fabulous post! Felt like I was there. Keep the good word coming...

  • (Show?)

    And tell us which delegate had the toilet paper.


  • Sara Culp (unverified)

    Hey Anne! Keep the great not-seen-on-TV news comin' from Boston...I'm glad you're there representing US as a target demo---young, women, working, unemployed, Asian, non-Asian, urban, rural, and on and on....let's invent a new one to rival the Nascar Dads (apparently the Dems need some help focusing) next time we have a beer...Funny how normally targeting any one group for anything is considered bad.

connect with blueoregon