Saturday, July 26, 2008

Politics - Howard Dean "Register for Change"

Photos of Howard Dean (DNC Chair), Andrew Kaplan (MediaMensch) and Hillary Protestor

July 25, 2008 (Charlotte, NC)

The democratic national party chair, Howard Dean, is out visiting 50 states in his "Register for Change" bus.
He arrived yesterday in Charlotte, NC after starting the day in Raleigh and Greensboro. My impressions of him were just as positive in person as they were from his presidential election bid. He is down to earth, accessible, smart, and a good listener. He really seems to be genuine.. Why would he decide to spend the summer riding a bus and talking to small crowds if he wasn't passionate about uniting this country and closing the wealth gap.

Some takeaways from the tour:
1. During this registration drive in NC, volunteers should knock on your neighbors doors 3 times between now and the election to make sure not only are they registered, but can and will get to the polling place on election day. He joked that the Oregon democrats were going to it 4 times.

2. He said the US already has government run healthcare. it is called Medicare and senior citizens don't seem to want that to go away.

3. He mentioned that the democrats had not competed in the South and ceded it to the Republican party. With the mass change of demographics, it was time the democrats got their message to all americans. He essentially says that the Blue and Red state is made up. and he believes that we all are Americans.

4. There were Hillary supporters protesting the allocation of Delegates. At first, they were interrupting his speech. It was hard to believe the disrespect they had for the chair of the party. He spoke to them to ask them for their opinion and he would listen. It did quiet them down. It continues to show how fractured and fragile the democratic party is and may be a preview of what might happen at the convention.

My firm belief is that Howard Dean, Obama and the democrats are correct in the assumption that North Carolina could vote democratic in the 2008 presidential election. I get that impression from the amount of newcomers to Charlotte from places like Buffalo, PA, Ohio, NY, NJ, MA, and FL, plus the growing international population as well.

My Personal Experience with Howard Dean
After the speech, I approached him to discuss the use of Facebook and the internet as I noticed they bus tour was not on Facebook. He said "Do you think we should be on facebook?" My response was an emphatic "Yes" and he then told me to provide my business card to his "traveling assistant"..maybe they will see it says on the front "Voted #1 branding expert for Facebook" (Note: voted an article "11 Ways to Brand Yourself on Facebook". where I was ifeatured as #1 in its great minds series for 2007). .

Perhaps that might be the next chapter of MediaMensch and politics.