Confessions of a Hoosier Democrat

Blogging Indiana Politics and the 2008 Presidential Race.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The President and the Baron

Sorry for the delay and the poor quality of the pictures...

Yesterday I had the privledge of attending the fundraiser for Baron Hill featuring former President Bill Clinton. The fundraiser at the Marriott downtown featured Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson, Representative Julia Carson (D-IN 7), the candidate himself and of course former President Bill Clinton.

After nice light lunch the speaking program began. Mayor Peterson was the first to speak. He thanked everyone there for coming out to support Baron and staying involved in the political process. He then talked about how what made President Clinton a great President is that he did things that work. He used a policy of common sense rather than being one of the "51% people", people who only want to please just enough people to get them 51% of the vote to get re-elected.
"True leaders believe that they are elected to represent everybody, including the folks and maybe even especially the folks that didn't vote for them."
Mayor Peterson then went on to talk about Representative Julia Carson, praising her as the best thing to happen to Indianapolis and described her as the next "Mailman" (a la Karl Malone) because she delivers for the City of Indianapolis. Mayor Peterson then went on to talk Baron Hill. He talked about how Baron Hill brought common sense to the 9th District. "Things just seemed in control when Baron Hill was in office."

Julia Carson was then introduced. The emcee for the event talked about how he'd been watching the World Cup and knew that you can't achieve superstardom until you're known by only one name. Based on the yardsigns he's had in his yard, Julia, is truly a superstar. Representative Carson came on to talk about how she isn't apologetic to "have the unmitigated gall to say No" to the Iraq War resolution in 2002. She doesn't hate George Bush, but she hates his policies. She then went on to praise Baron Hill as one of the best Congressmen she's ever served with. She talked about how Baron Hill knew the difference between right and wrong and how could see right through Republican election year tactics of bringing up same-sex marriage and the like.

Baron Hill and President Clinton were then introduced. Baron Hill spoke for a couple of minutes. He said that President Clinton was the first Democratic President to come to a political event in Indiana since John F. Kennedy. Baron talked about how he had the privledge to support President Clinton's fiscal policy which resulted in balanced budgets, budget surpluses and tax cuts. But then the fiscal policy changed and the surpluses vanished and deficits ballooned.

Baron introduced the President who thanked the crowd for the warm welcome. He thanked various people in attendance, Joe Donnelly, Judy O'Bannon and Julia Carson.

President Clinton talked about how people ask him about his economic plans. It seems President Clinton the revolutionary idea of "arithmetic". "We had this dumb idea that if 2 and 2 was 4 in Little Rock and Indianapolis, it probably was in Washington." He said that he admires Baron Hill because even though in HS he was a track star, in Congress he was the marathon man, never giving up. President Clinton talked about how Hillary had come to Indiana in 1976 to campaign for Jimmy Carter. He talked about how the omlete principle should apply to Iraq, if you are given some eggs and you break them, it's your responsibility to try to make an omlete. It's our responsibilty to try to make democracy work in Iraq. He said he supported the Reid-Biden amendment to have some framework for a withdrawl.

President Clinton said that Washington Republicans are very different than the Republicans that you and I know, they're a narrow slice of the Republican Party that have been in control of the Government since 2001. In the 8 years that President Clinton was in office, the Democratic Party was dedicated to opportunity for every responsible citizen, an inclusive community and an America working with other country to build a world with peace, freedom, security and prosperity. We believe that the middle class is the key to the economic prosperity and our national greatness. We believe that we should be prepared to act alone, but whenever we can build relationships to work together. We believe in a government that is open and accountable. We believe that we must take some time to invest in our future. We believe that evidence is more important than ideology. We believe that compromise is an honorable thing. Consider the difference between that and the philosophy of the government since 2001. Their values are not equal opportunity, shared responsibilty and inclusive community. They believe in concentrated wealth and power in the hand of the right wing elite. They believe in a divided community in which both have been deprived. They believe that the key to economic growth and national greatness are the wealthiest Americans. In foreign policy, they believe we should act alone whenever we can because we're a great country and we got the juice. In politics, they favor ideology over evidence and attack over argument.

President Clinton talked about the 1% Solution, the theory that if there is even a 1% chance of something could happen you have to plan for it, and how people who subscribe to that theory call people like President Clinton "reality-based". The 1% Solution says that if you take action on that 1% you can change reality. Well that might be fine for something, but it shouldn't be a basis for everything. The people who believe this really do believe that concentrated wealth and power is a good thing. They believe that a secret unaccountable government is a good thing. They believe that we should be fully unencumbered by alliances and cooperative organizations as much as possible. They really do believe that ideology is more important than evidence.

President Clinton talked about how you can protect the environment and grow the economy. With regard to the tax break for alternative energy techology, he said that he told Newt Gingrich that one of his greatest accomplishments was finding a tax cut that he opposed.

President talked about how the deficits in our country are being financed by people we can't trust, China and Saudi Arabia. Yet these are the people who we're buying from hand over fist. He talked about the "Bill Clinton" tax cut (he calls it that because people in his tax bracket are the ones getting the tax cut) and how even though he supports the troops (and told a story of a friend who is a veteran with sons about to be deployed) he isn't supporting them because of the Bill Clinton tax cut. He talked about how supposedly one of the priorities of the Republicans was national security, yet they blocked the Democrat's attempt to invest in technology to scan every cargo container in our ports which would cost about $600mil. Yet the first priority of the Republicans was repealing the estate tax, which cost $200bil over 10 years. So we can afford to repeal the estate tax for 1% of the population, but we can't afford to protect 300 million American.

President Clinton then went into talking about how ridiculous the Medicare drug plan. It's illegal for Medicare to bargin with drug companies for bulk discounts, even though the Veteran's Administration and just about every major company does so.

When people say that Democrats don't stand for anything, don't believe it. It's hard for you to get the message out when the Republicans hold the White House, the House and the Senate.

This next election is about our children and grandchildren.

After President Clinton finished the mass of people crowded the rope line where he and Baron Hill shook hands. I was able to get my obligatory "across three people-no look-grab any hand" handshake.

I wanted to thank Chris for getting me and thank Indianapolis Deputy Mayor Steve Campbell for being welcoming at the table.

President Clinton works the ropeline

Baron Hill

Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson

President Clinton greets a supporter


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