Jefferson-Jackson Dinner Liveblog

Filed in National by on November 7, 2011

John Daniello gave the introduction, noting the Union hall we are in has a roster of out of work members – and that jobs would be the key agenda of the night.

Gov. Jack Markell gave the key note, with an early acknowledgement of the Plumbers and Pipe Fitters Union. He then reviewed the Democratic Party’s electoral successes, and how many office we control now vs. in decades past (noting that John Burris was in attendance). This was followed by a comparison of politics and policies in Delaware vs. other states (and DC) – noting our bond rating, atmosphere of cooperation, teacher hiring, civil unions, etc. He generated significant applause inviting those who want to fight for something (jobs, equality, etc) rather than against someone to come to Delaware. He thanked his family and the attendees for all the work they do.

There are about 10-15 Occupy Delaware protesters outside on the other side of the driveway by the parking lot. They are holding signs and were having a polite conversation with some attendees who came out to note support for shared goals.

Pete Schwartzkopf honored Mitch Crane for the Sussex Democrats, although it was brief (as KWS was in attendance). Matt Denn praised Nancy Cook, the Kent honoree, at length, crediting her in part for Delaware’s bond rating. He also had a zinger about Republican being unable to find someone to run against Markell for “longer than Kim Kardashian’s marriage”. KWS was up next for Wilmington, honoring activist and committeewoman Judith Giofre (and generating only muted applause).

Chris Coons is up, and he’s on fire. Lots of zingers about how poisonous the political atmosphere is in DC (“any day in Delaware is better than a day in DC”) and his freshman classmates in the senate (He said he told his wife “Honey, in six other states they elected Christine O’Donnell”). He praised unions, the protesters (“they should be mad!”), and Delaware Democrats in general. He talked about compromise, but also emphasized that when Republican refuse to give up an inch (noting the Lucy-and-the-football quality to GOP negotiations), we have to fight for our principles; and that the president was “finally” learning that. He noted that he’d better get to the point (because the Eagles game is starting soon), and effusively praised the hard work and selfless attitude of Committeewoman Jayne Fernsler on behalf of New Castle County. Coons is a fantastic speaker and the highlight of the night.

Bob Gilligan delivered a moving eulogy for Rep. Hazel Plant, presenting an award which her daughter Mary accepted. Likewise, John Carney presented a posthumous award to Wayne John Pollari, former chairman of the Brandywine Hundred Democratic Party, who passed away last month. Carney’s speech was a bit muted but very heartfelt. Polari’s daughter Andrea accepted the award, emphasizing the Democratic values she was raised with.

Tom Carper presented the final award to Kristin Barnekov-Short, wife of Rep. Byron Short, for her campaign work on behalf of Coons, Carney, and numerous local Democrats. His introduction was folksy and mentioned the Eagles. After the award, Carper closed with a more somber note about how important the upcoming election is. He said if Republicans controlled all 3 branches of gov’t for the past 3 years, America would no longer have an auto industry, and noted other accomplishments of the current administration.

Photos of the protesters:


It was pretty dark out there, so you can see the signs about as well as I could.

About the Author ()

X Stryker is also the proprietor of the currently-dormant poll analysis blog Election Inspection.

Comments (17)

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  1. MJ says:

    The DL table is also behaving tonight.

  2. pandora says:

    That’s because I couldn’t make it!

  3. Really good recap by XStryker.

  4. cassandra m says:

    I don’t know about behaving. We got a pretty resounding response from the room when we gave Mitch Crane a standing O for his award tonite.

    And thanks to XStryker who liveblogged this thing and missed both his dinner and dessert to do it.

  5. Delaware Dem says:

    Excellent reporting by XStryker.

  6. Delaware Dem says:

    Yes, we had the DL and PDD tables stand up and cheer loudly for Mitch Crane.

  7. Aoine says:

    and of course Mitch’s table did that too!!

  8. Aoine says:

    did anyone get a shot of Rep Kowlako protesting WITH the protestors – complete with sign??

    if you didnt I have it if you want it-great job xstryker – I woud have said hello but you were too busy typing away

    Someone asked if you were tweeting – I said no- too many characters

  9. Watched some of Maddow’s interview last night with a bishop who had marched with the NYC OWS movement. As they reflected on the ‘morality of economics’ as a newish subject line and the Pope’s lobbying for the Robinhood tax on Wall Street transactions, I was reminded of how often Coons jumps on his divinity affinity while campaigning. What I am hoping for is his using those considerable skills of his to this end. How about some more preaching for increasing taxes for the one percenters?

    BTW, not too surprising to hear John Burris was in the crowd for an evening of waving flags and crowing for trade union jobs. The construction trades are the maybe beneficiaries of Burris firm’s Roger Roy’s lobbying for the Stoltz madness in Greenville.

    It it still uncertain whether very many Delaware workers will benefit from the Stoltz projects any more than they are benfitting from the current construction at the University of Delaware.

  10. Valentine says:

    I could have done without the prayer.

  11. Mrs XStryker says:

    Did he seriously miss dinner and dessert to liveblog this, Cass? Wow. That’s hard to believe.

  12. cassandra m says:

    I think he got in some salad and rolls, but the dinner and dessert were largely untouched. Blogging dedication! It’s why we miss him over here…..

  13. John Manifold says:

    KWS looked forlorn. It was a Mitch Hall.

  14. Aoine says:

    oh yes it was!!

  15. MJ says:

    KWS looked lost. Elliott was looking for the buffet.

  16. MJ says:

    Mrs. X – I tried to be a Jewish mother to him and kept telling him to eat, eat tatalah. But he was dedicated to the live blog.

  17. Great blogging, X-Stryker.

    Kristin Barnekov-Short is one of the best campaign managers I’ve ever witnessed, Spouse Division or Open Division. She and Anita Van Sant are/were the gold standard. And both of their spouses had the great common sense to be the candidate, and to let them do what they do best–manage the campaign.