Baron Dave Romm and Hillary Clinton
Emily's List -- Early Money Is Like Yeast -- a political fundraising organization, the largest PAC in the country -- "is dedicated to building a progressive America by electing pro-choice Democratic women to federal, state, and local office". They're doing exceptionally well, and the 2006 election was very good for them. The Majority Council Conference (ie big donors, like my mother) took place at the Omni Shoreham hotel.
Any convention has echoes of a science fiction convention for me, the MCC doubly so. The minute I stepped out of the elevator, heading to the room, it hit me: Discon II, my first Worldcon in 1974. The World Science Fiction Convention in Washington DC was held across the street at the Wardman Park and I didn't go in to check, but the Shoreham seemed so familiar. The Conference was half the size of the 2007 Minicon: 190 attendees (according to a staffer), 60 Emily's List people as concom (though they didn't use fannish terminology) with various elected officials as guests. I was one of the few Anthro-Americans in attendance; I don't think there were four other men. All the programing was in one room, with meals in another and a cocktail reception in a different area.
The sessions were a mix of "hooray us!" and "this is how we did it", sprinkled liberally (of course) with "thank you, now give more money" boosterism. All the speakers were top-notch, and I really got a sense of optimism for the political process that has been in abeyance for many years.
Hillary Rodham Clinton was the Big Name speaker on Monday night. She gave her standard stump speech (I've heard parts of it for a long time), emphasizing how tough it was as a woman in a man's world. She was best when off-script, answering questions from the audience. Clearly, she is smart, dedicated and knows how to win a crowd. In front of the friendliest crowd she's likely to have in her campaign, I gave her talk about a B+.
I'd give all the other female elected officials who spoke at least an A and some an A+. I missed Amy Klobuchar (my senator) to hear my brother speak near the Capitol, but several newly elected Congresswomen were on hand, and they were all smart and excited. Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius (one of my favorite politicians, male or female) and Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill were terrific, gaining energy from being on the same podium together.
I have hope for the 2008 elections. It's time for adults to run the White House and extend their majorities in the House and Senate. I don't know how the Democratic primaries will play out, but the election is the Democrats' to lose, and the Republicans are doing everything in their power to go down in flames. If Clinton wins the nomination, she will win the presidency. Hillary will make a great president.