Sunday, March 20, 2005

New York

I'm packed and ready to head for the airport on my way to New York. For the second time in a month I'm flying to the East for essentially one meeting. The novelty began to wear off midway through the last trip, and it's worn down to a nub at present. I leave today, land tonight, work the room at a fundraiser tomorrow evening, then depart Tuesday afternoon. All of which leaves me with a fair bit of free and alone time in New York City. Sadly of the major east coast cities (Philly excepted) NYC is the city in which I feel most alone and uncomfortable (probably a strong relation between those two thoughts). Neil is in classes and I don't have too many other friends in the city, so it'll be a choice between hanging out with my boss (not a good plan) or being alone. Being alone isn't always bad, but I generally don't enjoy being alone in a large city. I don't like blending in, I don't like the annonymity. Somehow it feels more like getting lost, than getting away. So that'll be one of the challenges of the next few days. Thousands of things to do and see, but will I do any of them. Stay tuned.

The reason for this trip is a fundraiser at the Harvard Club. Open only to recommended Harvard graduates, the club is posh and exclusive and I'm guessing stifling. It has a private library of 75,000 volumes. And the food we're serving is unreal. Cornish game hen stuffed with sour cherries and wild rice. And 65 dollar a plate prime rib. nice stuff. The event will have several candidates and that should be interesting, and I tend to do a good job of working a room.

I wrote my boss's speech and with some help from JKD tuned up several sections. Below is one of the better paragraphs.

After the most recent election there was a lot of discussion of values, and lots of hand wringing about how the Democrats had lost contact with their values. It seemed like everywhere, well everywhere on cable, there was this amorphous notion that Democrats lacked values. I'm hear to tell you that's crap. Democrats don't lack
values, what some of our leaders have lacked is the courage and cohesion to defend our values. We don't lack morals, values or ideals, but some in our party been unwilling to fight, to scrap, to do the hard work of reaching out to voters. It's not enough to be right, we have to be willing to fight. Democrats are not weak on national defense, not by a long shot, but some Democrats haven't been strong in
their defense of the values of this nation, and our party. Too many Democrats have been borrowing Republican talking points in an attempt to appeal to "the middle." Democrats not Republicans must determine what we stand for. All those perceived weaknesses end the moment we decide to join together, and create a broad based progressive coalition. That weakness ends, and our victories begin the moment we
see the importance of progressive values. Values like a woman's right to choose, values like a gay couple's access to all the rights and all the responsibilities of marriage. Democrats value things like hard work, which is why we protect the right of workers to organize. Democrats value the land we'll leave our children, which is why we protect the environment. These are not issues that exist in opposition
to one another, rather they describe a cohesive worldview, one focused on providing opportunity, securing freedom and promoting tolerance. These are time-tested values, the values that have defined America's progress throughout the centuries. I was always told as a child don't say you're sorry if you don't mean it, well, I'm tired of Democrats apologizing for our values. You know what, we're right, we've been
right and we need to start acting like it.

I'm not convinced that I can make a living writting speeches, but I am fairly certain that I'd enjoy such a life. I probably won't check this site till after the speech is given (god help me) by my boss, as such feel free to post comments and critiques. It'll already have happened, and I'll be a lot more mellow about it.

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