Pete Talbot had a great “takeaways” post today. I encourage you to read it HERE. I wanted to offer another “takeaways” post in regards to the Montana Democrats’ Mansfield-Metcalf Dinner (M&M). So, here are my 8 takeaways from the 2015 M&M Dinner.
1. Angela McLean is the Democratic Party’s current superstar
“Keep an eye on Lieutenant Governor Angela McLean. I hadn’t seen her in action before but believe she could be headed for higher office. Of the Montanans speaking, she gave the most rousing speech — much hooting and hollering, and many standing ovations,” wrote Pete Talbot. He’s completely right. No one does a better job getting Democrats off their asses than McLean. She is going to be a force to be reckoned with.
Prior to being tapped by Governor Bullock for the LG position, McLean was apparently looking to run for OPI. She would have been great in that position, but my guess is that she’s running for Governor in 6 years. No one has done more to create a political network of support as quickly as she has.
2. Labor got some deserved attention, but not enough
Last week I wrote a “plea” to Montana Democrats. You can read that HERE. Democrats – from the grassroots to the insiders – seem to have forgotten that labor is the movement that allows for all other movements within progressive politics. To underplay their significance or importance is politically obtuse. Both Nancy Keenan and Angela McLean gave labor big shout-outs. The rest of the speakers were less vocal and that was disappointing.
3. Hillary Clinton is running for President
In case you hadn’t heard, Hillary Clinton is running for President. One of Hillary’s biggest boosters – Montana’s own Stephanie Schriock – made it to M&M. However, while some Democrats were spotted wearing Hillary lapel stickers and carrying placards, the enthusiasm for her was less than palpable.
4. Denise isn’t running
Juneau made it clear that she isn’t running for anything. It’s not surprising. What did people think she would run for? Congress in 2016 and Governor in 2018 are possibilities, but we’ll have to wait and see.
5. Monica has a new banner
Monica Lindeen has a new banner because she’s running for Secretary of State. She also gave an impassioned speech in support of the ACA. Well done.
6. Linda gave her best speech
Secretary of State McCulloch gave her best speech to date. She didn’t go on and on about being “proud to be a Democrat.” Instead, she took it to the Republican, dropped the mic, and walked off stage. “Republicans wouldn’t know a good bill if it bit them in the ass,” she said before walking off stage. She was referring to the GOP’s opposition to online voter registration.
7. There are other candidates out there
Melissa Romano, a Helena schoolteacher was out in full force last night. She is running for OPI and appears to have the backing of MEA-MFT and Denise Juneau. It also sounds like Jesse Laslovich is getting close to announcing his candidacy for State Auditor. Best of luck to both of them.
8. Carville has an accent
Carville was funny, although I’m sure some of my fellow Montanans had a bit of trouble with that southern accent. He did a great job and it was fun to have such a big personality as the keynote.