Conference: Howard Dean’s speech

Ed Davey is currently introducing Howard Dean and doing his level best to hitch the Lib Dems to the Obama wagon. You have to feel sympathy for the man. I was lucky enough to be one of the bloggers interviewing him this morning (full write up coming soon), and we did our best to prod the same sort of indiscretion out of him. As a broadly left-wing sympathiser in terms of British politics, could he detect differences between us and Labour? No dice.

And indeed Howard Dean begins with a disclaimer “to put off the international incident” by saying that the Democratic Party will work with whoever the British people elect to serve them.

Dean starts by saying he has some small experience of Britain and how it has changed. He spent a year at a British public school about thirty-five years ago (“Good god, he hates us,” is the assessment of the LDV cupboard).

12.26 It’s just as well I’m not in the hall or I would be making a cheering spectacle of myself. He’s describing the Democrats’ essential strategy of “behaving like a national party”, asking everybody for their vote, including people who they had not asked before, in many cases for decades. This was, essentially, a question I asked him this morning, about the contrast between the 50 state strategy and the Liberal Democrat emphasis of heavily targeting resources – even to the point of importing activists.

He also says it’s important to use the language of the people you’re talking to – not to change your message, but to put it in terms of what you have in common. He cites the example of young evangelical Christians in the US electorate – they were concerned about international poverty, Darfur and climate change. All Democrat issues. There is no person in America, he believes, who cannot be asked to vote Democrat.

He then talks about the flaws of isolationism, especially in terms of the global economic crisis. America is now seeking to rebuild relationships around the world, with no junior partners. The Obama administration is committed to responsible withdrawal from Iraq.

At this point I’m afraid I disappeared upstairs to tempt outgoing speech-listeners to our upcoming LDV fringe event ce soir. “Have a picture of Obama, as personally torn up by me.” The flyers are two A5s to a side of A4 and we don’t have any scissors. I think it just adds to our enthusiastic amateur image. And I am sticking to that.

But I can tell you that the speech was packed out into the fire exits and overran by twenty minutes but nobody seemed to mind. Warm applause to end, and my flyers were gone in about half a minute. Read up on the bits of the speech I missed while walking up and up and round and round the Harrogate conference centre spiral walkway here.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in Conference.
Advert

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • Michael BG
    Matt Wardman, Haven’t governments for over 50 years been saying they have been encouraging businesses to invest to increase productivity? What could the go...
  • Joe Bourke
    Greece made vaccines mandatory for those over 60, while Austria has also mandated the jab from February in a bid to stem the spread of Covid. Germany seems to w...
  • Jenny Barnes
    nigel hunter ".In coalitions we will always make friends AND enemies." mm. it's probably best not to make enemies of one's own party, though....
  • John Marriott
    Quite right, David. Scotland had its own king back then. Actually it was the other Mary (Queen of Scots), wasn’t it?...
  • Nonconformistradical
    @Simon R " Compared to the UK, I believe France tends to have a slower/more onerous bureaucratic framework " You believe? do you have actual evidence - please...