If you were in Cincinnati yesterday, you probably know the Reds are hot, the Bengals are gearing up for the season and Team Democrat is “Fired up and ready to go.” By the time President Bill Clinton stepped onto the stage for the Rally for Democratic Victory, historic Memorial hall was electric with a capacity crowd and charged up with the kind of team spirit you’d expect to find at Paul Brown Stadium or Great American Ball park. The shouts, cheers and applause gave the political rally the feel of fans cheering for the home team.
Acknowledging the Homeless
There was one somber acknowledgment before the party began. A minister took a few moments during his invocation to acknowledge the homeless in Washington Park. He talked about poverty and the people across the street not having a place to lay their heads. There were a few people in Washington Park during the rally, but they kept to the Vine Street side.
On the Elm Street side facing Memorial Hall, the homeless and other local residents were barely noticeable. Perhaps they wanted to stay away from all the police cars, horse mounted officers and all those Democrats invading their neighborhood. Judging from the non-reaction of Washington Park locals, to them the Democratic party members could have been just another opera or ballet crowd headed to Music Hall.
Republicans stayed home, as well; and conspicuously absent were Tea Party protest signs, angry marchers and mobs chanting “Take Back America.”
Remember high school football rallies, the team colors, cheer leaders, sports metaphors and everybody from the principal to the coach working the crowd into a frenzy. By the time the star players took their places before the crowd, the excitement was at a fever pitch. That’s exactly how it was at the Rally for Democratic Victory in Cincinnati.
Bill Clinton was the team star, of course; but before he walked on stage, plenty of Ohio Democrats took their turns firing up the crowd.
Mark Mallory – Mayor of Cincinnati, Urban Centers, “The Backbone of Ohio’s Economy”
Cincinnati Mayor Mallory wore dark glasses, raised his arms in the air and strutted to center stage looking more like a rock star than a cheerleader. “Cincinnati!,” he shouted, slipping into pep rally style. “Democrats!” he screamed; and the crowd yelled in return. Mallory talked about his support for Lee Fisher. Years ago Lee Fisher served with Mallory’s father in the Ohio State legislature.
“…There are issues we need to deal with,” Mayor Mallory said; then he talked about urban centers as “…the backbone of Ohio’s economy…” Before he left the stage, he took a shot at Republicans and “trickle down economics.”
Todd Portune – President Hamilton County Commission – “16 Days”
“Democrats!,” Commission President Portune shouted. “This is a rally.”
He talked about how the election actually begins in 16 days with the beginning of early voting in Ohio. “When you vote, vote the judges first,” he reminded the crowd. He and Mayor Mallory then acknowledged each endorsed Democratic candidate by name. Those candidates who were present stood for a round of cheers and applause.
Alicia Reece – State Representative “the Fighting Thirty-third”
The Mayor introduced Alicia Reece as “State Representative for the fighting thirty-third (district).” Reece pumped up the crowd with phrases like “..taking it up a notch,” “..taking it to the streets,” and “working day and night if we have to.”
“We’re ready for round two and we’ll go for twelve rounds if we have to,” she said. Before Reece introduced Congressman Driehaus, she asked a few final questions: “Are we ready to fight? Are we ready for jobs? Are we ready to stand up to the Tea Party and the Republicans?” The crowd shouted “Yes.”
Congressman Steve Driehaus – “Take America Forward”
“Fired Up,” Driehaus said three times as he stepped to the lectern. As they did during 2008 political rallies, the crowd responded each time, “..and ready to go.” Driehaus then talked about the past two years and the 300 times he’d had to say “…we passed that in the house but it stuck in the Senate..” “..And that’s why we need to elect Lee Fisher to the US Senate.”
Driehaus added, “They’re all out there saying ‘take America back. Take America back’ I say take America forward.”
Ohio Treasurer Kevin Boyce – Candidate for Treasurer of Ohio – “Stand up and be counted.”
“Hamilton County!,” Boyce shouted, “If you’re fired up and ready to go let me hear you say yeah!” The crowd said “Yeah” and Boyce talked about his appointment as Ohio’s treasure. He’s on the ballot for that position this fall. “This is our time. This is our moment. Stand up and be counted….” he said.
Lee Fisher – Lieutenant Governer of Ohio – Candidate US Senate – “Somebody had a shovel and his name was George W Bush.”
This was a Cincinnati Democratic rally, but the stage was set with a backdrop of ‘Lee Fisher U S Senate 2010′ campaign signs. As the Lieutenant Governor walked on stage the crowd chanted “Lets’ go Lee. Let’s go Lee.” He strutted and danced a little as they chanted, then he waved Reece, Portune, Mayor Mallory, Representative Mallory, Jim Tarbell, Boyce and Driehaus to the stage. He called them “friends” who made it possible for him to get the Democratic nomination. He talked about pretending the crowd was there for him and him only and introduced the “shovel” theme.
“Somebody had a shovel and his name was George W Bush,” Fisher said. “He (Bill Clinton) hands George Bush a surplus of 250 billion dollars. Eight years later he (George W Bush) hands Barack Obama a deficit of 1.3 trillion dollars.”
He stopped the crowd from booing when he talked about Republican opponents Steve Chabot, John Kasich and Rob Portman; but he explained to the crowd, “they were all at the scene of the crime.”
President Bill Clinton – Anger, Apathy and Amnesia – “Remind people of the facts.”
When Team Democrat star, Bill Clinton, walked on stage, the crowd stood up and cheered. “I love my country,” Bill Clinton began. Then he spoke about angry Americans having every right to be angry. “We should support that anger,” he said. He also talked about doing something constructive with that anger then addressed voter apathy and amnesia.
In keeping with the rally theme, Bill Clinton slipped into a sports metaphor, speaking about football, the Ohio State Buckeyes and how coaches look at game films and go over stats instead of relying on ideology to win games. He spoke of losing seasons and winning seasons and how people are angry so they aren’t looking at the stats of the team that had an 8 year losing record versus the 21 month Democrat winning record. “If we remind people of the facts, Lee Fisher will win this race,” Clinton said.
Clinton continued with the “shovel” theme. “We were in a deep hole. We’ve at least quit digging.” The crowd cheered. “The question is what are we going to do now to dig our way out of it?” What are we going to do now and who is more likely to do it?”
Attended and taped Rally