(maggiebeth will be blogging from the VAYD Convention all weekend. Look forward to excellent coverage -- code)
Dave Wasserman, house race editor of the Cook Political Report, kicked off the 2009 Virginia Young Democrats Convention with a few words on Charlie Cook who then took the stage to discuss our impressive wins in 2008 and where we can go from here. In September of 2002, a young state senator from Illinois came through their offices and Cook confessed he told his staff there's “no way he’s gonna make it.”
Cook described 2008 as a perfect storm of politics. Bush had terrible job approval rating. Half the votes party needed to win had to come from people who already thought he was doing a terrible job. The Republicans eroded their core value of competence and the country was hungry for change.
Then again, we all lived and know it. But it sure was nice to hear Cook's tidbits he picked up from his Republican friends such as one Congressman who asked was Sarah Palin "A stroke of genius or just a stroke."
Cook also gave a heartening analysis of the current state of the party. According to Cook, Democrats are holding up in national polls. President Obama has an approval rating around 60 percent when he got about 50 percent of the vote. "There's a strong desire for him to do well," Cook said. "One word used to describe Obama in September was inexperience. Now it's intelligent People are not so sure of the specifics of the policy but they like him and they’re giving him the benefit of the doubt."
We took some time to break into committees, and Jennifer Bisset officially gavelled us into session at 8:03. After adopting our temporary rules and dealing with a little housekeeping items, we're off to do some progressive partying and campaigning for VAYD offices at the Charlottesville Omni. My good friend Sarah Buckley is running for the VP Political position. Check out her facbeook page here!
Mayor Dave Norris reminded us this evening that we are in a town that four years ago didn't even hold a Republican convention. It's a good time and a good place to be a Young Democrat!