McAuliffe Arrives at VAYD

As national party chair, McAuliffe gave more to the YDs than any other chairman. He also gave $5 million to Tim Kaine. He's playing well with these folks. "If you can get Young Dems to vote for you three times, you've got 'em for life!"

McAuliffe said he moved to Virginia 18 years ago. He has had every job you can have in the Democratic Party. He said he began as Jimmy Carter's finance secretary at 23. "You get to say whatever you want when they're not paying you," McAuliffe said of his volunteer experience in politics.

Brian Moran Speaks to VAYD Convention

When he began as House Democratic Caucus leader, there were only 33 Democrats. Now look how things have changed in Virginia!

Moran discussed the importance of having another Democratic governor. "This is a grassroots campaign from the bottom up, not the top down!" These are difficult economic times, and "I am running for governor because in these difficult times we need a leader to fight . . . and that is what I will do as your next

Moran said he grew up in a family of Roosevelt Democrats where he learned government can play a positive role in people's lives. He has proposed creating a federal economic stimulus watchdog to make sure all the money coming to Virginia is spent wisely. Those Republicans want us to fail and we cannot allow this.

VAYDs Welcome Creigh Deeds

(Full disclosure: I am a Deeds supporter, but I'll try to remain neutral in my reporting today as possible.)

We just welcomed our first gubernatorial guest - Sen. Creigh Deeds! His donkey, Harry S. Truman, is the official sen of this area harry S. Truman is official mascot of the University of Virginia Young Democrats and we're excited to have him home here in Charlottesville!

"I'm running because I think public service is a great calling in life," Deeds said. "And I'm running for governor if we're going to build on the legacy of Mark Warner and Tim Kaine we have to have a nominee who has proven he can go toe to toe with Bob McDonnell in debates and elections and can compete in every corner of Virginia."

Outgoing VAYD President's report

This morning's festivities opened with a quick report from our Outgoing President Jennifer Bisset.

We raised over $200,000 in the past year, went from 11 chapters to 51, and are credited with helping to win two Congressional districts labeled "unwinable."

"There's still a lot of work to be done," Bisset said."I am so excited for what we will continue to do as an organization."

VAYD Convention Opens with Stellar Rap

(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."

VAYD Convention Events Coming Up!

In the midst of all this primary divisiveness, I'm really looking forward to a chance to party with some of my favorite young voters. Democrats of any age are welcome to contribute to the party building investment!

Politics in 2009 with Charlie Cook of the Cook Political Report
Friday, March 27 at 5:00 p.m.
Gilmer 130
Come join the University Democrats and kick off the 2009 Convention with an outstanding presentation by Charlie Cook on the state of politics in 2009 and the prospects for Democrats in this crucial year.