Sunday, June 8, 2008

First Wave of the Big Blue Tsunami

I spent this hot Saturday with various Michigan politicos at the Democracy for America (DFA) Campaign Academy at the air-conditioned confines of LCC West Campus conference center. It was Day One of a two-day training that is helping local progressive candidates and campaign volunteers sharpen their skills for the primary and general election season. This is the first wave of the Big Blue Tsunami that is going to hit this country on November 4, 2008.

When the national DFA office described the daily sessions as intensive, they weren’t kidding. The morning and afternoon workshops were fast-paced, fact-filled, and never boring. The trainers for the day – Matt Blizek, Michael Cook, and Dan Farough – were top-notch and generous in sharing their real-world campaign experience and knowledge. If you like political organizing and strategizing, this was a day in heaven. I’m looking forward to Day Two.

As one of the local organizers of this event – I’m part of Mid-Michigan DFA activists who are co-hosting the training – I was pleased by the diversity and energy of the attendees. The diversity was widely mixed by race, gender, age, and geographical representation. Furthermore, I was heartened to see and hear the enthusiasm of attending candidates and future-candidates, especially those who are jumping into local races for the first time. Lots of people complain about the “system” but these people are setting out to change it.

We capped the day off at Mid-Michigan DFA’s “Social Convention” in downtown Lansing. This was a great networking opportunity as most of the conference attendees relaxed over dinner and drinks. There was no shortage of insider political news, stories, and insights. Reports were passed around about Hillary’s “concession” speech today. Speculation over Obama’s running mate ranged from fanciful long shots like Bill Bradley and Barbara Boxer to the overly-practical choices like Wesley Clark and Evan Bayh. Regardless, everyone seemed eager to hit the campaign trail for Obama.

With this kind of enthusiasm, McCain’s Navy background will come in handy. The Big Blue Tsunami is going to be an awful big wave.

-- Rico Thomas Rico

To see the Day One DFA Training Academy photos from Lansing on Flickr you should click here.


Mid-Michigan Democracy for America (DFA) meets the second Wednesday of each month at the SEIU building, 1026 E. Michigan Avenue, Lansing, Michigan. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. The next meeting is Wednesday, June 11, 2008 at 7 p.m. All progressives are welcome. Pizza and soda pop are served to feed the on-the-go busy activist.

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