Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Howard Dean wows Miami Dems

Howard Dean and Joe Garcia

Who would have thought that Tuesday noon was a great time to draw Democrats out of their dens? Just bring Howard Dean to Miami, announce a $20 lunch on Tuesday May 1 to meet him, and presto – 200 people turn out to clap and yell.

We are going to have some fun on the way to the summit of electoral success. This fine party was held at Parrot Jungle, in an amphitheater where people usually see trained birds perform. It got off to a cute start with a parrot using its beak to pull the halyard and raise the Stars and Stripes up a 5-foot pole for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Gov. Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, told the crowd he’d come to Miami partly to draw Cuban-Americans back home to the Democratic Party, though his main message was related to the day’s demonstrations for comprehensive immigration reform.

Republicans scapegoat immigrants and blame them for all sorts of problems, he said, while the Democratic program stresses secure borders and enforcing the law. It’s impossible to round up 12 million people, he said, so Democrats favor giving honest immigrants a chance to get in line, pay a fine and earn citizenship – the kind of deal that 78 percent of Americans back in polls. Law-breakers would be deported.

“It’s not amnesty,” he said, but rather “earned legalization.”

Gov. Dean applauded Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s plan to restore felons’ civil rights as a way to “make them more responsible people.”

The event included honors for two of the most veteran members of the Democratic Executive Committee of Miami-Dade County, Ginger Grossman and Eufaula Frazier, who received congratulations from the national chair as well as strong applause from the audience.

DEC Chairman Joe Garcia shared officiating with Executive Director John Hornbuckle and BJ Chiszar, whose position as a Florida field director reflects Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy of putting paid staff in as many places as possible.


The Miami Herald's Beth Reinhard attended and put this post up on the Naked Politics blog.

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