Tuesday, March 13, 2007

JJB Dinner...

This year's Democratic Jackson, Jefferson, Bailey Dinner, the annual Democratic major fundraiser for the state party, posed some problems for local officials. The biggest problem was who to invite as this year's main speaker. (It's an important question because this is a fundraiser first and foremost - so having the "right" speaker is important to selling tickets to the event.)

Last year, the featured speaker was Illinois Sen. Barack Obama - and he filled the room. And that was before he started being mentioned seriously as a presidential contender. So...it should come as no surprise...many Democrats in the state were hoping to grab another of the major presidential contenders as this year's main speaker (got to fill the hall). But that would have presented a bit of sticky problem for state Democrats since Connecticut's own presidential contender - U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd - wanted nothing like that to take place. The last thing the Senator needed was having one of his chief rivals come into the state and upstage him.

So we won't be having one of the major presidential hopefuls addressing the gathering of state Democrats next month. Although the backup choice of featured speakers is not a bad one. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is the main draw this year - the first woman ever to hold that spot. A "safe" choice that should bring a full house out (it is a fundraiser) while not upsetting anybody's apple cart.

The JJB dinner is scheduled to be held Friday, April 20.

And that, too, caused a bit of problem.

U.S. Sen. Joeph Lieberman, the Democrat who now serves as an independent after losing the Democratic primary last year, has been invited to not only attend the dinner - but also offered the opportunity to address the crowd along with all the other elected officials. (For those who did not attend last year's JJB dinner, it was not a very pleasant scene as Lieberman got no respect from the audience during his remarks.)

But it's unclear if Lieberman will be attending this year, because the dinner is being held at the start of Sabbath. Another "safe" decision allowing the party to extend the invitation while giving everybody an easy out of an uncomfortable position.


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