Yesterday was a great day for a fundraiser picnic event at the Little Valley VFW. Country setting, low 70’s, good food; but best of all, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet, speak with, and witness a powerful speech from Senator Max Cleland and to hear a great, honest, and energizing speech from Eric Massa. This was my third time hearing Eric speak, and he never fails to deliver. The man’s passion, commitment, energy level, and enthusiasm is something to behold.
When I spoke with Senator Cleland, I thanked him for what he is doing for our candidates this year, and I told him that I had met Eric in Las Vegas earlier this year at a convention in Las Vegas. We then talked at length about blogs and about his appearance on “Real Time with Bill Maher”. I told him how much I had enjoyed his appearance, and that I especially loved when he and Bill were “chatting it up” at the very end while the credits were running. He got a chuckle out of that and told me that he thought Maher was a pretty good guy.
This was one of the most sincere and amazing experiences in my life. I would estimate that he and I chatted for about ten minutes; we held hands throughout most of the conversation, and we exchanged a number of warm hugs. I know that there were many other people waiting to meet and speak with him, but he gave me “all of the time in the world”, and I believe that he enjoyed our conversation as much as I had enjoyed it. I know that many of the attendees truly felt honored to have been able to meet and speak with Senator Cleland.
Eric Massa’s speech fired up the crowd. He spoke of serving and defending the constitution, especially the second amendment.
Never allow the Executive Branch of the government to run amok. (Madison:) We are best when we are governed from the middle, (and) better with checks and balances. It is no longer good enough to sit and watch TV and get angry. The solutions are not inside the beltway, they are right here.
He credits his wife with reminding him “every day of what we are doing and why this is so important”. Eric talked about the issues of health care, the “moral imperative of a balanced budget”, the “thieving from our children is wrong”, runaway trade policies/free trade policies are killing us. He spoke of the bankruptcy bill “that makes it OK for credit card companies to charge 30% interest”. He said that when he was in school, that was called “usury” and that it was a sin.
Change will only happen if each of you multiply 10 to 20 fold. Pick the longest line in Wegman’s (grocery store) and convert all of those in line. There is a brewing storm; those in power today will do anything to hold onto the power they have. (They are) spending millions of dollars right here trying to convince you that I am an evil person.
He spoke of the “swiftboat, slime policies” that have been used on John McCain, John Kerry and Max Cleland.
With your vote, we can make sure that they will never do it again.
We need to bring our men and women home from Iraq now.
Eric spoke of how it was wrong for our president to use our military men and women as props for his photo ops.
The “Mechanics of Victory” shows us how important contributions are to the campaign. “The blood of the campaign is dollars”. He has raised over $660,000 so far, but needs to raise another $500,000. “BUY BACK YOUR CONGRESS!”
We are going to send a message to every voter in the district. Its not about being a Democrat or a Republican; its about being an American. Get ten people who normally would not vote to go and vote. Become an Ambassador for Change. (Ask yourself) What can I do for the next 59 daybreaks to change the course of American History. We will change the course of American History.
Senator Cleland’s speech also moved the crowd. He talked of the change “that will turn this country around”, and that we can make a difference this year.
“It really is all about you. We need to change the course and support people who know what is going on.”
Because of the lack of the draft, “we have lost the average GI in Congress. There is a growing disconnect with the Military and Congress. There are only a handful in Congress now”.
Eric Massa is going to be an asset to our entire nation. People in the military understand service and accountability.”
The anniversary of 9-11 is upon us. Senator Cleland was in Washington when the Pentagon was hit, and he told us that he “thought that we were under attack and that he was back in Vietnam”.
This Secretary of Defense … used this event and has politicized it. Wrong enemy, wrong time, wrong way.
The “Real Time with Bill Maher” appearance and his recent appearance on CNN with Wolf Blitzer were talked about. He had us laughing regarding the differences in the type of speech allowed between the two shows. (Quite a bit of f*ck on HBO; no such thing with Wolf!) One point from the CNN show regarded the answer that our Attorney General gave when asked, “Where is OBL?”. His answer: “Somewhere in the Middle East”.
Can you believe this President, Vice President, and Secretary of Defense went into Iraq instead of (going after) OBL, who is making more tapes today than the Republican Committee? THIS PRESIDENT CUT AND RUN FROM OBL!
We have a terrible situation on our hands; the good news is that the American people see this. In the next 6 or 7 weeks, they will try to slime Eric Massa. He is prepared for it. (He has) over 20 years in the Navy. I met him first when he was an aide to General Clark.
Fight back; put your best foot forward for the best candidates. … it belongs to no political party; if it belongs to anyone, it belongs to those who have served us – who fought and protected us. We need that connection, and you couldn’t have a better guy than Eric.
SPEAK LOUDLY TO THIS ADMINISTRATION AND CONGRESS. BEGIN TO RESHAPE AMERICAN HISTORY.
A special presentation was held for Senator Cleland. He was given a locally-made Ka-Bar knife. Knives from this company were made for military purposes and were used in the WWII, Korean, Vietnam and Desert Storm conflicts. There was an engraved inscription “Veterans of Vietnam; 1961-1975. Let Freedom Ring. From the people of Olean and Cattaraugus County”. I feel that he really appreciated the gift.
I had a great time, and I’m very glad to have been able to be a part of it. My spouse and I helped with the event, and we met a lot of good people. We were both pretty tired last night, but it was that good kind of tired that you experience when you know you’ve done something worthwhile.