Drinks with Dean

Last year, I was amazed when Joe Trippi recognized me. It gets better.

Friday night, I attended a private reception for Howard Dean that was primarily a “thank you” event for many of us who’d been involved in the Dean campaign from the outset. It was a great opportunity to see folks I hadn’t seen in a while (and, as Hiram noted, the rest has been good for them!). But the big surprise was when I walked up to Howard Dean, to shake his hand and thank him for having run.

Before I could say anything, he caught my nametag and perked up. “You’re the blogger!”

I guess there are worse things to be known as, right?

Dean was in good form: vehement in his support of John Kerry, and at his persusasive best in convincing everyone in the room to help Christine Cegelis in her bid to unseat Henry Hyde. That in particular was so cool to see: seven months ago, I first met Christine as a new entrant into the race who attended our Dean House Party on December 30. She spoke with the crowd, and everyone was excited to see we had a credible candidate running against Hyde. But with no money and no name recognition, how far could she go?

Thanks in part to Howard Dean (who picked Christine as one of the second “Dean Dozen”), the answer is starting to look like it might be “all the way.” Christine just picked up Senator Durbin’s endorsement, has the N.O.W. endorsement (and an upcoming fundraiser with N.O.W. President Patricia Ireland, received the AFL-CIO endorsement this week, and now has a full-time field director.

Dean’s race for the presidency is over. But it was encouraging to see the spirit continuing in other races, and in the many conversations taking place Friday night.

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