Monday, March 19, 2007

John Edwards at the Forum

Holding a fundraising campaign at the Forum sounded like a good way to draw young hip voters, but most of the folks who showed up for the John Edwards fundraiser on Monday evening were far from hip.

The event drew a mix of voters who looked like card-carrying members of the Young Democrats of North Carolina and card-carrying members of the Old Democrats of North Carolina (FYI: there’s no such association). The 75-100 people who turned out to see Edwards were stiff and serious looking. Although Boyd Tinsley’s band cranked out jamming covers of Marvin Gaye and more, no one seemed willing to dance. Tinsley is a violinist for the Dave Matthews Band, and Tinsley’s band is worth seeing.

The few people who were dancing during the band’s performance happened to be Edwards’ staffers. I snapped a picture of one campaign staffer dancing, and she freaked out saying that she couldn’t have her picture taken. After resuscitating her with a defibrillator, I deleted the picture. Whoa.

If Edwards’ or any other candidate seriously wanted to draw new and hip blood they should bumrush places. For example, instead of holding a scheduled fundraiser at the Forum, they should takeover the Forum on a Wednesday night. It’s college night so everyone should at least be age 18. The campaign peeps could buy a round of drinks for everyone; Edwards could deliver the same speech he’s delivered in a zillion other stops and have his staff register voters on-site. They could do the same thing at the Penguin, the Milestone and Tremont Music Hall. (Please note: I don’t cover politics so I’m not sure if providing free beer and registering voters is illegal, but if it is then don’t register voters, but keep the beer.).

Tinsley’s band played for more than an hour and then audience members watched a short video montage of Edwards’ speeches and interviews. After chilling in Pravda lounge, Edwards appeared about 8:30 p.m. While Tinsley performed, Edwards posed for pictures and shook hands. Then he took the stage and said what you’d expect: Bush is ruining the country, Congress needs to step up, everyone deserves healthcare, and we have to save the Earth, blah, blah. Don’t get me wrong, Edwards sounds like he believes what he’s saying but considering that we’d just heard the same variation of that speech on the video montage, it didn’t sound authentic.

Oh lastly, Edwards’s folks ought to change up his wardrobe. Levis and a blue pinstriped shirt aren’t hip or casual. At least give the dude a fat belt buckle with the Wright Brothers airplane on it and a funkier shirt. What does he have to lose?