Tonight we attended the Democratic Gala (*The Dinner Formerly Known as Jefferson-Jackson) in Mishawaka, a dinner for the St. Joseph County Democratic Party. I think this was our third one, and it’s a fun opportunity to meet some legislators and hear some good speakers. (Also to stand and applaud a lot. I told Ken, “Jeez, it’s like being in church!”)
This was probably my favorite one that we’ve been to so far. We sat next to an elderly couple, Chuck and Dot. Chuck is retired from teaching, and Dot was on the Mishawaka City Council for many years, and was the first female president of the Council! They were just delightful people. Chuck is big on unions, and they have both campaigned and worked for the Democrats for many years. They’ve been married for 58 years! People were constantly coming by to say hello to them and shake their hands. It was a treat to sit next to them and I am very happy to have met them.
We got to meet the county clerk and the county auditor. We got to say hi to Senator Donnelly and of course, to South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. We also got to shake the hand of Tim Roemer, who was the keynote speaker and a former Congressman and Ambassador to India.
It was obvious that Tim Roemer was a seasoned professional. He was motivational and got us all wound up (in a good way) about supporting Democrats. He also sat on the 9/11 Commission and told the heartbreaking story about hearing the messages that passengers on United 93 sent to their loved ones when they knew that they were going to crash the plane rather than fly it into the Capitol Building. He was in the Capitol Building that day, and those passengers may have saved his life and countless others. It made me cry. It was an honor to shake his hand afterwards.
They also had a silent auction and Ken bid on a few things, and we won three! We counted up the swag, and we absolutely got our money’s worth in these packages. All the items were donated, so it went to a good cause: our county Democratic Party!
Finally, I can tell you that it was a charged and upbeat atmosphere in that room. There were no unkind remarks about any Republican opponent or any of the candidates running for president, even after last night’s debate. There was talk about defeating Governor Pence and about the harm he is doing to our state, but it was all policy-oriented and absent of any personal attacks. After some of the recent remarks from Republicans, it was quite refreshing to be around people who want to win because they feel that they are doing the right thing for the right reasons, and can do it without playing to the basest fears of people. There was also a sense of unity concerning whoever the Democratic nominee ends up being. There was no splintering of the party and no disagreement about supporting our eventual nominee, be it Hillary, Bernie, Joe, or the other candidates. It was a very positive vibe and everyone seemed happy, fired up, and ready to go!
After Wednesday night, boy, did I ever need this!