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RECAP: Wes Moore's campaign event featuring President Biden was wild
Hate slate, confederates, and assault weapon bans
On Thursday, Democrat gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore hosted a campaign event in Montgomery County, at Richard Montgomery High School, featuring President Joe Biden, that was wild from start to finish.
I arrived right on time, but the line to enter was already snaked around a couple corners and was at least a few football fields in length.
Once finally in, I took a seat on the bleachers, finding myself next to a state delegate wearing both a badge with her name and title and an N95 mask.
A local high school band was just wrapping up their performance, as a Beyonce and Jay-Z song came on over loudspeakers, followed shortly after by a tune I had to Google search to find out the name of, that went —
We are the new Americanaaaaa
High on legal marijuanaaaaaaa
Raised on Biggie and Nirvanaaa
We are the new Americanaaaaa
— lyrics that made for a peculiar segue into the national anthem, which was sung immediately after by a local student, who really did belt it out remarkably well, earning sincere and enthusiastic applause from all.
Then the speakers started. And they came in hot.
The Chair of Maryland’s Democratic Party, Yvette Lewis, started by innocently welcoming President Biden to the best state in the nation, before promptly launching into a harangue where she called Maryland’s Republican ticket members extreme and MAGAs and alt-right conspiracy theorists with confederate sympathies — collectively labeling them the “hate slate”.
She said that the Democrat ticket runs on diversity and service and joy and will be glass ceiling shattering, while the Republican ticket runs on ignorance and divisiveness and hate — the moral gap between the two parties is wide, she would say, before again ratcheting it back up, telling how Cox “rants” on Facebook, spewing conspiracies and threatening to weaponize the state’s national guard.
Next was Jamie Harrison, national chair of the Democratic Party, who jokingly blamed his mic not working on Republicans, before eventually getting going and stating his thesis that: “Democrats deliver” — which he supported by pointing to the Inflation Reduction Act and the PACT Act and the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
And of course, most recently and notably, student debt cancellation — which pulled rounds and rounds of applause from the crowd, which he crescendoed into a reference to Ketanji Brown Jackson, calling her Madame Justice to a rapturous reception.
Then came Brooke Lierman, a civil rights lawyer and state delegate now running for comptroller against establishment Republican Barry Glassman, who invoked FDR and his New Deal a time or two before asking the crowd to help her break her own glass ceiling, so she could become the state’s first female comptroller.
Then came a rabble rousing Jamie Raskin, the congressman fresh off of playing a central role in the January 6th hearings, who called the Republicans theocrats and autocrats and kleptocrats who would revoke women’s rights to “reproductive freedom” — all before curiously mentioning Thomas Jefferson, not exactly a favorite historical figure for progressives, which drew some puzzled looks.
He concluded by reading aloud a quote from Thomas Paine: “these are the times that try men’s souls”, which he added “woman” to, so: “these are the times that try men’s and women’s souls” — which he literally said he got approval to do from Nancy Pelosi since Paine was, after all, an early feminist.
The crowd vibed him big time though. One guy behind me started chanting “Raskin for President” at the same time the state delegate beside me finally let loose enough to ditch her mask, all while Raskin talked about how Democrats were the party of science.
Congressman Steny Hoyer took the stage next, praising President Biden for getting enough shots in arms that we no longer have to mask — before it dawned on him that almost half of the audience he was speaking to was masked up — causing him to backpedal a bit, clarifying, “for the most part”.
And then he really got everyone jazzed up, saying how President Biden was ready to speak! So he would keep his remarks short so as not to keep everyone waiting.
He left the stage, but nothing happened for a while. People grew a little restless and eager, but no Biden to be seen.
Eventually, more music was piped in, maybe to buy Biden some time? Now it was the Goo Goo Dolls —
And I don’t want the world to see meeeee
Cuz I don’t think that they’d understandddd
— which made me laugh to myself because I thought those lyrics may well describe why Biden would be reluctant to speak and be late to the stage.
Plugging in to fill the time was Senator Ben Cardin, who yelled for a few minutes about how Biden restored social justice around the world or something.
Next, a regional organizer came to the stage and introduced…Wes Moore!
Moore rolled in with a strut and a confident rhythm as though he were appearing out from backstage to come and sit on Oprah’s couch — something he’s done before.
He opened with a good bit about his personal life — how he was the first black Rhodes Scholar from Johns Hopkins University, how he watched his father die when he was four years old because of a lack of healthcare, and how he felt cuffs around his wrists when he was only eleven years old because he lived in a community that was overpoliced.
Then he aimed his words at Cox, calling him an election denier who is a threat to democracy and women and children in public school, before alerting everyone that he and his followers are not to be underestimated.
He concluded, confirming how his vision for Maryland is one of leaving no one behind. As he trailed off, chants of “we want Moore!” swept through the place.
And out came President Biden, shuffling towards the stage, at one point breaking into what looked like an attempt at a jog, before yanking his jacket off on stage and unbuttoning his collar.
He made his usual talking points about how bad MAGA Republicans are and how the survival of the planet and democracy are on the ballot in November, before surprising with an outburst about banning assault weapons nationwide.
Suddenly, a heckler right down in front of the stage interrupted him, yelling “you stole the election”, which launched the crowd into a frenzy as if chum had been thrown to a shiver of hungry sharks. But he was quickly ushered out and no further scene was really made of it.
Biden, alongside Moore, wrapped the whole thing up with a message that basically summarized the entire event and the whole of the Democrats messaging at this point — vote for Democrats because MAGA Republicans would destroy democracy.