Hey fam — I thought you might be interested in this video from the Netroots Nation conference last weekend. I’m a member of the board of directors at NN and they asked me to represent the netroots community in an Ask the Speaker Keynote session in Las Vegas. As you know, we reached out to get your good questions from twitter, facebook, blogs like JJP and Daily Kos and email. It was a little scary with all the lights and people and tv cameras. But I just kept breathing and thinking of all the folks who were relying on me here at JJP to not choke on stage and ask the Speaker some good questions. The last question I asked the Speaker was my own and I think the one that moved people the most.

It was also a pleasure to meet and introduce Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). She was very impressed with my iPad. She’s the person who led the successful fight to put freshness dates on supermarket food. She told me that when she has trouble getting a bill passed in the House, she goes to the supermarket and watches people check the freshness dates on items. How cool is that?

Rep. Donna Edwards was also there up front – she’s super-nice. Fortunately I had only one heckler — I threatened to release the Krakken on her! :-)

And as for the Speaker herself, well, she’s all sincerity, sugar & smarts with a little steel. Cuz ya needs that if you’re gonna be the Speaker, sista. She’s an amazing woman who left us with the call for American women to “Know Your Power” – if you want to be successful in the world of politics. That’s also apparently the title of her autobiography, which I’m definitely planning to download to my Kindle with a quickness.

It was very cool to meet Christine Pelosi, activist, mom and the Speaker’s daughter. She gave me a super-nice shoutout in her wrapup HuffPo post re: NN10 that looks back to NN05 aka YearlyKos:

Having participated in this movement for several years, I’m particularly proud of our progress on the “pluribus” front. I can recall Howard Dean running for President and DNC chair talking about having to diversify the online progressive movement to bring in people on the other side of the digital divide. At the first netroots convention in June 2006 — called Yearlykos — there was a question “should more women and people of color be blogging?” By 2010 we had a woman of color — Cheryl Contee, aka Jill Tubman of www.jackandjillpolitics.com –interviewing America’s first woman Speaker of the House – Nancy Pelosi – as well as expanded ranks of women bloggers, presenters, and candidates.


What leaders survive in this bold new world? Those who have the guts and grit to pick up the banner, stand for the cause, and keep their word. Those who aren’t uncomfortable with being uncomfortable, who can channel their inner FDR and say to netroots activists what President Franklin Delano Roosevelt told Frances Perkins about Social Security “you’ve convinced me; now make me do it.” Those who can successfully navigate the inside maneuvering and outside mobilization. Lately much has been made of whether activists pull parties to the left or right — my impression from the trenches is that activists pull them from the pragmatic to the ideal. Over and over I heard people say we shouldn’t start in the middle or water down our values — we should start with the ideal not the lowest common denominator.

Anyway, thanks so much for all of your love, support and prayers. I’m needing those now more than ever.

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