Saturday, October 4, 2008

Demonizing GOP isn't enough, Bredesen tells Dems

From Jordan Schrader of our sister paper, the Asheville Citizen-Times:

Sen. Barack Obama offered up plenty of red meat for a crowd of Democratic Party faithful tonight in Asheville, N.C. But Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, keynote speaker at the annual Vance-Aycock dinner in the Land of the Sky, struck a conciliatory tone.

Bredesen urged Democrats to do more than demonize the GOP.

"That road doesn't go to the right place, and walking it is a disservice to what America needs from our party right now."

The party must stop "just being against whatever the Republicans have failed at recently."

He called on the party to help Obama, should he become president: "Barack Obama is an inspired leader, he's an inspiring leader, but no one can tackle these problems alone."

The nominee made a surprise appearance at the $100-a-plate dinner, the North Carolina Democratic Party's annual fundraiser named for two former Democratic governors.

“I hope you don’t mind me crashing the party,” Obama told the crowd of 700-plus at the Grove Park Inn.

He slammed Republicans for “foreign policy that’s all about talking tough and acting dumb,” and “energy policy that is no policy, that goes around saying ‘Drill, baby, drill’ but refuses to invest in” renewable energy.

With polls showing Obama tied with Republican Sen. John McCain in a state that no Democratic presidentian candidate has carried in three decades, he told the audience their work was paying off.

Gov. Mike Easley called Obama a “regular, good guy.”

“He grew up in Hawaii. I just want you to know, ‘Barack’ is Hawaiian for ‘Bubba,’” Easley told the laughing crowd.

Obama is in Asheville to prepare for Tuesday's debate in Nashville.

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