As regular readers of North Star Liberty know, my favorite part of politics is the political parties. I don't mean the partisan political organizations, I mean the social events that those groups conduct!
From attending Republican election night parties, Red, Right and Brew happy hours, SD44 PUBlicans happy hours, Minnesota Organization of Bloggers events, senate district fundraisers, candidate meet-and-greets, and other such events, I have learned that Republican activists are well-informed, intelligent, passionate, interesting, successful, and just plan fun to hobnob with.
SD44 had its most successful event in years last Thursday, a fundraiser at the Medina Golf and Country Club. The attendance was great. They had a silent auction and a "wine pull." The food and drink were excellent. The men cleaned up and the women were dressed to the nines. They attracted great speakers like U.S. Senator Rudy Boschwitz (a district resident), Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Zellers, Hennepin County Commissioner (and district resident) Jeff Johnson, and of course local candidates David Gaither, Sarah Anderson, and Mark Stefan. (In the auction, I won an American flag and four dozen oatmeal M&M cookies freshly baked by Rep. Anderson.)
Also this year, SD44 has held happy hours at various venues around the district. You never know who or how many will show up, but you can usually count on district treasurer Geoff Shipsides to save a spot for the group. I attended events at Jake's in Plymouth and The Muni in Wayzata. They were great opportunities to meet other Republicans to talk politics and other common interests. At Wednesday's event I met a supporter and friend of Marc Berris, a candidate for Hennepin County judge who strongly endorsed him and handed out his campaign cards for good measure.
Once in a while, campaigning can almost seem like a party. The Pawlenty bus tour in 2006 was a fantastic experience. So was blogging at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, where I met U.S. Senators Fred Thompson and Jim DeMint.
Election night parties can be exciting, and of course they are a lot more fun when your candidates win than when they don't. I enjoy being a part of history in the making, along with the media, candidates, and activists on election night. But win, lose, or draw, I am always proud to stand with my fellow activists, knowing that we did our best, and looking ahead to the next campaign.