Friday, August 14, 2009

Challenging Clinton at Netroots Nation

Last night at Bill Clinton's speech at Netroots Nation, blogger and activist Lane Hudson stood up and interrupted Clinton, forcing the former president to discuss Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act.

Lane was sitting with me, and we'd discussed a possible question to ask Clinton if there was were going to be questions, but when it became clear there were not going to be questions, Lane decided he simply had to stand up and speak out. He gave me a heads up so I could get my camera ready but I didn't have time, as the right moment came and he had to do it. Anyway, I'm so proud of him - activism at it's finest (And no, this was not like the town hall mob, who are just trying to shut down discussion: Lane was trying advance discussion by directing the president to a relevant topic, and he did). His point was to get Clinton to talk about what President Obama should do on these issues. Of course, Clinton got defensive because he brought us both laws, so it more so became about what he did rather than what Obama should do. Still he came out forcefully against DADT though, calling for its repeal, and came pretty close to that on DOMA.
Go and read Lane's piece on HuffPost about it. There were people who were pissed off, in the room and online, but this was in the spirit of what NN is supposed to be about. And honestly, it made Clinton's speech better, got him off script, get him fired up (and giving some great observations on the current political dramas) and not just doing legacy building. All around a good night -- a worth the interminable speeches leading up to Clinton's.

UPDATE: Here is the video from C-Span.