by Peter Freyne
A whole lot of people on pins and needles, but I'm telling you, we are going to get through this, one for all and all for one!
Quite simply, we have all had it with the most corrupt, dishonest and incompetent American administration since Washington crossed the Delaware.
"And this small state," said soon-to-be Independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, "by example, is going to lead the country."
Hope everyone's ready, eh?
Big noontime crowd at the Unitarian Church in Burlington on Thursday for the passionate, upbeat "Bernie & the Democrats" pep rally (350-400). House Speaker Gaye Symington got things going as the master of ceremonies. She's slowly getting better at it. In fact, the buzz is building over her gubernatorial ambitions. Lots of folks wondering about Secretary of State Deb Markowitz having similar ambitions, too.
I know, what about Scudder Parker? Wish I knew. He took some kind of little shot at "the liberal press" during his rally address today. Don't think he was referring to the Freeps? Maybe the Rutland Herald/Times Argus and the Brattleboro Reformer coming out for his incumbent Republican rival, Gov. Jim Douglas, earned the smack.
I know - the Brattleboro Reformer? It didn't make a whole lot of sense.
Meanwhile, Lite-Gov challenger, State Sen. Matt Dunne, continues to gain momentum and name-recognition. He certainly has gotten Doobie-Doo's attention. Not-to-be-UnDone was positively delighted to tell us about a negative Brian Dubie TV attack ad that started running on Wednesday. However, he said Doobie-Doo filmed the wrong state senate seat - it wasn't his!
Anyway, for the pros in this game, it's the season when the folks behind the scenes get a little credit. In Ol' Bernardo's case, two on the list are Phil Fiermonte and Jeff Weaver (with the cell phone).
Weaver, the former Marine from Franklin County, is Bernie's experienced chief-of-staff on Capitol Hill. If my memory serves me, Weaver was Bernie's driver 20 years ago when he ran for governor.
Phil, a Newport, Vermont native, is the top-dog on the Sanderistas' Vermont staff, and a longtime key player in the Green Mountain State's unique and original Progressive political movement. Fiermonte's a former city councilor in Burlap, too. And I still remember meeting him on Election Night 1981 in the Burlington City Clerk's Office - the night longshot leftist Bernie Sanders won da' mayor's office by 10 votes. The night the miracle happened.
Each has been with Ol' Bernardo on-and-off, in one capacity or another since Ronald Reagan was president.
Yes, they're feeling pretty good the last few days as the impending reality starts to sink in. The New York Times even had a team in town today to interview their man.
Yes, it's been a long road for these two Vermont kids. And the best is yet to come!
As Congressional hopeful Peter Welch put it today:
"People ask if Bernie Sanders is ready for the United States Senate. The real question is - 'Is the United States Senate ready for Bernie Sanders?'"
We'll see, won't we?