So I met Jill Stein last night…
There was a little meet and greet session with her in DC while she was in town supporting the various Occupy actions this week in DC.
And I have to say, she was pretty awesome. The event was open to anyone, no guest list or anything. She reminded me a little of Elizabeth Warren; very likable and energetic with this really sincere warmth about her. No ego AT ALL. There were no handlers, security personnel, etc. You could literally just reach over, tap her on the shoulder and introduce yourself. By far the most open and approachable politico I’ve ever met.
The reason she decided to run stemmed from the debt ceiling debate last year. In frustration with the whole clown show, she basically said “screw it,” went over to her husband and exclaimed, “I’m running for president.” To which he replied, “WHAT!?!!?” Then she broke it down to him: everyone in the country, in fact the world, was embarrassed by the debt debate disaster and something needed to be done; she didn’t want to run, but no one else had stepped up who could do the job so she would. Pretty soon the whole family was on board.
She was clear that she saw this as a springboard election. This isn’t about her; it’s all about building a movement where everyday people finally begin to have a voice in democracy. She’s doing this to help coalesce like-minded groups across the country so that we can take the next steps in the future. One of the reasons she is popular within the Green movement is because she is one of the few people most Greens can rally around without baggage.
She has been to various occupations all across the country, and she says they were all opened the door to her. She almost got mic checked by some of the more anti-politician occupiers, but after listening to her speak for a few minutes, they were all like, “So wait, why are we mic checking her? She just said what we were going to say.” Many times she’s heard occupiers say, “Oh, wait, you’re just like us!”
She also plans to run the first publicly funded presidential election in US history. Check this out, to qualify for matching federal funds for the primary, she only needs to raise $5000 in 20 states. In the general, she can qualify for $20 million in public funds! Not bad, huh?
She encouraged and supported the efforts of Rocky Anderson’s Justice Party, as well. No ill will towards them at all.
Ben ‘Tax the Rich’ Manski seems like a good choice for a campaign manager, as he’s been a guest on CNBC & Fox. Coming up, she’s got an interview with Thom Hartmann in the works, and they’re working with RT on potentially more. They admit it’s been challenging getting media attention (even from DemocracyNow, believe it or not), but they are actively working to get out there especially in more progressive circles.
Interesting factoid about DC party affiliation: The most popular registered party in the District are Dems, the second most popular are Greens believe it or not, and dead last by a mile are Republicans. It’s not even close. Greens are the 2nd party here, and Republicans are actually the 3rd party. Parts of Wisconsin actually have a similar dynamic.
And to answer your question Lambert, yes, there was free food! They had this tomatillo green soup that was absolutely REDONKULOUS. I haven’t had soup that good in awhile. Here’s a (bad) pic of the dessert table, that’s all I could get for you.