Democrats’ Retreat Features Obama, Biden, Strategy, and Wine Tasting (Optional)

National Journal
Billy House
Add to Briefcase
Billy House
Feb. 12, 2014, 1:15 p.m.

Des­pite the loom­ing threat of a bliz­zard, House Demo­crats get in­to full swing with their an­nu­al strategy re­treat Thursday at a tony hotel on Mary­land’s East­ern Shore, com­plete with an ap­pear­ance by Pres­id­ent Obama, a speech from Vice Pres­id­ent Joe Biden, and an op­tion­al wine-tast­ing out­ing.

Most of the at­tendees beat the storm by ar­riv­ing Wed­nes­day for the ini­tial events of the three-day get-to­geth­er at the Hy­att Re­gency Ches­apeake Bay in Cam­bridge, Md.

And while Biden’s lunch speech Thursday and Obama’s break­fast ad­dress Fri­day are open to the me­dia, there is a long list of oth­er, more private strategy ses­sions, work­shops, and events, ac­cord­ing to a copy of the non­pub­lic agenda for the re­treat put to­geth­er by Minor­ity Lead­er Nancy Pelosi and Caucus Chair­man Xavi­er Be­cerra.

The “break-out” is­sues ses­sions and work­shops be­gin­ning Thursday morn­ing in­clude “De­vel­op­ing a Win­ning Mes­sage,” mod­er­ated by Rep. Frank Pal­lone; “The Min­im­um Wage: Why We Fight, How We Win,” mod­er­ated Rep. Keith El­lis­on; and “Un­mar­ried Wo­men — They Will Elect You If You Get It Right,” mod­er­ated by Rep. Rosa De­Lauro.

There are sev­er­al ses­sions on how mem­bers can “Sharpen Your Me­dia Skills” as well, in­clud­ing one en­titled “Be­come a Q&A Ninja: Proven Tech­niques for Field­ing Dif­fi­cult Ques­tions.”

There’s also a work­shop on “En­fran­chising Amer­ica,” mod­er­ated by Be­cerra, and an­oth­er en­titled “Leave No Amer­ic­an Be­hind,” mod­er­ated by Rep. Joa­quin Castro with a pan­el of speak­ers that in­cludes Donna Brazile, the Demo­crat­ic Na­tion­al Com­mit­tee vice chair.

Rep. Steve Is­rael, chair­man of the Demo­crat­ic Con­gres­sion­al Cam­paign Com­mit­tee, and Rep. Debbie Wasser­man Schultz, the DNC chair, will mod­er­ate a ses­sion on “Fight­ing for Our Val­ues.”

Jim Yong Kim, pres­id­ent of the World Bank, is to give the key­note ad­dress at the din­ner Thursday night.

The agenda does in­clude some down time, in­clud­ing an op­tion­al “Taste of Mary­land Wine Tast­ing” out­ing and a tour of the nearby Har­riet Tub­man Mu­seum on Thursday.

The Demo­crat­ic Caucus re­treat comes two weeks after the House Re­pub­lic­ans’ own get-to­geth­er at the same re­sort, loc­ated about an hour and a half from Wash­ing­ton. In both cases, bus trans­port­a­tion from Cap­it­ol Hill was provided, and law­makers will pay for their own food and lodging.

But the House Demo­crat­ic Caucus will once again turn to tax­pay­ers — rather than spe­cial-in­terest money — to foot much of the re­main­ing costs of its own con­fer­ence. Mean­while, the GOP’s an­nu­al event was again sponsored by the Al­ex­an­dria, Va.-based Con­gres­sion­al In­sti­tute, a non­profit that re­lies on con­tri­bu­tions from cor­por­ate and trade-as­so­ci­ation mem­bers.

What We're Following See More »
TWO MONTHS AFTER REFUSING AT CONVENTION
Cruz to Back Trump
1 days ago
THE LATEST
WHO TO BELIEVE?
Two Polls for Clinton, One for Trump
1 days ago
THE LATEST

With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:

  • An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clin­ton lead­ing Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary John­son at 7%.
  • A Mc­Clatchy-Mar­ist poll gave Clin­ton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way bal­lot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
  • Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
NO SURPRISE
Trump Eschewing Briefing Materials in Debate Prep
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shun­ning tra­di­tion­al de­bate pre­par­a­tions, but has been watch­ing video of…Clin­ton’s best and worst de­bate mo­ments, look­ing for her vul­ner­ab­il­it­ies.” Trump “has paid only curs­ory at­ten­tion to brief­ing ma­ter­i­als. He has re­fused to use lecterns in mock de­bate ses­sions des­pite the ur­ging of his ad­visers. He prefers spit­balling ideas with his team rather than hon­ing them in­to crisp, two-minute an­swers.”

Source:
TRUMP NO HABLA ESPANOL
Trump Makes No Outreach to Spanish Speakers
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."

Source:
$1.16 MILLION
Clintons Buy the House Next Door in Chappaqua
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."

Source:
×