Actor Alec Baldwin urged about 3,000 Iowa Democrats to set aside candidate preferences of the past and unify for the 2018 general election.
Tonight’s Iowa Democratic Party’s annual fall fundraiser attracted a record crowd for a non-election year. The event began with action in the bleacher seats where supporters of Democrats running for governor tried to out-cheer one another. The seven candidates gave brief speeches, then Baldwin took the stage, starting with an 11-minute comedic sequence.
“These people are fantastic. They are fantastic people and I just want to say how fantastic it was working with these fantastic people,” Baldwin said as he imitated Trump, adding in his own voice: “Trump’s brain: a world without synonyms.”
Baldwin spent twice as much time on stage, though, delivering a political call-to-action.
“When we talk about the future of our party, I say it’s not enough to slap a new label on our brand that says: ‘New and Improved,'” Baldwin said. “We’ve got to back it up.”
Baldwin decried the 900 Democratic state legislative seats lost during the Obama era and urged Democrats in Iowa and elsewhere to rebuild their “farm team” of local elected officials.
“Ten years ago future President Barack Obama spoke at this dinner, the skinny young man with the big ears who moved quickly from the state legislature in Illinois on to the U.S. Senate and on to the White House and maybe, just maybe a future Democratic president is somewhere in this room tonight. Let’s have a round of applause for that idea. One of you!” Baldwin said as the crowd applauded.
Someone near the stage yelled: “Baldwin for President!” in reply.
Baldwin cautioned his fellow Democrats not to “hinge your hopes” on impeaching the current Republican president and he promised to work a “hell of a lot harder” for his fellow Democrats in the future.
“Let’s send Trump to retire in Moscow where he belongs. We can win in 2018. We can win in 2020, but it’s going to take each and every one of us to do that. We all have an important role to play and that is to make America America again,” Baldwin said, “so let’s get to work.”
That work, Baldwin said, includes supporting the Democratic nominees in the General Election.
“In recent years, Democratic voters have taken to picking up their ball and going home if they don’t get their way in the primaries, meanwhile the Republicans stuck together and elected George W. twice and then against all odds stuck us with Donald Trump as president,” Baldwin said. “..If you truly believe you are a Democrat, you must come together with us right now and recognize that what unites us is so much more than what divides us.”
The crowd rose to its feet.
AUDIO of Baldwin’s speech, 31:00
Earlier in the evening, the seven Democrats competing in the gubernatorial primary focused on the dividing line between Democrats and Republican Governor Kim Reynolds. Retired businessman Fred Hubbell said the policies Reynolds and her fellow Republicans have pursued are “heartless and misguided.”
“If we stand united, we can turn the tide,” Hubbell said.
State Senator Nate Boulton cautioned that Democrats “must talk about their plan to fight back.”
“No amount of frustration, of shouting, of protest will matter if we don’t deliver a victory in 2018,” Boulton said.