Random Thoughts After Netroots Nation ’09

I always get excited when I attend a conference for the first time, but always forget how tiring and draining big conferences can be.  Not because they’re so much work, but because you’re always “on.”  Saying hi, chatting with people in a very high energy way, and trying to take in as much as possible to use when I get home.

Add to that moderating a panel that needed a lot of prep work, toss in a dash of nervous energy and it can feel like you’ve been drinking double espressos all day!

Netroots panel

Moderating my panel on Generations of Progressive Women/Photo by MOMocrat Glennia

There were a lot of great speakers at Netroots and I was glad to hear them in this forum– Valerie Jarrett was there, who I had the pleasure of actually meeting in person earlier this summer.  Plus we got to hear from Bill Clinton and Howard Dean, among others!

National political celebrities weren’t the only ones in attendance to hang out with about 2,000 progressive politicos.   Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner who is running for U.S. Senate in Ohio agreed to meet with a small group of us to talk about her platform and her plans to try to get another seat for the Democrats in the Senate. She was amazing, articulate, committed to preserving our electoral processes (remember how hard she had to work to defend Ohio in 2008?) and helping her state of Ohio that is bearing the brunt of our economy.

Netroots Jennifer Brunner & Julie Pippert

Jennifer Brunner & MOMocrat Julie Pippert

Plus, I got to hang out with loads of MOMocrats and with someone I’m currently plotting with on a new project — Tracy Viselli from Reno & Its Discontents!

Joanne & Tracy at Netroots

Aren’t our matching orange lanyards cute?/Photo by MOMOcrat Glennia

I got to make some new friends when old friends called my hotel room at 10:30 p.m. to tell me they were dragging my butt out for some more socializing!  Even at my “advanced” age, I decided it was OK to forgo a little sleep and I was glad I did!


I’m the tired-looking one with Kristin & Elisa!/Photo by Dr. Digipol!

The tough lesson learned at Netroots Nation was that when you’re presenting a panel where you think you know how things are going to go,  you should be ready to get hit with some curve balls that could be loaded with angry emotional baggage.  I hadn’t prepared for that and that made for an experience I won’t soon forget and which has put me off doing any political panel any time soon.  (Don’t worry Kelby, I’ll still be there for Type A Mom conference).

I’m still processing and sifting through the content of my panel and the anger I experienced in the room.  I’ll be writing about that soon, though don’t forget — summer camp is over for PunditGirl and she has 3 1/2 weeks before school starts, so I’ll need a little patience!  I’ll write about them more as I continue to digest and analzye.  I hope my thoughts won’t get me in too much trouble, although Amanda Marcotte sort of encouraged that sort of behavior at her panels!

And while I was licking my moderator wounds, there were still more wonderful friends and allies to keep me going!
Netroots Jill Zimon & Cindy Samuels

Jill from Writes Like She Talks & Cindy from Don’t Gel Too Soon, my loyal companions!/ Photo by PunditMom

So that’s my quick recap from Netroots Nation ’09.  Things might be a little slow here at PunditMom for the next couple of weeks as we use a few last lazy moments to relax, enjoy the summer and gear up for fourth grade.  But don’t worry — there’s plenty of of punditry percolating, even if not everyone agrees with all of my ideas!

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2 Responses to “Random Thoughts After Netroots Nation ’09”

  1. Erin Cochran Says:

    I thought you handled that tough panel that you spoke of just about as well as any moderator could. I know that many of the other women in the room felt the same way.

  2. PunditMom Says:

    Thanks, Erin. It was great to meet you there and it’s good to know that the panel wasn’t entirely taken over by those who wanted the perfect panel.

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