Patrick Michels
Bill warms up the crowd with a shout-out to Lupe Valdez

Bill Clinton Stops By Thomas Jefferson for Democratic Party Pep Rally

A packed house last night at Thomas Jefferson High School, where Bill Clinton dropped in to rally the troops in support of U.S. Senatorial candidate Rick Noriega and, I think, Barack Obama, whose name he dropped only once. (OK, maybe twice. Maybe.) A few observation's from the pep rally, attended by every last Democratic official in Dallas and surrounding counties:

Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price's "McCain and Able" routine was a big hit. But what, precisely, was he suggesting would happen should the Republican presidential nominee prove victorious? Listen for yourself:

State Rep. Rafael Anchia kicked off the night with a fire-'em-up speech during which he called out John McCain and Sarah Palin for using scare tactics at their rallies; he even directly referenced the "Kill him!" and "Terrorist!" incidents. Then, the Dems took a 15-minute break while waiting for Clinton and Noriega to show. Apparently, we needed a breather. Momentum, schmomentum.

Question for whoever assembled the pre-rally soundtrack: Sure, Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop" and Queen's "We Are the Champions," makes sense. But, really, Billy Joel's "Only the Good Die Young"? Seemed 14 different flavors of inappropriate.

Line of the night belonged to self-proclaimed Yellow Dog Democrat Ken Leach, running for the Texas 26th Congressional seat: "When I die, bury me in Duval County so I can continue voting Democratic." Second-biggest applause line behind JWP's remarks.

Ponytails? Really? Still?

Has "one and be done" always been the straight-ticket voting mantra? Because I thought it referred to recent Dallas Cowboys playoff runs.

Sheriff Lupe Valdez is all kinds of awkward, from her blowing air kisses to the audience to a gesture that made it look as though she was either offering her heart to the adoring audience or playing peek-a-boo with her badge. Also, her uniform seems like some kid's ill-fitting Halloween hand-me-down; she doesn't wear it so much as it appears to wear her.

No candidate should ever have to deliver a campaign speech following Bill Clinton.

Save for a new annex, Thomas Jefferson doesn't appear to have been updated -- or, in some spots, even cleaned -- since 1986. On the plus side, everything was just where I left it upon graduation in 1986.

Popularity can be a curse when it goes too far: Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins couldn't even step into to the boys' room urinal without someone trying to shake his hand, including Gromer Jeffers Jr.

Only one person brought in a Hillary Clinton for President sign. Well, two, if you include Bill Clinton.

Those Obama-Noriega pins they were selling outside could be real collectors' items some day.

For a closer look inside the rally, check out our slide show here. --Robert Wilonsky

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