Aside from the main event:

· Few rubber-chicken dinner MCs are as entertaining as Washington State Democrat Chairman Dwight Pelz. When Senator Maria Cantwell was late for her speech, Pelz openly admitted he was "in the mode of killing time," and told the audience "I'll tell you some stories of my childhood, then.” After Cantwell finally showed up and delivered what felt like a two-or-three-minute speech, a surprised Pelz came back to the podium and announced, "There’s many reasons to applaud a politician, but let’s applaud Maria Cantwell this time for giving such a short speech."

· Congressional candidate Denny Heck called Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee "the James Brown of Washington politics," explaining that "he’s the hardest-working man around." Heck did get a big laugh when he asked Cory Booker to stand up and addressed him directly: "Mayor Booker, on behalf of all the people of Washington state, we would like to thank you for giving up a congressional district so that we might have another."

· Although his fancy new navy pinstripe suit was sharp, Jay Inslee's speech was dull. He talked about clean energy, education, and how he knows President Obama will "beat Mitt Romney like a drum in Washington" this fall. He ended his speech by quoting Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'," ("“Come senators congressman...don’t block up the hall") in what must be one of the most boring, literal uses of lyrics in a political speech ever. It's a good thing that Rob McKenna wallows in pools of dead charisma cells, because Jay Inslee could use a whole hell of a lot more James Brown in his schtick.