Former President Clinton takes the stage at Jefferson Jackson Dinner

By Andy Jenks - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (NBC12) - It's the big fundraiser of the year for the Virginia Democratic Party.

And the Jefferson Jackson Dinner again brought in the heavy hitters.

Former President Bill Clinton took the stage to an enthusiastic applause.

He said something appears to be different these days.

"Look at this crowd," he said. "If I was at this dinner 30 years ago, most people would look like me. Old gray haired white guys in suits. It would be so boring."

In his remarks, the former president said that for the first time in forty years the Democratic Party has a genuine national majority.

"Nobody should waste time from this podium tonight with tried and true applause lines bashing Republicans. They have just about done themselves in," he said.

That means Democrats have an obligation to be the party that shows the world how to accomplish its goals.

"How are we going to do it? We should be the 'how' party of America," he said.

Virginia's three Democratic candidates for Governor then spoke.

Jabs were saved for the presumptive Republican nominee Bob McDonnell.

The former president expects that to be the case all the way until the fall.

"You should urge this primary to be vigorous, but you should remember how long we have worked for this moment," Clinton said.

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