Missouri's political presence, Obama's presidential future

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Editor's note: Nate Hinchey, 18, of Jackson is the youngest member of the Missouri delegation at the Democratic National Convention in Boston. This is the third of his daily reports from the convention.

By Nate Hinchey ~ Special to the Southeast Missourian

  • 5 p.m. Tuesday: Missouri's presence at the convention seems to be building in strength as it becomes more and more apparent that our 11 electoral votes will be crucial in the upcoming election. Nancy Farmer, Senate hopeful, took to the stage to deliver a few comments and her support of John Kerry, as did Congressman Dick Gephardt, who despite his loss to Kerry in the primaries has been more than supportive of the presumptive nominee thus far.

    7 p.m.: The convention's host, U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, received a hearty welcome from the delegations. Many thought it was odd that he was not speaking in a prime-time position, but we would soon be shown why.

    7:30 p.m.: Gov. Howard Dean stepped to the platform, and the people didn't retake their seats for another five minutes. It was one of the largest outpourings of support at the convention, but the mood of the delegates suggests it was more of a "sorry about that whole presidential nomination thing" as opposed to faltering dedication to John Kerry. Dean spoke perfectly, exciting the crowd, teasing us with familiar phrases and almost making us beg to hear the classic scream. But alas, Howard Dean learned his lesson too well from the media.

    9 p.m.: If Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter represented the great shining lights of the Democratic Party's past, then surely the convention witnessed the next star rise in the speaking of Senate candidate Barak Obama. Combining the dignity of former President Clinton's address with the epic power of a service by Martin Luther King Jr., Obama blew the crowd away. I stood up and shook with excitement when he humbly turned over the microphone. As I walked from the convention floor, I called my brother on my cell phone and declared, "That man is going to be president someday." I have no doubt in my mind my words will come true.

    10 p.m.: Teresa Heinz Kerry capped the night with her keynote address. Many worried that she was not ready for an event of this size, but most agreed she did an excellent job and showed she has the poise and strength to be a political leader in our country.

    9 a.m. Wednesday: I spent most of the day at Hynes Memorial Center once again. Endless seminars and training exercises are one of the ways the Democratic National Committee is trying to strengthen its base. The day of classes has left me tired, but I am going to have to find the energy needed to make my way to the convention to listen to U.S. Sen. John Edwards, a man renowned for stirring an audience, and formally nominate him as the vice-presidential candidate in the 2004 election.

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