Smitten by a Passion for Politics

By Madeline Knutson, Special to the Independent
First Lady Michelle Obama speaking to convention delegates on Tuesday.

Tonight I attended the first night of the Democratic National Convention, which definitely did not disappoint! I heard from many different speakers on issues crucial to the campaign, such as equal pay, the right to choose, and the necessity of universal health care.

There were a few standouts of the evening: Maryland’s Gov. Martin O’ Malley, San Antonio’s Mayor Julían Castro, of course the First Lady, Michelle Obama.

O’ Malley rallied the crowd with his chant of “Forward, not Back” and spoke of the steps forward Barack Obama plans to help us take in comparison to the steps back being implied by the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney.

Similarly, Castro spoke about the opportunities Barack Obama is helping to create, not take away, from American citizens everyday.

He explained his life story to us: a grandmother who worked as a maid to send her daughter to college, a mother who only wanted her children to succeed, and twin brothers who both worked hard and gained an unwavering respect for the working people. He explained that these are the kind of opportunities being offered by Barack Obama to the American nation.

Finally, the keynote speaker of the night, Michelle Obama, took the podium to deliver her speech. She spoke about the love she felt for her husband and how his presidency had only made it stronger. She explained all the reasons why Barack would be a great president for these next four years.

But her key point was that both of them had to work to succeed and they knew the struggles of the common American working man and woman. As she said in her speech, when she and Barack were together in college, “[they] were so young, so in love, and so in debt.” Mrs. Obama pointed out that the reason she knew Barack was a good man is because he worked hard for his dreams and did what was right, even during difficult times.

It was an amazing night for all, filled with cheering, enthusiasm, and a passion for politics that is incomparable. As Ken Salazar said during the night, “we want a man who walks with us.”

LBHS senior Madeline Knutson is attending her first nominating convention, selected by the Junior Statesmen of America program.



Rain Delay for Ray

Noah Mamet, left, with local Michael Ray, also a Democratic contributor.

Flight delays postponed the arrival of Laguna Beach resident Michael Ray, also attending the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. He is a guest of the National Democratic Institute, founded by Ronald Reagan and currently chaired by Madeline Albright.

Though he missed the official speeches, Ray arrived late Tuesday, Sept. 4,  and spent the first day of the convention at the unofficial hangouts, the lobby bar at the Westin hotel, near the convention center, and Ritz Carlton. In the latter,  Ray met up with Democratic funder Noah Mamet, who he says sponsored a party with actor George Clooney that raised $15 million for Obama.

Mamet apparently wrangled Ray a room at a Hampton Inn, which rates five stars for its proximity to the convention’s action, and VIP passes for Wednesday.


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