CSU graduates, former professors and Colorado State’s own ASCSU president were among the crowd of nearly 50,000 politically charged Democrats who sat witness to Sen. Barack Obama’s speech at the DNC Thursday night.
Jennifer Walton, a research assistant at CSU, sat in section 123 at Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium with nearly 200 other members, volunteers and local politicians from the Larimer County Democratic Party. While the majority of people paid big bucks for tickets, these local Democrats paid their way by volunteering for the party and the candidates.
As a full-time Webmaster for the LCDP, Walton works out of the headquarters at 606 S. Mason Street in Fort Collins.
Walton, with a “Change” poster for Obama gripped between her fingertips and her camera wedged between her palms, stood next to Amy Satterfield, former Collegian adviser.
The two still keep in contact after Walton took JTC 310 with Satterfield in 2007.
When Obama walked onto the stage and began to inspire in his infamous style, Walton fixated on his face, magnified on the Jumbo-Tron.
There she remained, with a smile on her face, even when everyone around her sat down.At one point, she turned to Satterfield and nodded in silent agreement as Obama promised to “provide every child a world-class education.”
“His speech was just so brilliant,” she said. “I don’t know how, but he somehow managed to verbalize his passion for his job and for his country.”
Local candidates such as James Ross, candidate for Colorado House District 49 and former political theories and international relations professor at CSU sat with the LCDP.
Other attendees included:
Randy Eubanks, County Commissioner for Dist. 2
John Slater, Windsor Town Board Member for Dist. 1
Ben Manvel, Fort Collins City Council member
Betsy Markey, candidate for Congress
On the other side of the stadium, Taylor Smoot, ASCSU president, donned a CSU shirt and cheered wildly as former Vice President Al Gore mounted the podium.
Taylor Smoot entered the stadium expecting to sit alone and take in the democratic air alone but ran into fellow CSU student Marcella Burg, a senior journalism major.
Smoot just found out yesterday that a family friend had an extra ticket and he jumped at the opportunity to go. When Smoot found out the DNC was to be held in Denver , he thought to himself “Wow this is going to be the future of the Democratic Party.”
“The Convention could not be held in a more beautiful state – in my opinion the best state in the union,” Smoot said. “I’d have to say this is one of the most defining moments in my life. Listening to Obama speak just really encouraged me to do good not only for others but for the good of the nation.”
“I just feel so very privileged to have gotten a ticket and to be here at the DNC,” Smoot said, as he struggled to put his gratitude into words.
“It’s just mind blowing, the whole event,” he said. “There are people here from all over the country and the amount of diversity is just incredible, I just can’t believe it.
Smoot, an avid supporter of his platform, believes that if nominated, Obama can be the “next step in the American story.”
Staff writer Madeline Novey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org