Dean Ando, a Pierce County Democratic delegate and former classmate of Barack Obama’s, grew up in a family that admired and followed the Kennedys.
So hearing Caroline Kennedy speak last night at the Democratic National Convention was a special treat.
And when Sen. Ted Kennedy appeared in person, “the place just went wild,” Ando said, echoing the comments I heard from another Pierce County delegate, John Frazier.
“It was a magical moment,” Ando said.
Ando offered up a few additional observations from the convention’s first day:
&bull Michelle Obama’s speech reminded him of why he originally became an Obama supporter some 19 months ago. “So many of the people in our delegation were weepy-eyed,” he said. “It touched on the middle class, people who are struggling, the American Dream.”
&bull Bill Richardson is a rock star. Among the brushes with fame for Ando was seeing the New Mexico governor up close. “He is a rock star. People in the Washington delegation went nuts. He’s got a star quality about him I didn’t realize.”
&bull The convention is crawling with political legends. It hit home for Ando when he turned to another delegate and asked, “Is that George McGovern?” The former senator and presidential candidate was about eight feet away. Ando and the others posed for pictures with McGovern.
&bull The catharsis is coming. Ando predicted that something “magical, fruitful and beneficial” will happen Wednesday that will help unify the Obama and Clinton supporters within the party. Ando understands why Clinton delegates are emotional. “If it was the other way around I would want my vote heard,” he said. “They’re just as passionate. I can relate.”