The Nomination Process

Jeff Alworth

[Post updated with video.]

Okay, that was cool.  I just got back from the actual nomination process, where Barack officially became the nominee of the party.  I'll admit that I'm a little clueless about how that whole thing goes down, so I quizzed Wayne Kinney and got the skinny. 

The first step was this morning, when Oregon held its balloting.  This is a paper ballot, but not secret.  I tried to get Wayne to characterize it ("joyful?" I suggested?--no.  "Matter-of-fact?"--no), but I guess you had to be there.  Oregon's delegation voted 44-20.  They then reported those numbers, but the official report would come later, during the roll call.

by chance, I walked into the Pepsi Center just as the nominations were submitted.  Each candidate has 15 minutes, and can have as many speakers as they wish.  After the nomination is seconded and accepted, roll call begins.  It's a fairly entertaining process wherein each state designate a speaker who then talks about native sons and daughters, the distinct features of their states, and their connection to the nominees.  Some of them were emotional--Iowa's, for example, had a 2-tour Iraq vet who said, "I'm standing here in the same boots I wore in Baghdad." 

The roll call proceeds by alphabetical order, and there were some surprises.  Arkansas voted 47-0 for Obama--an interesting statement from the state that once called Hillary first lady.  Obama was winning pretty big majorities of every state, and we knew that there might be a moment when he achieved a majority of votes and there was a call to quit counting and wave him through.  Nevertheless, throughout the long stretch of Ms and Ns, Oregon's delegation kept the faith, clustering around Ron Wyden, who would announce our results should the roll call get to us. 

Of course, you know the rest.  New Mexico yielded to Illinois, apparently a tip of the hat to Obama's home state, and they promptly yielded the floor to New York.  Hillary once again was a class act:

“With eyes firmly fixed on the future in the spirit of unity, with the goal of victory, with faith in our party and country, let’s declare together in one voice, right here and right now, that Barack Obama is our candidate and he will be our president.”

“I move that Senator Barack Obama of Illinois be selected by this convention by acclamation as the Democratic nominee for president of the United States.”

After that, the place really went wild.  In a very scripted four days, it did feel like an hour or two of real anticipation.

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