DENVER At just 18 years old, he stood on the podium addressing the Democratic National Convention. Utah delegate Jordan Apollo Pazell then formally seconded the nomination of Hillary Clinton for president (before Clinton herself later moved to nominate Barack Obama by acclamation).
"I proudly second the nomination of Hillary Clinton on behalf of my two great-grandmothers, Theresa and Kathryn, both Utah residents, and both born before women had the right to vote," said Pazell as he helped to nominate a woman, although in a losing cause.
Pazell, as the third-youngest delegate at the convention, was chosen to help represent the diversity of Clinton's supporters. Clinton was formally nominated by Dolores Huerta of California, a Hispanic, and was also seconded by Denise Williams Harris of New York, one of Clinton's millions of women supporters.
"I am equally proud to be here as the third-youngest delegate and a representative of the many young voters galvanized to action by Hillary," he said. Pazell had taken a year off of school to work for Clinton in Iowa and Nevada.
Pazell, who said he was a "proud representative of the 723 voters of the great mining town of Copperton," told delegates he especially endorsed Clinton because of her drive for universal health care.
"I am here because my great-grandmother Kathryn is a breast cancer survivor who lost her health coverage when her husband died last year. She's 89 years old and is currently living at home with hospice care because she cannot afford an assisted-living facility on Medicare," he said.
"I believe with all my heart that we can and must achieve health care for all as Hillary says 'No excuses, no exceptions, no one left out."'
Pazell said that his speech was written by convention staff based on comments he gave to them earlier. And, no, he was not really nervous. Still the hall was more than half full so more than 10,000 people were present when he spoke (not to mention a few million people watching on cable TV and the Internet).
What was the other "large" crowd he had spoken to before Wednesday?
On behalf of Clinton, he addressed an Iowa caucus meeting last January, "maybe 450 people there," he said.
Clinton said in a written statement about the three chosen to nominate her, "I will forever be proud of the diversity of our delegation. We have delegates ranging in age from 17 to their late 80s, and represent every walk of life and every corner of America. I want to thank them for their support."
Of course, as had been decided long ago in the primaries, Barack Obama won the formal vote. The unanimous support for him by the convention was actually moved by his main opponent in the primaries, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.
That happened before Utah was able to announce formally from the floor its votes, but they were cast in writing earlier in the day and will be formally counted for the record.
Delegation chairman Wayne Holland said Utah delegates cast nine votes for Clinton, and 19 for Obama. Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, did not cast a "superdelegate" vote to which he was entitled, choosing instead to skip the convention to campaign at home and help a son enter the fourth grade.
All of Utah's Clinton delegates chose to vote for her, even though she had released delegates to vote as they choose earlier in the day.
• The full text of Pazell's speech:
Fellow Democrats, delegates and friends. My name is Apollo Pazell and I represent the great state of Utah. I am a proud son, grandson and great-grandson. A proud representative of the 723 voters of the great mining town of Copperton. A proud Democrat and a proud supporter of Hillary Clinton.
I am equally proud to be here as the third-youngest delegate and a representative of the many young voters who were galvanized to action by Hillary. I am here because my great-grandmother Kathryn is a breast cancer survivor who lost her health coverage when her husband died last year. She's 89 years old and is currently living at home with hospice care because she cannot afford an assisted-living facility on Medicare.
I am here because I see our broken health care system through her experience, an experience shared by too many people, and I believe with all my heart that we can and must achieve health care for all-as Hillary says "No excuses, no exceptions, no one left out!"