DENVER Utah Democrats were feeling a mile high in Denver after Barack Obama's acceptance speech Thursday at the Democratic National Convention.
"I don't know whether to shout like I'm in church or just cry on somebody's shoulder. Man, my knees are weak. This is emotional. This is wonderful," said delegate Kelvin Davis.
He is black and was especially proud that Obama's acceptance came 45 years to the day after Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech seeking full civil rights for blacks. He reveled in tributes to King's speech and in Obama's acceptance speech.
"This is the dream right here. It wipes away a lot of years of misery," he said, adding that he wished his mother who passed away just last week could have seen it. He carried her bag with him in her memory and said he was sure she was looking on and crying with joy from heaven.
"This is the fruit of the work of a lot of people who have gone on before. This is also the future for my children, ages 5, 3, 2 and the baby born last week" just after his mother died, Davis said.
Erika George, an alternate delegate who also is black and is a University of Utah law professor, said, "This is another chapter in the dream. Others in the future will be blessed by what has gone on here."
Delegate Theodore Cowan Jr., who like Obama is half-white and half-black, was euphoric, and he said, "I feel like I just scored a touchdown." That was appropriate because he was standing literally in the end zone of Invesco Field at Mile High, home of the NFL's Denver Broncos. (Obama spoke on the 50-yard line.)
Josie Valdez, a delegate and the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, said, "This is the culmination of so many years of hope" for minorities and others.
Carlos Vasquez, who came as a delegate for Hillary Clinton, said that while Democrats are known for having many opinions, after the convention, "I am sure that come Election Day, everyone (among Clinton delegates) is going to vote for Obama. I think we had two good candidates. I think Barack Obama is a great candidate."
Delegate Brian Spittler, head of BYU for Obama, said of his speech, "This is why we can all believe his promise of America is returning. He addressed the issues that affect us all, especially as Utahns. He has shown that he is a leader we all can believe and trust in. He understands the issues we face in Utah. He gets it. The change we need as Utahns has come."
State Sen. Pat Jones, D-Salt Lake: "I am speechless and very touched. This was a very memorable moment that will stay will me always."
State Sen. Scott McCoy, D-Salt Lake, also a delegate, said, "I am overwhelmed with pride, optimism and hope. I hope my fellow Utahns come away from this address with an understanding that Barack Obama shares their American values, understands their daily plights and has real ideas for putting America back on the right course and for meeting America's promise here."Jan Lovett said, "Finally as a woman I have hope for me as a woman, for my family and for America."