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A view of Obama from the West

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Jonathan Thompson | Aug 29, 2008 09:02 AM

"It was magical."


That's how Tillie Herrera Brummell, a diminutive woman with salt and pepper hair and round spectacles, described the closing extravaganza of the Democratic National Convention. Brummell, a native New Mexican who currently lives in Mountainair, sat with her son, Daniel, on a bus taking Convention-goers from the event back into town. She spoke with passion, in the distinctive accent of a New Mexican Hispanic, about Democratic politics in her state.

Brummell was in Denver as a special guest of her state's delegation. Her son explained that she had helped a lot of Democratic politicians get into office in New Mexico, and this was a way of repaying her. Like just about everyone else listening to Obama's speech, she seemed thrilled and genuinely moved.

She's also optimistic that Obama can win her state which, despite its history as a Democratic stronghold, has become something of a swing state in recent years. Clinton dominated New Mexico in 1992, but Gore barely beat out Bush in 2000, and Bush took the state in 2004.

One challenge Obama faced in the primaries was appealing to Latino voters, who tended to lean overwhelmingly toward Clinton. Indeed, in New Mexico, where 44 percent of the population is Hispanic or Latino, Hillary Clinton narrowly won the primary.

The Brummells, however, firmly believe that New Mexico's Clinton supporters will vote for Obama, handing him the state. Helping the cause? The youth vote.

"This generation of young people," said Brummell, as the bus passed throngs of youthful looking people hoofing it from the stadium back to town. "They are fed up with the way things are."

Indeed, the crowd on Thursday night was a bit younger than the usual Convention audience:






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