It's not that often that Wallace Stegner's words are woven into a political speech before an audience of 75,000 (plus all those folks watching on television). But during the blockbuster, Super Bowl-esque spectacle that closed out the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Rep. Mark Udall -- a candidate for Senate here in Colorado -- did just that.
This is the quote from the prepared transcript of his speech:
That’s why Wallace Stegner, the great Western writer, called us “the stickers.” They taught us that going forward means going together. With so many challenges ahead of us, it will take every bit of our Western strength, common sense, independence and pragmatism to get our country back on track and moving forward.
Though I was shooting photos, not taking notes, I'm pretty sure that's not what Udall actually said. It was more like, "Wallace Stegner called the West the native place of hope." Udall also talked about his father, Mo Udall, another influential Western politician.
Adding to the Western vibe of the event, N.M. Gov. Bill Richardson also spoke on Thursday, to deafening applause. Of course, he was wearing a yellow tie (where's the bolo, Guv?). Udall, for the record, wore a tasteful bolo tie during his speech.