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Delegate Nguyen Feeling Inspired Near The End Of DNC

Susan Walsh
AP Photo
President Barack Obama, right, talks with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, left, following Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Wednesday, July 27, 2016.

On Wednesday night of the Democratic National Convention, some political heavyweights took the stage to pledge their support for the presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. There were speeches from former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine and President Barack Obama. Each of them explained how they think Clinton is uniquely qualified to be the next commander in chief.

Washington state delegate Trang Nguyen was in the audience again, listening. Nguyen says she thought Kaine's speech resonated well with Clinton supporters and delegates.

"He had some great lines, like, if you're looking for the party of Lincoln, home is here," she said. "He mentioned Bernie a couple times and allowed us to cheer for him, which shows his respect for all of the Sanders delegates."

During his speech Wednesday night, vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine told the crowd: "We all should feel the Bern. And we all should not want to get burned by the other guy."

Nguyen says hearing President Obama speak was "incredible." She says it was an important moment for her to remember where the country was eight years ago. As far as his calls for party unity, Nguyen says she "respects" the president, but she's still not fully convinced when it comes to backing Clinton.

Though she plans on doing her homework by watching speeches of Clinton and Kaine in different situations and taking detailed notes. Nguyen says she did the same thing when first learning about former candidate Bernie Sanders and his platform. 

Credit Paul Sancya / AP Photo
AP Photo
Activists protest as former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, speaks during the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Wednesday, July 27, 2016.

Even though Nguyen says she had an overall good day at the third day of the convention, she says listening to Leon Panetta speak left her frustrated. He was interrupted during his speech by a group chanting, "no more war."

Nguyen was among that group.

"Oregon, which is seated right next to us, began chanting ... and Washington joined in," she said. "We weren't trying to be disrespectful or dishonor our veterans, whom we greatly admire and respect. We joined them because counter-productive, regime-change wars that lead to veterans not being cared for isn't right."

The California delegation joined Washington and Oregon in that chant. Convention organizers were trying to quiet the crowd by shutting off the lights in those sections.

Breakfast With Bernie

Before the day's events kicked off Wednesday, Nguyen met with fellow Bernie Sanders supporters from Washington for breakfast. In this audio extra, she explains there were rumors floating around that Sanders would actually attend. 


This is part of KPLU's ongoing election series "From the Floor," focused on the Washington delegation at each of the party's national conventions.

Ed Ronco is a former KNKX producer and reporter and hosted All Things Considered for seven years.
Ariel first entered a public radio newsroom in 2004 while in school at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. It was love at first sight. After graduating from Bradley, she went on to earn a Master's degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield. Ariel has lived in Indiana, Ohio and Alaska reporting on everything from salmon spawning to policy issues concerning education. She's been a host, a manager and now rides shotgun with Kirsten Kendrick as the Morning Edition producer at KNKX.