Elections

18-year-old delegate ‘close to tears’ during disability advocate’s DNC speech

Columbus High School graduate David Smith, 18, is a delegate helping to represent Georgia at the Democratic National Convention this week in Philadelphia. He poses Monday afternoon on the floor of the Wells Fargo Center.
Columbus High School graduate David Smith, 18, is a delegate helping to represent Georgia at the Democratic National Convention this week in Philadelphia. He poses Monday afternoon on the floor of the Wells Fargo Center.

Columbus High School graduate David Smith, 18, is a delegate helping to represent Georgia at the Democratic National Convention this week in Philadelphia. Here is his second report from the four-day event:

Smith’s favorite speech during Monday’s opening session was from disability rights advocate Anastasia Somoza of New York, who said, “In a country where 56 million Americans with disabilities so often feel invisible, Hillary Clinton sees me.”

That line, Smith wrote in an email Tuesday to the Ledger-Enquirer, “brought me close to tears.”

Smith is a pledged delegate for Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, meaning he is committed to voting for Sanders during the first round of voting at the convention, even though former secretary of state Hillary Clinton mathematically has clinched the nomination.

Here are Smith’s opinions of other major speeches Monday at the DNC:

“The TV makes it sound like ALL the Bernie Sanders supporters were booing,” Smith wrote. “It was just the California delegation (with a few from my own and North Dakota). The VAST MAJORITY were fine. Michelle Obama's speech was powerful, and when she started crying, it sent a message more powerful than any words could convey. Sanders was amazing as usual. He was feisty and delivered the message of unity perfectly. I hate to say it, but Elizabeth Warren's speech was pretty underwhelming. I mean, I wanted the fiery bulldog, and she was very toned down.”

Oh, and remember those “loud Texas people” Smith complained about during Sunday’s DNC welcome party at the Philadelphia Art Museum? Well, some of them are staying in a room next to his at the DoubleTree by Hilton airport hotel.

“I heard that laugh,” Smith wrote. “They were drunk and tried to open the door from their room to mine.”

Click on this story throughout the day for more updates from Smith.

Click here for his Day 1 report from the DNC, including his explanation of why he cheered Sanders while most of the Sanders delegates booed him when he asked them at a pre-convention gathering to elect Clinton.

The Ledger-Enquirer previously reported about the path Smith took to reach this point, as well as Columbus High classmate Tanner Goldsmith, 18, who wrote for the L-E about his experience as an alternate delegate at the Republican National Convention last week in Cleveland.

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