The Skanner News Freelancer John Moreno caught up with Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith at the Democratic National Convention.
John Moreno: What is your reaction to President Clinton's speech?
Loretta Smith: He is amazing. He is such a great orator. He broke all of the talking points the Republicans had and he broke them down to they're simply not true.
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JM: So do you think he made an effective case for the President's reelection?
LS: Very effective. He is real. He energizes us. We're ready to go. This is another great day of speeches from our Democratic party leaders. I was so grateful to hear from him today. I think it's going to be what the doctor ordered in terms of getting us excited to go back into our communities to make sure we get the vote out.
JM: Can you describe your reaction to the President's appearance at the end of the speech?
LS: Oh my God that was so cool. That's all I can say.
JM: Did you know he was coming out?
LS: I didn't. I didn't. know he was going to come out.
JM: Let's talk about Oregon for a minute. What do you think are the stakes for the state of Oregon in this Presidential election?
LS: I think that Oregon is in play. We need to make sure people turn their ballots in. We need to make sure they know who they're voting for and what's at stake. It's more than just the economy. We're talking about Supreme Court nominations. We're talking about making sure that we have funding for struggling families, for families that are experiencing difficulties in education and housing and the like. As a county commissioner I know how important it is for some of those families to get some of the programs we get from the federal government and I for one, I'm just not convinced that if President Obama is not elected that we will have someone in office that cares about poor people.
JM: Are Oregonians better off today than they were four years ago?
LS: Yes they are. I know I am.
JM: What is the biggest difference in your mind between this convention and the convention last week in Tampa?
LS: Look around the room. Look at all the diff nationalities. Look at all the bright faces and people coming from all different walks of life. You have poor people, minority folks. You have people that are business owners. You have people that our county executives like myself. This is just a party of inclusion. I think this is someplace that people want to be. They can get ahead if they play by the rules. If we have someone other than President Obama I'm just not convinced that it's going to be like that.
JM: Do you think that moving tomorrow's speech from the stadium here to the arena is going to have a significant damper on the proceedings?
LS: No because I think we're going to blow the roof off of this stadium when we see President Obama. He is going to basically lay out his plan. I was excited to see him shaking hands and hugging with President Clinton because I know that they're both concerned about the people I'm concerned about.