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The Seattle Times Political Caucus is an online community aimed at adding diverse voices to our coverage of politics. How we'll use the Caucus will evolve over time. But the idea is to create a conversation with people of various backgrounds and political beliefs. As the election season unfolds, we'll ask participants to weigh in on key political questions and then post their comments here.

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September 3, 2008 9:51 AM

Convention "pretty surreal" for young delegate

Posted by Richard Wagoner

Sam Nelson, 19, of Seattle, is attending the Republican National Convention as a guest of the John McCain campaign. He's the youngest member of the Washington state delegation. A student at Brigham Young University, Nelson became an intern for the GOP when I was 17 and eventually led the party's phone bank in Seattle.

By Sam Nelson

It's about 2:30 a.m. and I just got back from a party with "Mike Huckabee and Capitol Offense." Most events here are 21+ so I was really glad I was able to get into this one. Huckabee was pretty good, everyone was dancing and singing and having a great time. The older couples awkwardly dancing together was definitely a highlight.

This whole thing has been pretty surreal. Famous people walk by me all the time, journalists are everywhere, security guards with huge guns just walk around, and it seems like everyone is dying to give me free stuff. This morning our delegation had breakfast while we heard from Meg Whitman (CEO of Ebay), McCain's daughter, a former POW, and a few other exciting guests. After breakfast, we were shuttled off to a paddle boat cruise on the Mississippi river, where I sat next to the chairman of the Washington GOP. The ride was really pretty and I met all kinds of interesting people. The Coast Guard made sure we were safe. They had boats with two mounted machine guns that kept cruising past us while two security guys with Uzis walked around our boat. It was nice to have that feeling of security.

Next was the convention that had a theme of service and putting our country first. I think Fred Thompson and Lieberman did a great job and there was so much excitement in the room as they spoke. The stories about John McCain and other war heroes were incredible. If you haven't seen the RNC video for Michael Monsoor you need to. The story made me so proud of the bravery of our military and what people were willing to do on behalf of our country. After the video was shown, the convention center gave his family a long standing ovation, it was amazing. Probably my favorite part of the convention today.

It's past 3:00 a.m. right now and I better get to bed. Tomorrow's going to be amazing and I'll definitely write something about it.

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