At the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Thursday night, Maine Attorney General Janet Mills was having the time of her life.

“Sitting here in this crowded arena, I feel like I’m looking at a tapestry of America,” Mills said, a few hours before Hillary Clinton took the stage. “Thousands of working men and women, truck drivers, restaurant workers, teachers — “

Her train of thought was interrupted by the sighting of a famous singer.

“— Oh, and now Carole King!” 

To suggest she was enjoying the convention would be an understatement.

“It’s exhilarating,” she said. “It’s been energetic, thoughtful and historic. I’ve met a lot of great people and I’ve had a lot of fun.”

As the DNC wound to a close, Trevor Doiron of Jay was likewise beaming. The 17-year-old is considered the youngest Democratic delegate to attend the convention. He becomes old enough to legally vote Friday, his 18th birthday.

“Over the last four days, I’ve witnessed our party unite behind our nominee Hillary Clinton,” said Doiron, a Clinton delegate. “Whether it was passing the most progressive platform in history or Bernie Sanders moving to suspend the rules during roll call, it has become evident to me that the Democratic Party is now fully united.

“A powerful moment for me was Tuesday after the roll call vote and Hillary Clinton was declared our nominee,” Doiron said. “With much excitement, I looked around and noticed many people with tears in their eyes. It was at that moment I realized how big of a deal this convention was. For the first time in United States history, a woman is the nominee for a major party — that’s huge. One hundred years ago, women couldn’t attend conventions because they couldn’t vote. Now, they can become president. Our country has come such a long way, and I couldn’t be prouder.”

Nancy Wanderer, a Clinton delegate from Falmouth, shared her observations about an hour before Clinton was to speak.

“The excitement is building in the room as speaker after speaker has helped everyone here to understand the true character of Hillary Clinton,” Wanderer said. “The place is totally packed as hundreds wait in line outside hoping to find a way inside. We all know that we are participants as well as witnesses to one of the most important events in our country’s history. It just doesn’t get any better than this.”

Were there any gripes? Perhaps one or two.

“The Bernie-or-Bust people are annoying with their seemingly endless complaints,” Wanderer said. “We will not let them ruin this magical, powerful evening.”

Diane Denk, a Sanders delegate from Kennebunk, said she was watching several of her heroes revving up the crowd as they anticipated Clinton’s acceptance of the nomination.

“The possibilities for every woman and little girl are now expanded,” Denk said. “We will always remember where we were on this momentous night.”

Clinton delegate Dale McCormick of Augusta was at her fourth convention and said she was “blown away by the normalized acceptance of LGBTQ people and the engaged participation of women. This is the party of inclusivity. We care about our neighbors and are stronger together.”

McCormick had the opportunity to visit Independence Hall while in Philadelphia and said she was moved to tears to see the Liberty Bell.

Regarding President Barack Obama’s remarks on Wednesday night, she said, “I loved it when he quoted the ‘Declaration of Independence’ — that ‘all are created equal and entitled to those unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.'”

Mills, also a Clinton delegate, couldn’t help but contrast the Democratic Convention with that of the Republicans. On the GOP side, she said, there were speakers who expressed mostly venom and bitterness as they attacked their opposition.

“The contrast is pretty striking,” Mills said. “You don’t have that kind of talk here. There is energy and passion here — but not hate.”

Mills said she was especially impressed with first lady Michelle Obama’s speech Wednesday, and with that of business magnate Michael Bloomberg.

“Michael Bloomberg said, ”The richest thing about Donald Trump is his hypocrisy,'” Mills said. “That was a good line.”

Every morning in Philadelphia, Mills said, she had breakfast with delegates from New Hampshire and Vermont. She also met a lot of people, from truck drivers to small business owners, who came to support Hillary Clinton.

“They’re all ready to work as a team,” Mills said.


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