Sooner State Democrats are blue, in a red state

Democrats in Oklahoma may outnumber Republicans, but the Sooner State has not supported the party’s nominee since 1964.

Nonetheless, a lively contingent of 50 delegates at the Democratic National Convention this week in Charlotte, N.C., were proud of what they say is a progressive party platform, and support President Barack Obama’s re-election.

Oklahoma Democratic Party Vice Chairwoman Dana Orwig cast the state’s votes from “the home of Woody Guthrie“ — and cheered former President Bill Clinton‘s line that “arithmetic” enabled him to balance the budget.

Fifth Congressional District nominee Tom Guild, hoping to unseat conservative Republican James Lankford, gave Clinton’s speech, on a scale of one to 10, “a 12.”

Orwig told CapitolBeatOK she did not agree with critics who said Clinton spoke too long.

“Even though it had been a long day, I’d have been happy for him to go on even longer,” she said.

She cheered when the Arkansas native derided Republican themes to “double down on trickle down.”

Orwig found the speech from Elizabeth Warren — the Massachusetts U.S. Senate candidate who grew up in Oklahoma — “clear and reasoned.” She applauded Warren’s advocacy for middle-income earners.

Guild declared Clinton’s speech “clearly chronicled the differences between the parties, the discrepancies between the facts and the claims made by (vice presidential candidate Paul) Ryan and the Republicans at the (Republican National Convention), and gave us a historical perspective on how many jobs have been created, and how the stock market has performed under Democrats and Republicans.”

Guild said he found first lady Michelle Obama’s address “inspirational.”

“Her personal story and that of Barack are separately inspirational and they have separately and as a couple both achieved the American dream,” he said.

As for other speakers, Guild found San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro’s Tuesday address the most moving of the convention, thus far.

Guild pointed to Castro’s humble origins, love for family and successful run for mayor as evidence that “only in America are some dreams achievable and realistic.”

Guild said Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley had some of the “best lines,” as he spoke of Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

As for his fellow Oklahomans, Guild said the group was “celebratory” and “wildly enthusiastic.”

Looking to November, the delegates could be described as “blue” — but not because they’re sad about living in a decidedly red state.

“Everyone seems to think that the election will be close, the struggle will be titanic and that in the end Democrats will prevail by keeping the Senate, the presidency and gaining seats in the House,” said Guild.

Note: Jumbotron photo provided by Delegate Jason Madrid


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