The next few days will likely prove if Sen. Barack Obama has united the entire Democratic Party, but he certainly brought unity to Democrats in Dayton with his acceptance speech on Thursday night.
About 15 Dayton Democrats got together at the First and 10 Bar and Grill to watch Obama accept the Democratic nomination for president.
Dorothy Wingard, Sherri Marsh, Thelma Bataille and Brenda Ritter, all of Dayton, were expecting a great speech, but Ritter also wanted to hear specifics.
"He needs to be more specific for the doubters out there," she said. "He needs to make it clear how he is going to bring about change."
The four women said they were excited with how the convention has gone so far.
"First Michelle (Obama), then Hillary (Clinton) and Bill (Clinton)," Wingard said. "And when (Ted) Kennedy showed up, I was crying."
Bataille, a local Realtor who also served as a delegate to the Lyon County Convention along with Wingard, said Obama should be strong and powerful in his remarks.
"This is war," she said. "We have to take on those Republicans."
Wingard said she and her friends went to see Obama in person in Reno and were excited by his candidacy.
"I got chills watching him," Wingard said.
Also attending the party was Iris Malone, an Obama staffer, who said the party was organized by Campaign for Change, an arm of the state Democratic Party.
Rita Valent, of Dayton, said she wanted to see Obama in the White House.
"I don't want to see another Republican in the White House ever again," she said.
John Franks, of Silver Springs, who is vice chairman of the Lyon County Democratic Central Committee and a candidate for trustee of the Silver Springs-Stagecoach Hospital Board, was collecting names of potential volunteers or donors.
"I am a Democrat because my net worth is under $1 billion," he said.
Though some diners and drinkers talked through the Illinois senator's speech or watched a college football game, about 20 were intently listening to the candidate breaking out in applause at various times and laughing at the shots he took at his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
If there were any Republicans in the bar, they didn't speak up.
Bataille said she felt Obama did all he needed to do.
"He was specific, he went point by point," she said. "It was powerful and inspiring, and very believable."
Wingard, whose son is about to be deployed to Iraq, was moved by Obama's talk of the nation's servicemen and women and veterans.
"All the different points he made were so true," she said.
Marsh said she loved the speech but couldn't point to one thing that stood out.
"He gives you hope," she said. "I don't know how else to put it."
- Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 881-7351.