President Obama’s impassioned tribute to Hillary Clinton and uplifting description of America’s greatness electrified and unified delegates at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night.

“His belief that hope trumps hate is a far better way for this country and what makes us great,” said Maine delegate Troy Jackson, a former state senator from Allagash.

“I think his saying that we are a country that is great and we don’t need Trump or really anyone to make us great was spot on,” Jackson said in a text. “We don’t need a ruler. We need a leader that inspires. That is not Trump.”

The sense of history – the nation’s first African-American president joined on stage by the nation’s first female presidential nominee of a major party – was palpable for Maine delegate Trevor Doiron, a 17-year-old from Jay.

“I was so proud to be in the arena to see that historic moment,” Doiron said.

Obama also “emphasized the power of what we can do when we work together,” Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett said in a text. “President Obama knows Hillary well and highlighted the strength of her character and resolve.”

Vice President Joe Biden and other speakers who preceded Obama Wednesday night sparked the first pangs of Obama administration nostalgia.

“There are some personal things going on here,” Maine delegate Jon Hinck said after Biden spoke.

“(We) heard all the important stuff that relates to policy and competency and the presidency, but so many of us Democrats find ourselves very attached to the individuals, particularly Barack and Michelle,” said Hinck, a Portland city councilor.

“People are feeling it very personally. These people we like are leaving office,” he said.

Jackson said Biden’s passion was evident as he blasted Trump for having “no clue” about what makes America great – setting off a chant of “has no clue! has no clue!” in the audience. The United States “does not scare easily,” and when confronted with crisis, “we endure, we overcome and we always move forward,” Biden said.

“(Biden) to this point was very inspiring,” Jackson said.

In his first major address, Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine said he “humbly” accepted the nomination and would run on behalf of families working to get ahead, for senior citizens hoping for a dignified retirement and for every person who wants America to be a beloved community.

“I really like Kaine’s down-home style,” said Maine delegate Dale McCormick, the former director of the Maine State Housing Authority.

Doiron, the teen from Jay, also liked Kaine’s speech.

“I think there was no better choice for vice president than Tim Kaine,” he said. “Not only was his speech inspiring, but so was his life story. He is humble, kind and knowledgeable – a perfect example of a true leader and public servant.”

Earlier in the day, the delegation heard from Bernie Sanders, hours after the Vermont senator’s symbolic gesture to unite the party behind Hillary Clinton.

Speaking to Democrats from Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine during a joint delegation breakfast, Sanders told the crowd that his political “revolution” continues and underscored the need to defeat Donald Trump this November. All three states strongly backed Sanders during their respective primaries and caucuses.

“Sanders said the reality now is we need to come together and that we have a different Democratic Party now,” said Ralph Carmona, a Maine delegate from Portland who has supported Clinton. “He talked about the platform and he talked about the issues.”

“Senator Sanders was well received and his speech was about his vision for America and how it doesn’t stop here,” said David Flores, a Maine delegate who went to the convention as a Sanders supporter but who believes the party must now support Clinton. “He talked about how the political revolution continues.”

The Vermont senator addressed the joint delegation breakfast roughly 12 hours after he played a key role in the process that led to Clinton’s historic nomination.

Democratic National Committee officials allowed each of the states and territories to formally cast their delegates to either Clinton or Sanders during a floor session televised nationally. Maine cast 18 delegates for Sanders and 12 for Clinton.

Sanders’ home state of Vermont chose to go last. And after all of the delegates had been awarded – with Clinton the clear winner – Sanders stepped to the microphone to request that the convention approve Clinton’s nomination by acclamation or voice vote. While some die-hard Sanders supporters walked out of the convention floor in protest, the rest of the crowd was electrified by the Vermont senator’s magnanimous gesture.

“When Sanders came up (to the microphone), the place went crazy and there were no more boos,” Carmona said. “And if there were, you couldn’t hear them.”

Jackson, who helped lead the Sanders campaign in Maine, said he believed the senator’s remarks during the Wednesday breakfast “certainly helped a lot of people with their frustration and disappointment.”

Jackson said he personally appreciated Sanders’ comments about not only supporting Democrats lower on the ballot, but also holding them accountable afterward to ensure they live up to their campaign promises on progressive causes. He said the healing process will take time for some Sanders supporters, but believes the candidate’s comments will help spur people to stay involved in the Democratic campaign.

“A lot of people are still having a hard time and are still processing it,” Jackson said. “The DNC has done everything it can to shoot itself in the foot in this campaign. … But there’s this guy everyone put so much faith in and who got a lot of people inspired, and he his telling you that, despite his disappointment, (the election) is just too important to sit on the sidelines and do nothing about it.”

Jackson plans to support Clinton’s campaign in Maine, although admittedly not with the same fervor he did Sanders.

Flores also believes many Sanders supporters are unifying behind Clinton after seeing many of Sanders’ priorities embraced by Clinton and incorporated into the party’s progressive platform.

“Now people are taking time to step back and see what is at stake in this election,” said Flores, a lawyer and former Marine.

Several other Vermont Democrats – including Sen. Patrick Leahy, the Senate’s longest-serving member – also spoke about the importance of defeating Trump during the joint delegation breakfast.

Noel K. Gallagher can be reached at 791-6387 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: noelinmaine

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.