Denver John Salazar is normally a quiet man, not prone to raising his voice or showing much outward emotion in public.
But the San Luis Valley Congressman proved to be one of the most energetic, excited speakers Thursday afternoon at Invesco Field in Denver, during the prelude to the night's finale of the Democratic National Convention - the highly anticipated speech by U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, who will become the first African-American to accept the presidential nomination of a major party.
As the sun began to dip and protestors of all stripes and causes created a chaotic scene outside the stadium, Salazar brought the tangible energy inside Invesco with his brief but spirited remarks.
"Hellooo, Colorado!" he yelled into the microphone upon taking the stage, a royal blue speaking area that rose above the field normally reserved for professional sports but, on Thursday, was completely covered with packed crowds, media stations and viewing areas.
Salazar began by reiterating mantras heard all week at convention events - that Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain opposed the Farm Bill, does not support rural America and is increasingly out of touch with the West. While McCain's campaign of course refutes all those points, Democrats have repeated them relentlessly and Salazar continued that trend, trying to reach constituents in the 3rd Congressional District he represents. The district includes Routt and Moffat counties.
Salazar said we need a president who understands rural values and economies, then again shouted with surprising, resounding energy into the microphone.
"My fellow Americans, Barack Obama will - be - that - president!" Salazar cried, enunciating every word.
He closed by focusing on what he described as a promising future under an Obama administration.
"I look out at a silo of hope - it is stored up and ready for November!" he said.