Will cast votes right after Kentucky.
photo credit: News Hour
URING THE roll call of delegate votes to nominate President Barack Obama as the party's official presidential candidate, the Kenyan delegation is expected to cast all of its seven votes for Mr. Obama.
One delegate, Elinah Mwaura, initially was going to give her vote to Dennis Kucinich "because he is such a cute little man," but the rest of the delegation convinced her to make the Kenyan vote unanimous for what the group has dubbed "our half-native son."
Members of the East African nation, each representing one of the seven largest ethnic groups in Kenya, arrived at the convention center in Charlotte jet-lagged, "but so very, truly honored to be part of this great American tradition of nomination," said the delegation's foreman, Peter Marende.
The roll call of states will proceed in alphabetical order on Thursday, placing Kenya right after Kentucky, which has 74 delegates.
President Obama is expected to easily win his party's nomination without Kenya. He needs 2,778 votes to be nominated; however with Kenya's delegates, the President will come away with seven votes never before cast, marking an historic moment in convention history.
"We are here largely as a symbolic gesture, and to remind Americans of their president's rich cultural heritage!" said Mr. Marende. "However, if we can be but a Kenyan footnote in your great country's history books, that is all the better!" he added.
President and Mrs. Obama have invited the Kenyan delegation to the White House for lunch next Saturday, before the group returns to Africa.
"I'm sure it's just a friendly get together," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. "You know, recipe exchange, that sort of thing."
© 9.5.12 Kate Heidel