When Barack Obama gave the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic convention, Leslie Robertson was listening from the president's home state of Hawaii.
When Senator Obama was the Democratic presidential nominee in 2008, Robertson was knocking on doors in Nevada, making sure her candidate won that state.
This week, as President Obama seeks re-election, Robertson will be on the floor of the convention as a delegate representing her home city of San Leandro and casting an official ballot for the president's nomination.
It's a dream come true for Robertson, something she's wanted to do ever since she heard the rising Democratic Party star give that 2004 speech.
"I just fell in love with him. He made sense to me," said Robertson.
This year, Robertson decided she needed to attend the convention herself to hear the president speak in person.
So, the Alameda County Public Works Department executive assistant studied up on how to become a delegate.
She set up a Facebook page, talked to influential people and canvassed the neighborhoods of her congressional district. What she discovered was politics is tough, even at this level. She had to work hard for every vote.
"It was eye opening how cut throat politics can be," said Robertson.
On April 29, more than 400 people descended on the SEIU hall in Oakland to select six men and six women to represent the 13th congressional district at the 2012 Democratic convention.
Robertson came in fifth among the women, securing her slot.
"I was jubilant. I was ecstatic," she said.
Robertson, who has been married for the past 18 years and has a college-age child and a high-school age child, spent the past few months raising funds to help pay for her trip to Charlotte, North Carolina.
She plans to soak it all up this week at the convention. Afterward, she'll be back in town to make phone calls and knock on doors for the president.
"I'll do anything and everything I can to get him re-elected," said Robertson. "He understands what the common person's needs are."
Leslie Robertson will be blogging from the Democratic convention this week. Look for her dispatches on Patch.