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Finding passion at the GOP convention

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO COURTESY OF AMOS ROTHSTEIN, Amos Rothstein, center, a senior at Lakeridge High School, enjoys a moment with First Lady Laura Brush and other youth at the Republican National Conven-tion last week.

Just 17 years old, Amos Rothstein is already bursting with the quality absolutely needed for success in politics: Optimism.

The Lake Oswego teenager served as a page at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., last week, and the proceedings left him confident of a successful Republican campaign in 2008.

'The atmosphere was electrifying, contagious,' said Rothstein, a senior at Lakeridge High School. 'I honestly feel we have a good combination (presidential nominee John McCain and vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin).

'I feel like we have winners here. I feel like we have common sense and vision on our side.'

While politicians were making speeches and delegates were yelling, Rothstein was a busy young man. All those signs waved by the delegates were delivered courtesy of pages like Rothstein. He also delivered schedules and did 'whatever was needed' to facilitate enthusiasm by all involved.

When he wasn't working, Rothstein got to meet lots of Republican celebrities, like Mike Huckabee, First Lady Laura Bush, Mitt Romney, and the governors of Idaho and Utah.

'Awesome,' was Rothstein's reactions to these encounters.

Rothstein says he started becoming involved with politics at the ripe age of 10, and among the first campaigns he worked on was Ted Kulongoski's successful Oregon gubernatorial bid in 2002.

However, Rothstein soon started moving toward the right side of the political spectrum, and he was tapped to be a page at the Republican convention while serving in the office of Republican U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith. Rothstein is currently on the campaign staff of Allen Alley, a Lake Oswego resident who is the Republican candidate for state treasurer in Oregon.

Rothstein is now a confirmed Republican, even though he comes from a Democratic family.

'Dad is a Democratic. I convinced my mom to register as a Republican,' Rothstein said. 'But I haven't been able to influence the way she votes yet.'

Apparently, Rothstein will be gearing up to be in politics for the rest of his life. He plans to have a double major of political science and philosophy in college, plus a minor in business management.

Of his time in St. Paul, Rothstein said, 'It was an amazing experience. I was blessed to be so involved.'

Being on the scene made him gung ho about Republican chances in November.

'I think we can stick it to the Democrats,' Rothstein said. 'We have change and reform on our side.'