• A Democrat Who Didn't Know It

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    Julie M. poses in front of her Victory motorcycle before riding in the Last Chance Stampede parade in Helena.

    Julie M. is wearing leather and riding a big, American-made motorcycle. She has a background in the financial industry and was raised Republican, but she's about to participate in Helena's Last Chance Stampede parade with the Obama campaign.

    "Like many Republicans," she says, "I really was a Democrat in philosophy and policy, but didn't know it. So I said I was an independent. And I see a lot of Republicans say they're independent because they just can't cross the line to say they're Democrats."

    Julie says the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 hit her personally. She lost her financial consulting business. "I know very clearly what happened," she says. "I know what the banks did."

    But Obama did a great job trying to fix it, Julie says. "My first vote for Obama in 2008 was the first year I admitted I was a Democrat. Obama was astounding. He did a fabulous job. And his stimulus plan is pointing us in the right direction."

    "This is the first time in my 44 years that I am proud to vote for a candidate. We have to have him. I will fight for Obama to win."

    MT