One of the Iowa delegates at the Republican National Convention helped open the high-tech NASDAQ stock exchange this morning. Hoffman was invited along with a handful of other delegates from other states to kick off today’s trading. Hoffman has been a stock broker for 25 years, but he’s never been invited on the floor of the exchange.Hoffman, who also owns a restaurant in Sioux City, says he’s lived the American dream. Hoffman came to this country from Germany, and when he landed on the dock in New York City there was a longshoreman’s strike. Hoffman was 16 at the time, and made about 60 dollars the first hour he was on American soil, hauling other passengers’ bags off the boat. That was more money than he’d ever seen in his life.
“So right away, I loved this country from the instant I set foot on it,” Hoffman says. Hoffman was born in 1944, and remembers the U-S occupation of Germany following World War II. Hoffman says his mother warned him as he went off to his first day of school to move his hand when he waved at friends so the American soldiers wouldn’t think he was giving the Nazi salute. Hoffman says “at times it was scary. When we saw the planes flying low over our city, we all ducked, we all ran down into the basements because we didn’t know what was going on.”
The folks at the NASDAQ took Hoffman’s picture today, used their computer editing and handed him back a photo which superimposes his torso on the big screen that New Yorkers see in Times Square. Senator Charles Grassley will go solo on Friday as he uses his own electronic signature to open the NASDAQ stock exchange.