Posted Aug. 29, 2008 – Barack Obama made history in more ways than one last night.
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Besides being the first Black American to win the nomination of a major political party, the Illinois senator accepted the Democratic Party nomination in front of a cheering crowd of about 80, 0000 people. His was the largest audience to witness a presidential nomination acceptance speech in all of American history.
Before the speech, crowds numbering in the tens of thousands stretched for miles across downtown Denver, slowly making their way to the stadium to see the senator speak.
“Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and independents across this great land – enough!,” he said. “This moment – this election – is our chance to keep, ion the 21st century, the American promise alive.” The hyped-up crowd created a festive atmosphere – more baseball game than political convention – with music performances by John Legend and will.I.am, Sheryl Crow, Micheal McDonald and Stevie Wonder.A dazzling firework display closed the night out.
But even with all the bells and whistles of the ceremony, Obama remained sober and focused, flexing his superior public speaking skills and delivering perhaps his most forceful speech yet. He touched on familiar themes: his life story; a call to rise above the labels that divide the country; a need to rebuild America’s image abroad and improve the economy at home; John McCain’s desire to carry on failed Republican policies, etc.
“The record is clear, he criticized. “John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right 90 percent of the time? I don’t know about you but I’m not ready to take a 10 percent chance on change.”
Accepting the party’s nomination on the forty-fifth anniversary of the March on Washington, Obama also invoked Martin Luther King.
“The men and women who gathered there could’ve heard many things. They could’ve heard words of anger and discord. They could’ve been told to succumb to fear and frustration, he said. “But what people heard instead,” he went on”is that in America, our destiny is inextricably linked.”
Before Obama spoke, several other speakers including Al Gore took the stage.
Oscar-winning singer and actress, Jennifer Hudson, delivered a rousing rendition of the national Anthem to start the occasion.