Posted Aug. 28, 2008 – For a countless number of Americans – particularly older African Americans and others tired of a social and political system grounded in racial inequality – Sen. Barack Obama’s historic ascension as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee Wednesday night ignited an emotional explosion.
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Many in the audience at Denver's Pepsi Center held back tears, hardly believing they were watching a Black man have a legitimate shot at leading the United States of America.
What Obama’s nomination means, in essence, is that Democrats are trusting this 47-year-old Black man to take America from the malaise of the past eight years to an era of prosperity, a near-forgotten time last witnessed during the administration of President Bill Clinton. Obama is essentially the proverbial Moses, chosen to lead his people, all people, to the Land of Milk and Honey.
And, as if that weren’t enough, his worth as a leader with the qualities necessary to handle such a gargantuan task was trumpeted by the very politicians who had targeted his race and purported inexperience: Bill and Hillary Clinton. The Clintons’ enthusiastic support for Obama this week invoked yet another biblical analogy – something about how God makes the enemies of his chosen ones their servants.
“Republicans said I was too young and too inexperienced to be commander-in-chief,” Bill Clinton said, during his endorsement speech. “Sound familiar? It didn’t work in 1992, because we were on the right side of history. And it won’t work in 2008, because Barack Obama is on the right side of history.
"Now, Sen. Obama's life is a 21st-century incarnation of the old-fashioned American dream. His achievements are proof of our continuing progress toward the more perfect union of our founders' dreams," he continued. "Barack Obama will lead us away from the division and fear of the last eight years back to unity and hope."
Earlier in the day, Sen. Hillary Clinton, negating her previous charges against her former rival, said, “With eyes firmly fixed on the future, and in the spirit of unity with the goal of victory, with faith in our party and our country, let’s declare together with one voice right here, right now that Barack Obama is our candidate and he will be our president,” she said.
”Is there a second?” fired back Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, asking the more than 4,000 delegates, who roared with enthusiastic cheers and applause. ”The motion is adopted,” Pelosi said, beaming.
The former president also proved to be the perfect set-up man for Obama’s running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, whom Clinton said he loved.
In accepting his party’s nomination as vice president, Biden, a Delaware Democrat who brings decades of foreign policy experience and a history of working with Republican lawmakers to enact a series of progressive legislation, described Republican John McCain as a friend and patriot, who had endured unthinkable torture as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
But Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, lambasted the Arizona senator, saying that he had went along with virtually all of President Bush’s failed policies, which left Americans much worse off than during the Clinton years.
America now confronts a plethora of challenges that require "more than a good soldier" in the White House, he said, calling Obama a wise leader who can deliver the change the nation needs.