Go to contents

Obama Makes History as 1st Black U.S. Pres. Candidate

Posted August. 29, 2008 10:08,   


Illinois Senator Barack Obama is the U.S. Democratic Party`s official presidential candidate, becoming the first African American nominated for president by a major party.

On the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Denver, the party held a roll-call vote of the state delegations to give states a brief but historic choice between Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Clinton, however, strode onto the floor during roll call and suspended the vote. She recommended a unanimous nomination for Obama, saying, "I signed my ballot this morning for Senator Obama. Let`s declare together in one voice right here right now that Barack Obama is our candidate and he will be our next president."

In a remarkable show of party unity, the delegates erupted in loud applause, showing great support and approval for her proposal.

The Democrats also picked Delaware Senator Joe Biden as Obama`s running mate.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton appeared as a speaker and pledged to strongly support the nominee, saying, "Barack Obama is ready to lead and restore American leadership in the world."

Experts say the comments were intended to silence the Republican Party`s allegation of conflict between Hillary Clinton and Obama as well as the notion that the Democratic Party still suffers from division between the two candidates.

Biden recalled growing up in a working class family. “These times require more than a good soldier. They require a wise leader. A leader who can deliver change that the U.S. needs," he said in his keynote speech to the convention.

Then Obama made an unscheduled appearance at the convention, bringing a roar of approval from the delegates.

Obama hugged members of Biden’s family and saluted the Clintons, saying, “President Clinton reminded us of what it’s like when you have a president who actually puts people first. Thank you.”

The scene was part of a dramatic scene designed to show off strong unity between the presidential and vice presidential nominees and the Clintons, who have virtually dominated the party since the early 1990s.

Obama will accept the nomination on the last day of the convention before an expected 75,000 people Thursday evening. The day marks the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King`s historical speech “I Have A Dream.”

sechepa@donga.com triplets@donga.com