Obama Speaks to Supporters in Minneapolis-St. Paul
In a historic victory shattering a barrier that was more than 200 years old, Senator Barack Obama clinched the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday, based upon a tally of his convention delegates. Obama’s delegate count includes delegates from primary elections, state Democratic caucuses and delegates’ public declarations, as well as support from 22 delegates and “superdelegates” who have privately confirmed their intentions. It takes 2,118 delegates to clinch the nomination. Obama is now the first African-American candidate ever to lead his party into a presidential campaign for the White House.
Senator Obama’s triumph was fashioned upon prodigious fundraising, meticulous organizing and his message of change aimed at an electorate that is opposed to the Iraq war and worried about the economy. Obama will hold his victory celebration tonight at the same Minneapolis-St. Paul arena that will host the Republican National Convention in early September.
In his primary night speech in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Obama stated:
“Tonight, after fifty-four hard-fought contests, our primary season has finally come to an end. Sixteen months have passed since we first stood together on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois. Thousands of miles have been traveled. Millions of voices have been heard. And because of what you said, because you decided that change must come to Washington; because you believed that this year must be different than all the rest; because you chose to listen not to your doubts or your fears but to your greatest hopes and highest aspirations, tonight we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another, a journey that will bring a new and better day to America. Tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.
I want to thank every American who stood with us over the course of this campaign, through the good days and the bad; from the snows of Cedar Rapids to the sunshine of Sioux Falls. And tonight I also want to thank the men and woman who took this journey with me as fellow candidates for President. At this defining moment for our nation, we should be proud that our party put forth one of the most talented, qualified field of individuals ever to run for this office. I have not just competed with them as rivals, I have learned from them as friends, as public servants, and as patriots who love America and are willing to work tirelessly to make this country better. They are leaders of this party, and leaders that America will turn to for years to come.
There are those who say that this primary has somehow left us weaker and more divided. Well I say that because of this primary, there are millions of Americans who have cast their ballot for the very first time. There are Independents and Republicans who understand that this election isn’t just about the party in charge of Washington, it’s about the need to change Washington. There are young people, and African-Americans, and Latinos, and women of all ages who have voted in numbers that have broken records and inspired a nation.
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