On Thursday evening at the Democratic National Campaign, Barack Obama officially became the Democratic candidate for the 2008 Presidential Election. Obama walked on stage to face a screaming crowd of hundreds of people waving blue “Change” posters and smiled humbly, thanking them until they quieted down. He then opened his speech by accepting the nomination he was given Tuesday evening by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
“With profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination,” Obama began. He then continued to thank his campaign team, among others, for their continued support. At the end of his list, he thanked Clinton, calling her “a great inspiration to my daughters and yours.”
The main theme of Obama’s speech was the American promise, which he referred to numerous times.
Remarking that that night marked the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, Obama vowed to keep the American promise alive by bringing about the changes that the country needs.
Continuing on his point of the American promise, he outlined his plans, should he become president. He vowed to invest in schools, providing world-class education, early childhood centers, higher salaries for teachers and incentives for those who would work to aid communities.
He assured the crowd he would protect social security, provide affordable healthcare and cut taxes for 95 percent of working families, stating that the last thing the country needs in the current economy is higher taxes for the middle class.
To uphold the promise of the American Dream, Obama asked the audience to remember, “I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper,” so that we all look out for each other.
Responding to John McCain’s assertion that America is a “nation of whiners,” Obama told stories of men and women he met on the campaign trail that proved this wrong: men who went to work knowing that their businesses were being shut down, women who worked second and third jobs to put their children through school.
Obama spoke on the importance of family.
“Congress can’t turn off the television and tell kids to do their homework.”
He said that he wants to provide the resources to allow younger Americans to succeed, but also asks parents to step up and provide love and guidance for them.
He also spoke of his own family. He compared students working two jobs to his mother, who worked to let her children go to the best schools available. He compared young war veterans to his grandfather who served in the Vietnam War. He also acknowledged his grandmother, stating that “tonight is her night as well,” because she taught him the value of hard work.
Obama also made a point of requesting that both parties stop using smear campaigns. “Patriotism has no party,” he conveyed. “We all put our party first.”
However amidst the request to stop these campaigns, he did take a few shots at the Republican Party.
He asserted that America is “better than the last eight years,” and “we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight.
While Obama did make a point to thank fellow candidate John McCain for his servicec to the country, he did take a jab at him, asking, “what does it say about your judgment if you thought George W. Bush was right 90 percent of the time?”
Obama spoke eloquently throughout the entire speech, promising to protect equal pay for equal days worked, and to restore America to being the last best hope for foreigners looking for a safe haven. He vowed to work with Israel and Palestine, to focus on issues we have at home and to set a time frame to remove troops from Iraq, something that both Iraq and the Bush administration agree with, but “McCain still refuses to accept.”
Obama spoke to those who supported him, but on opposite ends of extremes. “We can uphold our second amendment while keeping AK-47’s out of the hands of criminals,” he assured the convention. He also made similar remarks regarding abortion and reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies.
Stating that we must all be one American family, Barack Obama closed his speech by affirming that this election “has never been about me, it’s been about you”. He thanked all those who voted for him in the primaries and who helped him get to where he is so far, and thanked them in advance for their continued and future support.
Jenn Rothstein is a second-year English major. She can be reached at JR649299@wcupa.edu.