Obama makes history


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28-08-2008 12:49 PM


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28-08-2008 12:49 PM



28-08-2008 01:59 PM

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2008-08-28 12:49:15

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HALL, Eleanor


BIDEN, Joseph

HALL, Eleanor




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Obama makes history

The World Today - Thursday, 28 August , 2008 12:42:00

Reporter: Eleanor Hall

ELEANOR HALL: To the United States now and with shouts of "yes we can", Democrats united to
nominate Barack Obama as their presidential candidate, making him the first Black American to run
for the White house as a major party nominee.

It was Hillary Clinton who asked her colleagues at the Democratic National Convention to approve
her one time rival's nomination and former President Bill Clinton also threw his weight behind
Senator Obama.

Barrack Obama will accept the nomination tomorrow but today his vice-presidential running mate had
his moment in the spotlight. North America correspondent Kim Landers joins us now from the
Democratic National Convention in Denver.

So Kim, it's been a difficult path to the nomination for Barack Obama. Tell us about the final
moments of this process this morning.

KIM LANDERS: It was quite dramatic Eleanor. Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were officially
nominated and then State by State the votes started. Each State got the chance to call out who they
were voting for. Barack Obama quickly pulled in front but this went on for almost an hour.

And then Hillary Clinton strode onto the floor of the Democratic National Convention here in
Denver, pressing her way through the teeming crowd, and she called for a halt to the proceedings.
And then she said, and I quote, "with eyes firmly fixed on the future, in the spirit of unity, with
the goal of victory, let's declare together in one voice, right here, right now, that Barack Obama
is our candidate and he will be our president."

And Eleanor, as you can imagine the crowd erupted. There were cheers, there were tears, there was
thunderous applause. Barack Obama has made another piece of political history, becoming the first
African-American presidential nominee of a major political party.

ELEANOR HALL: Now Kim yesterday we were speculating about whether Bill Clinton would endorse Barack
Obama as strongly as Hillary Clinton did. He took to the stage in Denver earlier. How supportive
was he?

KIM LANDERS: Well he's been under a lot of pressure to cast aside months of hard feelings to back
Barack Obama and he quickly said that he was here in Denver to support Barack Obama and that, like
Hillary, he'll do everything he can to elect him. And most crucially he said that Barack Obama is
ready to be commander in chief, that Barack Obama is ready to be the president of the United

Eleanor, here's a little of what Bill Clinton had to say.

BILL CLINTON: Hillary told us in no uncertain terms that she is going to do everything she can to
elect Barack Obama. (Applause and cheering) Actually, that makes 18-million of us (louder cheering
and applause) because, like Hillary, I want all of you who supported her to vote for Barack Obama
in November.

ELEANOR HALL: That's the former president Bill Clinton. Now Kim the spotlight is finally shifting
away from the Clintons and it's now on Barack Obama's running mate Joe Biden. What's his role when
he speaks today?

KIM LANDERS: Well he's on the stage and, first of all he's got to say that he's been setting out
his personal story; his upbringing in the State of Delaware, how his first wife and his daughter
were killed in a car accident when he was very young, he's remarried, he has two boys and a
daughter now. And he's really telling us a story of how he grew up in a struggling, working class

ELEANOR HALL: It's a theme really isn't it?

KIM LANDERS: It really is a theme, I mean, and he's also crucially is what he brings to this ticket
is his foreign policy experience. He's been in the Senate for 36 years. He has a lot of foreign
policy experience and so he's been talking about how Barack Obama will make a great president, how
the Bush-McCain foreign policy has dug America into a very deep hole with few friends to climb out,
that John McCain's judgement can't be trusted when he says things like there are no timelines to
withdraw troops from Iraq. So we're getting a really strong foreign policy resume I guess from Joe

And in the crowd they're absolutely soaking it up. Hillary Clinton and president Bill Clinton are
both in the crowd. There have been lots of standing ovations for Joe Biden. This is really an
exciting moment for him. After all, he made two attempts at the White House himself and now he
failed in that quest but now he's become a vice-presidential nominee.

ELEANOR HALL: And let's hear a little of what Joe Biden had to say there.

JOE BIDEN: Let me say it as simply as I can. Yes, yes, I accept your nomination to run and serve
with Barack Obama, the next president of the United States of America! (Applause and cheering)

Let me make this pledge to you right here and now. For every American who is trying to do the right
thing, for all those people in Government who are honouring the pledge to uphold the law and honour
the Constitution, no longer will you hear the eight most dreaded words in the English language -
the vice-president's office is on the phone (laughter).

ELEANOR HALL: That's Barack Obama's running mate Joe Biden and our correspondent Kim Landers
speaking to us from Denver, from the floor of the Democratic National Convention.