|US presidential campaign in 2008|
|Saturday, 15 November 2008|
On February 10, 2007, Obama announced his candidacy for President of
the United States in front of the Old State Capitol building in
The choice of the announcement site was symbolic because it was also where Abraham Lincoln delivered his historic "House Divided" speech in 1858.
Throughout the campaign, Obama has emphasized the issues of rapidly ending the Iraq War, increasing energy independence, and providing universal health care, at one point identifying these as his top three priorities.
Obama's campaign raised $58 million during the first half of 2007, of which "small" donations of less than $200 accounted for $16.4 million. The $58 million set the record for fundraising by a presidential campaign in the first six months of the calendar year before the election.
The magnitude of the small donation portion was outstanding from both the absolute and relative perspectives
Among the January 2008 DNC-sanctioned state contests, Obama tied with Hillary Clinton for delegates in the New Hampshire primary and won more delegates than Clinton in the Iowa, Nevada and South Carolina elections and caucuses. On Super Tuesday, he emerged with 20 more delegates than Clinton
He again broke fundraising records in the first two months of 2008, raising over $90 million for his primary to Clinton's $45 million.
After Super Tuesday, Obama won the eleven remaining February primaries and caucuses.
In March 2008, a controversy broke out concerning Obama's former pastor of twenty years, Jeremiah Wright, after ABC News broadcast clips of his racially and politically charged sermons.
Initially, Obama responded by defending Wright's wider role in Chicago's African American community, but condemned his remarks and ended Wright's relationship with the campaign.
During the controversy, Obama delivered a speech entitled "A More Perfect Union" that addressed issues of race. Obama subsequently resigned from Trinity United Church of Christ "to avoid the impression that he endorsed the entire range of opinions expressed at that church."
During April, May, and June, Obama won the North Carolina, Oregon, and Montana primaries and remained ahead in the count of pledged delegates, while Clinton won the Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, Puerto Rico, and South Dakota primaries. During the period, Obama received endorsements from more superdelegates than did Clinton.
On May 31, the Democratic National Committee agreed to seat all of the Michigan and Florida delegates at the national convention, each with a half-vote, narrowing Obama's delegate lead while increasing the delegate count needed to win
On June 3, with all states counted, Obama passed the threshold to become the presumptive nominee
Since then, he has campaigned for the general election race against Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee.
On June 19, Obama became the first major-party presidential candidate to turn down public financing in the general election since the system was created in 1976, reversing his earlier intention to accept it.
On August 23, 2008, Obama selected Delaware Senator Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate.
Then, on August 28, Obama delivered a speech to the 84,000 supporters in Denver. During the speech, which was viewed by over 38 million people worldwide, he accepted his party's nomination and presented his policy goals.
On November 2, 2008, Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, died from cancer at the age of 86. Obama learned of his grandmother's death on November 3, one day before his election as the 44th President of the United States.
On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama defeated John McCain to become the 44th President of the United States and the first African American President in US history.
Echoing Martin Luther King's "I've Been to the Mountaintop" address, he declared, "The road ahead will be long, our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year, or even in one term, but America I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there."
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