The Chronicle Covers The Conventions

Hofstra’s student newspaper covers the national conventions.

At Mile High Stadium, Obama Soars

leave a comment »

Barack Obama accepts the nomination for president from the Democratic Party before more than 80,000 people at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver. (Samuel Rubenfeld/The Chronicle)

Barack Obama accepts the nomination for president from the Democratic Party before more than 80,000 people at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver. (Samuel Rubenfeld/The Chronicle)

By Samuel Rubenfeld


DENVER–Barack Obama lit Invesco Field At Mile High with fireworks both literal and rhetorical.

Obama’s acceptance speech Thursday night before more than 80,000 people, in the stadium where football’s Denver Broncos play, solidified him as the first African-American nominee of a major party, and the speech occurred on the 45th anniversary of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic “I have a dream” speech. His rise from community organizer in Chicago to presidential nominee culminated with his night in Mile High.

“This moment – this election – is our chance to keep, in the 21st Century, the American promise alive,” Obama said.

The speech mixed attacks on President George W. Bush and John McCain with his vision for the future should he be elected and recognition of the history of his candidacy. It weaved themes from Obama’s keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston with some specific policy proposals, but it was short on details on how he’d pay for the many programs he proposed.

Obama waited until the end of the speech to mention King Jr.’s dream, merging King’s message with his own. “In America, our destiny is inextricably linked,” Obama said. “Together, our dreams can be one.”

Some of the attacks within the speech seemed hypocritical. After saying “Sen. McCain has been anything but independent” from Bush early on in the speech, Obama later said “I will not suggest that the Senator takes his positions for political purposes.”

Just to enter the stadium took a lot of walking both because of the sheer number of people and because of the security perimeter in place; and it took even more waiting. Lines were more than a mile long – at 2 p.m. local time, six hours before Obama was even scheduled to speak.

(Video of walking the line)

[ ?posts_id=1221236&dest=-1]

Once inside the stadium, the campaign had merch booths every few feet and had a phone back set up to remind voters to watch the speech. And the Colorado Democratic Party chairman led a text-message campaign he said led to the adding more than 34,000 supporters to the election effort.

This was not the first acceptance to be held in a stadium instead of the convention hall: President John Kennedy accepted his nomination in 1960 before 100,000 people at Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles.

Immediately following the speech, when normally balloons drop from the ceiling on the nominee and his running mate, fireworks boomed overhead and red, white and blue streamers exploded from the Greek-style stage backdrop while classical music blared over the speakers.

And McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds issued a response to the speech: “Tonight, Americans witnessed a misleading speech that was so fundamentally at odds with the meager record of Barack Obama. When the temple comes down, the fireworks end, and the words are over, the facts remain: Senator Obama still has no record of bipartisanship, still opposes offshore drilling, still voted to raise taxes on those making just $42,000 per year, and still voted against funds for American troops in harm’s way.”

The speech played extremely well inside, however, according to a Denver resident who witnessed it:

[ ?posts_id=1221129&dest=-1]

Written by chroniclenews

August 29, 2008 at 2:45 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: