Obama details his promise for America

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By Carol A. Clark

A new America filled with prosperity and justice for the masses is the promise Sen. Barack Obama gave after accepting his party’s nomination for president on the final evening of the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

“With profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States,” Obama told delegates gathered inside Invesco Field from across the country Thursday night.

The delegates were joined by families, senior citizens and teenagers to watch history unfold as Obama of Illinois became the first black man in America to be nominated by a major party to run for the White House.

Millions more watched by television including longtime Democratic leader Michael Wheeler from Los Alamos.

“Sen. Obama gave an amazing speech,” Wheeler said. “It really sets the bar much higher for this campaign because the issues he spoke of will be what the campaign will be all about now,” Wheeler said. “The idea that people can campaign on personal negative attacks is not going to work.”

Wheeler also expressed delight that local delegate Sean Stimmel of White Rock had the opportunity to participate in the four-day event.

Stimmel, 20, had a mission when he arrived Sunday to try to heal the wounds of delegates who supported Obama’s former rival Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York.

“I spoke to them and found that after Hillary’s speech Tuesday they all seemed to fall behind Barack and are planning to work hard for him,” Stimmel said. “This convention has opened a lot of doors for me in terms of advancing the campaign and I’m motivated to work harder than ever through to November to help get Barack Obama elected.”

Obama promised during his speech that every citizen has the freedom to make their lives what they will and also the obligation to treat others with dignity and respect. He promised that while the government can’t solve every problem, it should solve those that citizens can’t solve for themselves - to protect Americans, provide a decent education for every child, keep water clean and toys safe, and invest in new schools, roads, science and technology.

“As president, I will tap our natural gas resources, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear energy,” Obama said. “I’ll help our auto companies re-tool so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America.”

He also promised to make it easier for the American people to afford those new cars. He said he will invest $50 billion during the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy including wind and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment he says will lead to new industries and five million new jobs that pay well and “can’t ever be outsourced.”

Obama spoke of making health care affordable to every citizen, to recruit an army of new teachers and pay and support them more, to protect pensions and Social Security, and provide equal pay for an equal days work regardless of gender.

He said he also plans to cut taxes for 95 percent of all working families.

To keep these and other promises, Obama said he will close corporate loopholes and tax havens that don’t help America grow.

He said he will go through the federal budget line by line eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones still needed, work better and cost less.

“We cannot meet 21st century challenges with a 20th century bureaucracy,” he said. “And Democrats, we must also admit that fulfilling America’s promise will require more than just money. It will require a renewed sense of responsibility from each of us to recover what John F. Kennedy called our ‘intellectual and moral strength.’”

Obama and his running mate, Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware now face off with presumptive Republican presidential nominees.

The Republican National Convention is set to run Monday through Thursday in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.