Democratic National Convention marks history

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By Carol A. Clark

DENVER – Some 75,000 people inside Invesco Field and millions more around the world are expected to tune in this evening to witness Barack Obama accept the Democratic nomination for president of the United States, the first black person in history.

On the floor of the Democratic National Convention at Pepsi Center Wednesday, former opponent Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, called for a suspension of the traditional roll call of the states and made a motion that all votes go to Obama for president.

The motion carried.

Talk of Obama changing what ails America has permeated the four-day convention. His message of hope and change rang at venues across the city.

At a breakfast Wednesday for the New Mexico Delegation, senatorial candidate Rep. Tom Udall praised Obama and called on everyone to help get him and other Democrats elected so his message could be realized.

Udall spoke of his recent two week tour traveling New Mexico and said, “Democrats traditionally lose in the South ... we’re not going to lose in the South,” he said.

Udall asked the delegation for their help.

“We are seeing the smear and fear campaigning and we’re not going to take it – we are going to stand up to it,” he said. “Don’t freak out because the polls are tightening (between he and Republican opponent Steve Pearce). When you’re winning 75 percent of the vote in the third congressional district - you’ve got a lot of Republicans in that number and a few will be peeled away and that’s understandable with the negative ads.”

At the same breakfast, Udall introduced T. Boone Pickens who spoke of the need to reduce dependence on foreign oil.

“The thing I want to tell T. Boone Pickens is that New Mexico is already planting wind turbines like trees throughout our state because we are a leader in renewable energy,” Udall said.

Later Wednesday morning during a press conference at the Colorado Convention Center, senators Charles Schummer-NY and Harry Reid-NV, Udall and his cousin, Rep. Mark Udall-Colo., who’s also running for the Senate, spoke of the importance of electing a majority to the Senate to ensure Obama’s plans and programs can be implemented.

They stressed the fact that the election will be held in just 68 days. They called on delegates to work harder than ever to get every vote possible cast for Obama and those Democratic candidates running for Congress and the Senate.

Wednesday evening, vice presidential nominee Joe Biden took the stage before the convention’s largest crowd, “Since I’ve never been a man of few words, let me say this as simply as I can – yes – yes I accept your nomination to run and serve along side our next President of the United States of America, Barack Obama.”

“Securing America’s Future” was the theme of Wednesday’s convention.

“As we gather here tonight, America is less secure and more isolated than at any time in recent history,” Biden said.

“The Bush-McCain foreign policy has dug us into a very deep hole with very few friends to help us climb out. For the last seven years, this administration has failed to face the biggest forces shaping this century - the emergence of Russia, China and India as great powers, the spread of lethal weapons, the shortage of secure supplies of energy, food and water, the challenge of climate change, and the resurgence of fundamentalism in Afghanistan and Pakistan – the real central front against terrorism,” he said.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson was set to speak at the convention Wednesday but has been rescheduled for tonight, according to his office.

Other speakers who did take the stage included Udall and former President Bill Clinton who said his wife, Hillary stated in no uncertain terms that she’ll do everything she can to elect Obama, “That makes two of us.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Monitor County Editor Carol A. Clark is covering the convention for the Monitor and will file stories daily. She also reports live from the convention floor at noon each day on KRSN AM 1490.