On July 27, 2004, Illinois State Senator Barack Obama delivered the keynote
speech at the Democratic National Convention. He said, “Tonight is
a particular honor for me because, let’s face it, my presence on this stage is
pretty unlikely.” When he finished his speech, the audience that listened
with rapt attention excitedly waved their arms, hats, and signs, thrilled
with what they had just heard. Afterward, those watching on television
said that they had stood and cheered, many admitting they danced. Somewondered what had just happened. For many Democrats, the speech was
electrifying and inspiring; for them, it was a joyful time. And those from
the other side of the political aisle who watched and listened had to agree:
this fresh face, this politico, unknown to nearly everyone in the country
outside of his home state of Illinois, had just delivered a remarkable
speech. Many asked, who is this man and where did he come from? They
asked why he was selected to deliver such an important speech at the
Democratic National Convention at a time described by many as a very
contentious time in U.S. politics.
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