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Millions Await Barack Obama's Historic Acceptance Speech

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Tens of thousands of people have packed a Denver stadium, cheering and waving American flags and millinos watching TV, waiting for Barack Obama to accept the nomination as the first African-American presidential candidate of a major U.S. political party.

Obama's acceptance speech comes on the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior's "I Have a Dream" speech on racial equality.

In excerpts released ahead of the speech, Obama pledges to fix the broken politics of Washington and says the country cannot afford another eight years of presidential failure. The text also outlines Obama's promises to cut taxes for small businesses and 95 percent of working families.

The Illinois senator also sharply criticizes Republican presidential hopeful John McCain, saying the Arizona lawmaker has voted with President George Bush "90 percent of the time" and says that it is time for change.

Attendees watched a video tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. and listened to speeches from the slain civil rights hero's son and daughter. Former Vice President Al Gore, who lost to George Bush in the bitterly contested 2000 presidential election, was also among the speakers. He told convention delegates that Republican candidate John McCain's election as president would be little more than a continuation of Bush-Cheney policies.

Once a rival to Obama, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called for Obama's nomination by acclamation Wednesday during the roll call vote of the states. Delegates in the convention hall cheered, clapped and chanted the Obama campaign slogan "Yes We Can."

Republicans hold their national convention next week in the twin cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, where McCain will become that party's presidential nominee.

Reported by VOA

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