'The Change We Need Is Coming'

On the final night of the Democratic National Convention, Barack Obama speaks to 85,000 and accepts his party's nomination.
On the final night of the Democratic National Convention, Barack Obama speaks to 85,000 and accepts his party's nomination. (By Susan Biddle -- The Washington Post)
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Friday, August 29, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama's address:

To Chairman Dean and my great friend Dick Durbin and to all my fellow citizens of this great nation, with profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for presidency of the United States.

Let me express my thanks to the historic slate of candidates who accompanied me on this journey, and especially the one who traveled the farthest -- a champion for working Americans and an inspiration to my daughters and yours -- Hillary Rodham Clinton. To President Clinton -- to President Bill Clinton, who made last night the case for change as only he can make it -- to Ted Kennedy, who embodies the spirit of service -- and to the next vice president of the United States, Joe Biden, I thank you.

I am grateful to finish this journey with one of the finest statesmen of our time, a man at ease with everyone, from world leaders to the conductors on the Amtrak train he still takes home every night.

To the love of my life, our next first lady, Michelle Obama -- and to Malia and Sasha, I love you so much, and I am so proud of you.

Four years ago, I stood before you and told you my story, of the brief union between a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas, who weren't well-off or well-known but shared a belief that in America, their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to.

It is that promise that's always set this country apart; that through hard work and sacrifice, each of us can pursue our individual dreams but still come together as one American family, to ensure that the next generation can pursue their dreams, as well.

That's why I stand here tonight. Because for 232 years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men and women -- students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and janitors -- found the courage to keep it alive.

We meet at one of those defining moments -- a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more.

Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes, and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit cards -- bills you can't afford to pay and tuition that's beyond your reach.

Now, these challenges are not all of government's making, but the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.

America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.

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