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Liveblogging: Barack Obama Accepts the Nomination « The Washington Independent

DENVER — 8:12 pm (MST): Barack Obama’s on stage, and the ovation won’t end. This was to be expected, and not only because this guy is the first African American to be nominated for the presidency by a major party; not only because he represents a clean break from a disastrous eight years under the Bush administration; and not only because the 78,000 people here at Invesco Field at Mile High have spent a week enduring unbearable traffic, $600 hotel rooms and stare-downs from cops armed with guns the size of my leg. No, these people, it should be mentioned, also just spent about four hours waiting in line to get into the building. Sunburns don’t even begin to describe…

8:16: Little shout out to Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy. He’ll have to return to the first before this thing is through.

8:20: Straight for the economy, which is to say, the nation’s greatest woe. This afternoon, I spoke with Tony Viessman and Les Spencer, members of a group called Rednecks for Obama. They wanted a lot of this stuff: “We need to build the economy from the bottom up,” Spencer told me, “and not do this trickle-down stuff, because everybody knows that doesn’t work.”

8:22: Here we go on the all-important theme of change — and he’s got McCain and Bush quickly in bed together. “The record’s clear,” Obama says. “John McCain has voted with George Bush 90 percent of the time…I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to take a 10 percent chance on change.” Nice!

8:24: Shifting portraits, Obama now paints McCain as out of touch: “I don’t believe that Sen. McCain doesn’t care what’s going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn’t know.” What — no reference to McCain’s houses? Missed a chance…

8:26: First real zinger of the night: “In Washington, they call this the ownership society,” Obama says of McCain’s economic policies. “But what it really means is, you’re on your own.”

8:31: He’s on to the (delicate) John Edwards phase, urging government to play a larger role in providing education, protecting consumers, maintaining infrastructure and developing new technologies. He’s walking a tightrope here: The small-government moderates are watching this as well.

8:34: On to the thorny offshore drilling issue — another tightrope. He’s calling McCain an oil-industry flunky (“Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution — not even close”). Careful, senator. Recall that you caved and agreed to more offshore drilling.

8:38: Why did I just now recognize the red tie? The crowd is a sea of blue. Was he afraid of not being recognized?

8:39: Uh-oh. He just promised to go through the federal budget line-by-line to eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy. Remember when Al Gore vowed to do that? — It didn’t go down so well. What’s next, a call for a lock-box?

8:42: Ahhh, the war in Iraq. Almost forgot that was still going on. But a great attack here on McCain: “John McCain likes to say that he’ll follow bin Laden to the gates of hell, but he won’t even go to the cave where he lives.”

8:43: The Democrats, Obama reminds the crowd, like a good war as well. Roosevelt and Kennedy: Those were guys unafraid of a conflict. Poor Bill Clinton: His legacy is doomed by a relative peace.

8:46: Wow — a call for unity brings the fiercest oratory of the night: “Let us agree that patriotism has no party…The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and independents, but they have fought together and bled together [intonation rising] and some died together [rising] and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America [crescendo] or a Blue America — they have served the United States of America.” Pause for applause, well deserved.

8:51: “This election has never been about me,” he tells the crowd, “it’s been about you.” Check for plagiarism on that one. I think we’ve heard it 15 times today alone.

8:54: It’s a historic moment, Obama says, a moment of promise — and we know where he’s going. Here it comes: “It is that promise that 45 years ago today brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a mall in Washington… and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.”

8:58: The finale: And it’s education, the economy, farms and families. And scripture, let’s not forget scripture. But no word of the war. Would that have been too tough to do?

9:02: Now the Obama family and the Biden family are strutting the stage. The crowd is whirling, but not sure what audience they’re playing to here: it seems someone mistakenly put on the soundtrack to “Little House on the Prairie.”

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