Now it was time to hear from Barack Obama’s home state. The state of Illinois
A Nomination Contest to Remember
When the alphabetic state by state call was answered by the delegation from California at the Democratic Party’s national convention in Denver, things got really interesting. California responded, “California passes”. That really surprised me. As voting continued, the delegate numbers were adding up strongly in favour of Barack Obama and now it was Florida’s turn. No one really knew what to expect. The well publicised Florida and Michigan drama with the DNC over seating and voting had confused the issue somewhat. No one was really sure. The answer soon came.
“The great state of Florida casts 166 votes for Barack Obama and 51 for Hillary Clinton”.
“You little beauty,” I thought.
Georgia followed with another 82 for Barack and then 18 more for Hillary. The voting continued to favour Obama and by the time Idaho had declared 20 votes for Obama and only 3 for Clinton, he had accumulated 614.5 votes vs Clinton’s 156.5. Now it was time to hear from Barack Obama’s home state. The state of Illinois. I thought, “Let’s hear a big vote for the local boy”.The Illinois delegate announced, “Illinois, the great state of, etc, etc, and then finished by saying Illinois – passes?. I didn’t want to hear that.They didn’t seem to realise I wanted to hear the home state’s big, very big numbers for Barack. What was going on?
Anyhow I digress. The count for Obama was actually going brilliantly. By the time the call reached Maryland they happily announced they were casting 94 votes for Barack and 6 votes for Hillary Rodham Clinton. Massachusetts followed with 65 votes for Obama vs 52 for Hillary and then Michigan went all out, with a vote of 125 vs 27 in Barack’s favour.
I thought, “WOW”. Now we’re cookin with gas!
The next six states maintained this positive Obama trend and by then the delegate count had moved on to New Hampshire. A state which represented 30 votes, and Obama got every single one. As the NH delegate spokesman said to great cheers, “In the name of Party unity, New Hampshire casts all of its 30 votes for Senator Barack Obama”. The convention liked those words. Especially the “unity” emphasis.
It was a good sign from the state with a little village named Unity. Hooray!
Not to be outdone, New Jersey’s call bought the house down.”Madam Chairman, the great state of New Jersey with 127 votes casts all 127 votes for the next President of the United States, Senator Barack Obama! The place exploded. Thousands of “Yes we cans” drowned out the speakers. When things settled, New Mexico followed and after the earlier stuff up in the NM Primaries when three ballot boxes went missing for two days, I was keen to hear their vote. It didn’t happen.
Instead of reading out his state’s votes, New Mexico’s spokesman proclaimed, “The great state of New Mexico yields to the great state of – Illinois . As quick as a flash, Illinois responded, “The great state of Illinois now yields to the great state of – New York”.
Hang on, I recalled, that’s Hillary’s Senate patch. What’s this all about?
At this stage Obama was leading 1549.5 votes to Clinton’s 341.5 . A landslide victory was on the way, but something else seemed to be happening.
It was this. Appreciating that Hillary Clinton was going to lose convincingly with more than 20 states still not counted, New York’s delegation in the name of unity recommended that the Junior Senator for the state, Hillary Clinton, call upon the convention Chairman Nancy Pelosi to suspend the roll call protocol to enable Senator Clinton to call and elect by acclamation Senator Barack Obama, as the Party’s nominee for President of the United States of America.
Thus this historic nomination was won and the Democrats had honoured themselves as a result.
Senator Obama had become the first AA in American history to be so honoured. He had won the nomination fairly, squarely and convincingly. American politics will be never be the same again. It was a giant positive leap forward in American political life. The final act to be played out on November 4. 2008. Today was a good day for all Americans who want positive change. The rest of the world would support that goal. The Clintons as a team didn’t lose, they contributed much. Their tough approach and competitiveness in the Primaries helped to hone the skills of a future President, for a battle yet to be won.
Go Obama – Yes we can