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Reviews of Day 3: By acclamation


The Washington Post's lead story: "Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois completed an improbable and historic journey here Wednesday when he was nominated by acclamation as the Democratic candidate for president, becoming the first African American to lead a major political party into a general-election campaign. Obama, who just eight years ago attended his first Democratic National Convention and who four years later shot to national prominence with an electrifying keynote address at the gathering in Boston, was given a final symbolic boost Wednesday by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who moved from the convention floor to suspend the roll call of the states and formalize her former rival's nomination by acclamation."

The New York Times says that Obama's nomination "brought to an end an often-bitter two-year political struggle for the nomination with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, who, standing on a packed convention floor electric with anticipation, moved to halt the roll call in progress so that the convention could nominate Mr. Obama by acclamation. That it did with a succession of loud roars, followed by a swirl of dancing, embracing, high-fiving and chants of 'Yes, we can.'"

However, it's worth pointing out that Obama will officially be the "nominee" until the conclusion of his acceptance speech," per the language of the Democrats' "Call to Convention."

Clinton biographer David Maraniss of the Washington Post says that Bill Clinton's speech last night "framed the case for Sen. Barack Obama and against the Republicans in a way that no one at this convention had done before. Only a day earlier, when there was some unease among Clinton's associates about whether he was being straitjacketed in what he could say in his speech, Obama tried to defuse the situation by saying Clinton could say whatever he wanted. Good call, as it turned out."

"Perhaps not even Obama himself could have conjured up an oration so powerful on his behalf. Not only did Clinton utter the words 'Barack Obama' 15 times, they came in his first sentence and his last, and there were long riffs about the candidate in between."

Bill Clinton strode onstage to Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop" and promised that "America must always be a place called Hope," endorsing Barack Obama as an inheritor to the spirit of his first presidential run."

The New York Daily News' cover: "My man Bam."

The New York Times notes that Joe Biden accepted his party's VP nomination "with an ode to his middle-class upbringing and a blistering attack on Senator John McCain. On tax policy and the war in Iraq, on health care and terrorism, on the minimum wage and on Russia, Mr. Biden said, the contrast was clear between Mr. McCain and the Democratic presidential nominee, Senator Barack Obama."

More: Mr. Biden, who referred to his childhood struggle with stuttering, made a few verbal slips, including referring to Mr. McCain as 'George.' 'Freudian slip, folks,' he said. 'Freudian slip.' … And in another apparent slip, he also referred to $200 million in taxes on corporations when he meant to say $200 billion in tax cuts for companies."

More on Biden's speech: "It was red-meat stuff for the 4,233 Democratic delegates packed into the Pepsi Center for the party's national convention, many of whom were looking to Biden to fill a role they say presidential nominee Barack Obama badly needs - that of an aggressive and experienced attacker. 'The choice in this election is clear,' Biden said. 'These times require more than a good soldier. They require a wise leader.'"

John Kerry, the party's nominee four years ago, went after both the Bush Administration and the McCain camp with fervor last night, NBC's Abigail Williams observes. "They misread the threat and misled the country! Instead of freedom, it's Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban and dictators everywhere that are on the march. North Korea can build more bombs, and Iran is defiantly chasing one," he said.

Speaking with unusual precision, Kerry soothed nagging fears about Obama's foreign policy experience while bringing doubt to McCain's. "When Barack Obama promised to honor the best traditions of both parties and talk to our enemies, John McCain scoffed, George bush called it the false comfort of appeasement, but today Bush's diplomats are doing exactly what Obama said, talking with Iran so who can we trust to keep America safe?"