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Obama's big speech

— The New York Times' Nagourney and Zeleny:
"The speech by Senator Obama, in front of an audience of nearly 80,000
people on a warm night in a football stadium refashioned into a vast
political stage for television viewers, left little doubt how he
intended to press his campaign against Mr. McCain this fall.
In cutting language, and to cheers that echoed across the stadium, he
linked Mr. McCain to what he described as the 'failed presidency of
George W. Bush' and - reflecting what has been a central theme of his
campaign since he entered the race - "the broken politics in

The New York Times' Healy:
"Mr. Obama showed real fire, and directed memorable fire at his
opponent, even on Mr. McCain's signature issue, national security."

NYT's Leibovich:
"The occasion was part coronation, part organizing meeting, part
Woodstock. Inside the stadium, the home of the Broncos, chants of
"Eight is enough," referring to President Bush's tenure, broke out, and
big delegate hats outnumbered face paint (usually preferred at a
football game). To some extent, the event resembled a Broncos game,
though without beer sales, no discernible opposition and Mr. Obama in
the spotlight role of John Elway (the Hall of Fame Broncos

The Washington Post's Balz's
lead: "Barack Obama's speech accepting the Democratic presidential
nomination Thursday night was what many nervous Democrats were hoping
for: a forceful challenge to John McCain and the Republicans, and a
restatement of the message to change Washington and the nation that
propelled him to the nomination."

The Washington Post:
"In a speech filled with policy specifics and some of the toughest
swipes he has taken at his opponent in the campaign, Obama took on the
sharp criticisms the GOP has leveled against him in recent months and
at the same time exhorted the nation to look beyond politics as usual."

The Boston Globe: "The stagecraft of Obama's speech, the capstone to the four-day Democratic National Convention, lived up to its billing -- thousands of flashbulbs lighting up the warm Denver night, a sea of people waving Americans flags and signs reading 'Change,' Obama's visage broadcast on giant video screens at Invesco Field. But his boldly chosen setting also risked playing into Republican criticism that his candidacy is too heavy on spectacle and too light on substance."

"On a night of drama, expectation and excitement, Obama stood before 84,000 people -- and a TV audience of tens of millions around the world -- and launched his sharpest-ever assault on opponent John McCain," the NY Daily News writes. "Decrying 'the broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush,' Obama declared: 'America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.'"

Hillary's reaction: "Barack Obama's speech tonight laid out his specific, bold solutions and optimistic vision for our nation and our children's future. "His speech crystallized the clear choice between he and Sen. McCain. Four more years of the same failed policies or a leader who can tackle the great challenges we face: revitalizing our economy and restoring our standing in the world. I am proud to support Sen. Obama, our next President of the United States and Joe Biden, our next Vice President of the United States."

The Boston Globe's Peter Canellos: "The toughness seemed to signal an awareness that Obama, who maintains only the narrowest of leads in the polls, had to make a stronger case against the Republicans," the Boston Globe's Canellos writes. "In recent weeks, as the novelty of Obama's candidacy wore off, it became clear that the urge for change in the country wasn't enough to carry him to victory. … Obama left little unsaid last night, and set the tone for a rugged general-election campaign to come."

Before last night's speech, campaign manager David Plouffe sent an email to Obama supporters asking for a donation of $25 or more. "When Barack takes the stage tonight, he'll look out at delegates from every corner of the country and tens of thousands of ordinary people who are here to be part of this historic moment.  But in the very first row he'll see a group of people who are there because they took ownership of the political process. Some gave just five dollars.   They're folks just like you, and they represent more than two million Americans who own a piece of this campaign. Our success would not have been possible without so many people answering the call by giving whatever they can afford. On this final day before Barack formally accepts the Democratic nomination, please celebrate the moment and lay the foundation for our victory in November by making a donation of $25 or more now."

And a few hours after the speech, another email solicitation -- this time under Joe Biden's name -- went out. "After we walked off the field at Mile High, Barack and I had some official business to attend to -- signing the papers to add our names to the ballots," he said. At that moment, the general election officially began."