Lea from Denver: It’s Official: Barack Obama Nominated for President!!


It’s official: Democrats nominate Obama

    * Story Highlights
    * NEW: Obama nominated by acclamation
    * Hillary Clinton asks to cut roll call short
    * Clinton releases delegates; criticizes Republicans
    * Headlining speakers include former President Clinton, Biden

DENVER, Colorado (CNN) — Democrats Wednesday officially nominated Barack Obama to be their candidate for president.

Sen. Hillary Clinton asked to cut the roll call short saying, "With eyes firmly fixed on the future, and in the spirit of unity with the goal of victory, with faith in our party and our country, let’s declare together with one voice right here, right now that Barack Obama is our candidate and he will be our president," she said.

Delegates then affirmed Obama as their choice with cheers.

Clinton and Obama were on the ballot at the party convention on Wednesday.

The states announced their votes in alphabetical order. The voting was to continue until a candidate received 2,210 delegates — the threshold needed to secure the nomination.

While most delegates cast their votes for Obama, some were voting for Clinton.

There were a few boos at one point — when Massachusetts cast its vote and gave a nod to its sports teams, the Red Sox and the Celtics, the current baseball and basketball champions.

As Obama arrived in Denver, Clinton released her delegates Wednesday afternoon, allowing those who had been pledged to her to vote for whomever they choose in a roll call vote later in the day.

"This was such a competitive primary season," Clinton told her delegates in a packed ballroom at the Denver Convention Center, "I want you to know this has been a joy. Boy did we have a good time trying."

Clinton engaged in a bitter primary battle with Barack Obama until the last contest in June before conceding. On Tuesday night, she delivered the headline address to the party’s convention in Denver, which was intended to heal any rift that the contentious campaign had caused.

"I believe that as Democrats and as Americans we will leave Denver united," she said on Wednesday.

Clinton told the delegation that she had waited to address them in one place so she could address them all before releasing them.

"It is traditional that we have nominations, that we have a roll call, that we have candidates who look for ways to make sure we come out of here ready to win in November," she said. "As part of that tradition, I am here today to release you as my delegates."

Controversy has surrounded the role of Clinton’s nearly 1,700 pledged delegates. Last month, she said allowing them to cast a vote for her in a roll call at the convention could provide a "catharsis."

Clinton said Wednesday she signed her ballot for Obama.

As Clinton addressed her delegates, she also took the opportunity to take a swipe at the opposition party, telling her supporters that Republicans "should apologize to the country."

Clinton has strongly urged her backers to support Obama, but some appear to be backing Republican John McCain in growing numbers. A CNN poll taken at the end of June indicated that 16 percent of Clinton’s supporters intended to vote for McCain.

A new CNN poll, conducted Saturday and Sunday, showed that 27 percent of her voters now said they supported the Republican candidate.

Clinton made her case for Obama Tuesday night, and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, will step into the spotlight Wednesday. VideoWatch more on what Bill Clinton will say »

Bill Clinton is expected to speak before the convention shortly after 9 p.m. ET. Sources told CNN earlier this week that the former president was unhappy with his assigned speech topic for the convention, national security. He reportedly would have preferred to discuss the economy — the issue that, more than anything else, helped propel him to the White House 16 years ago.

Democrats on Wednesday also will officially nominate their presidential ticket and yield the podium to former President Clinton and the presumptive vice presidential nominee, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware.

The lineup of speakers for Wednesday evening — with the theme of "Securing America’s Future" — features a roster of Democratic foreign policy and national security heavyweights.

Biden will be leading the attack on McCain’s foreign policy.In his acceptance speech, Biden is expected to outline why he believes McCain’s and President Bush’s world views have ignored the most dangerous threats facing the United States, said a Democratic source involved in crafting the speech for the six-term senator.

Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, widely is believed to have been chosen for the Democratic presidential ticket based on his foreign policy credentials.

Obama’s perceived weakness compared to McCain on foreign policy and national security issues has been a concern to Democratic strategists, especially since Russia’s conflict with Georgia intensified this month.

According to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll, 78 percent of registered voters said they believe McCain can handle the responsibilities of commander in chief, while 58 percent said they thought Obama could shoulder those responsibilities. View poll results on national security »

The poll, conducted Saturday and Sunday, also found that 60 percent of voters said they believe McCain would better handle the issue of terrorism, whereas 36 percent have more faith in Obama. A majority also said it believes McCain is more likely than Obama to be a strong and decisive leader.

The poll, conducted Saturday and Sunday, also found that 60 percent of voters said they believe McCain would better handle the issue of terrorism, whereas 36 percent have more faith in Obama. A majority also said it believes McCain is more likely than Obama to be a strong and decisive leader.

The vice presidential candidate also will focus heavily on his personal biography and Senate experience during his speech, the source said.

Others who will speak on foreign policy include former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; Sens. Evan Bayh and Jack Reed, who are members of the Senate Armed Services Committee; New Mexico Gov. and former U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson; retired Army Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy; and Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth.