On the 45th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s iconic "I Have a Dream" speech, Barack Obama assured his place in history as the first African American presidential nominee of a major political party.
Obama's acceptance speech was delivered in a packed Invesco Field at Mile High. The doors were thrown open seven hours before he was scheduled to appear. The lines snaked for blocks, across railroad tracks and under a bridge. After a 45-minute wait for the light rail, it took me nearly an hour to get into the stadium.
The atmosphere was more like a rock concert than a political convention. To while away the time, Obama supporters did the wave, text-messaged and enjoyed performances by will.i.am, John Legend, Sheryl Crow, Michael McDonald, and Stevie Wonder who sang "Signed, Sealed, Delivered."
Rep. John Lewis led a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. At an earlier commemoration, Lewis recounted:
Dr. King said that he has a dream that's deeply rooted in the American Dream. We're here in Denver making a down payment on that dream.
Indeed, Obama walked on stage and marched into history:
With profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.
Obama's speech was entitled "The American Promise." Like Dr. King 45 years ago, he appealed to the better angels of our nature:
America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.
Obama offered the hope of a new promissory note:
We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage, whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma.
We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was President â when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of go down $2,000, like it has under George Bush.
There was never any doubt that Obama would give a good speech. His supporters left Invesco Field "fired up, ready to go." But as I sat in the stadium, I wondered whether undecided voters who were watching at home were turned off by the theatrics and spectacle of 80,000 foot-stomping supporters chanting, "Yes, we can."