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We’ve known for a while that the Democratic primary campaign has a clear winner. Thanks to Senator Clinton’s perseverance, however, it is only now that we can focus fully on the task that matters: The Presidential Race 2008. But today is meant for celebrating a historic event. The US Democratic Party has, for the first time, elected an African American as a candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America. This is obviously making headlines in Europe, too.
The Times sees Senator Obama’s win as a sign of America as a land of opportunities:
Details of the delegate count no longer matter. This moment’s significance is its resounding proof of the triusm about America as a land of opportunity: Mr Obama’s opportunity to graduate from Harvard and take Washington by storm; the opportunity that the world’s most responsive democratic system gives its voters to be inspired by an unknown; the opportunity that outsiders now have to reassess the superpower that too many of them love to hate. (read more..)
The Guardian is more focused on the task ahead:
Five things, and he needs to start on them quickly. First, Obama needs to redefine himself. Think back to the candidate who gave that powerful announcement-of-candidacy speech in freezing Springfield, Illinois, in February 2007, or the candidate who galvanised the Iowa Jefferson-Jackson Day last November. (read more..)
The Independent relives the “epic struggle”
After an epic five-month battle that has transformed American politics, Barack Obama claimed the Democratic nomination last night, continuing his extraordinary quest to become the first African-American president in his country’s history.
It was the most important milestone yet, in the meteoric political journey of Mr Obama, the son of a black intellectual from Kenya and a white anthropologist from Kansas who only four years ago was an almost unknown state senator from Illinois. (read more..)
The Telegraph is more thoughtful than enthusiastic:
ST PAUL, Minnesota. It appears this night is not quite the triumphant crescendo Barack Obama expected and would have liked. CNN and NBC have called the South Dakota primary for Hilary Clinton – a shock result that underlines the problems he has among rural voters and will increase pressure for her to be on the ticket. Obama had key Democrats in South Dakota, most notably Tom Daschle and Senator Tim Johnson, on his side but still did not pull off a win despite early opinion poll leads. He appears to have won Montana. (read more..)
Der Spiegel tells us this story from St.Paul:
Brandon Banteh, for example, drove for four hours to St. Paul. Once here, he waited four hours in a line to get in. “I’m more excited than I have ever been before in my life,” the young academic said. He took Monday and Tuesday off from work, “and if Obama needs me in the fall, I am ready to take more days off.” An older white woman stands smiling next to him, nodding her head rapidly. An Iraq veteran pats Brandon on the shoulder and explains to a reporter why he only trusts Obama and why the Democrats need to pull together.
The young black man. The Iraq veteran. The older woman. It’s the spectrum of the coalition that Obama must forge between now and November to win. John McCain will be a formidable opponent, and Obama has lost a lot of his shine in the fierce primary battle against Clinton. But Banteh didn’t want to ruminate too much on that. “Regardless of the outcome, the US will be changed forever,” he said. (read more..)
Die Welt from Germany:
In securing the delegates needed to lock up the nomination Tuesday, Obama completed one of the most remarkable U.S. political campaigns in memory. A first-term senator, unknown nationally four years ago, Obama toppled one of America’s most powerful political families. Clinton, seeking to become the first female president, had long been seen as the inevitable nominee.Obama’s nomination is also a milestone for a nation where, just decades ago, racial discrimination was widespread and many African-Americans had to fight just for the right to vote. (read more..)
This is what some of Europe’s newspapers think and the tenor is similar across the board. It is a historic moment, but the task ahead is not easy for Barack Obama. I wish you all a good start into your days, stay healthy and safe! Cheers form Europe!