So is it next stop the White House for Barack Obama. Having got this far the dream is very much alive. He faced many challenges along the way, not least a titanic struggle with a formidable opponent to secure the Democratic Party’s nomination.
“Barack Obama is a political phenomenon, a multiple breakthrough candidate. He is a first-term Senator with limited experience in national politics and he is not only the first African American to run for president on a major party ticket, he’s the first African American even to be on a major party ticket,” said political historian Allan Lichtman.
Few would have predicted success for this young senator when he first declared his candidacy in February last year. The Clinton election machine was lumbering into motion. Stressing the need for change Obama took his campaign to the internet.
Analyst Stephen Hess said:
“If you can say four years ago, Howard Dean taught us some things about how to raise money on the Internet, Obama went way beyond that. He truly organised. Suddenly, he’s in Montana and there’s an organisation in place. How did it get there? It got there through a network that had been created over the Internet. And Hillary Clinton didn’t figure that out for a long time.”
In the five-month long bruising battle the rivals sought to exploit each others weak spots. Obama’s Achilles heel was his association with the controversial preacher Jeremiah Wright. He struggled to distance himself from Wright’s incendiary remarks. For his Republican opponents the issue will not have gone away, said Allan Lichtman.
“Unquestionably, they’re going to go after his name, they’re going to continue to monger rumours that he really is a Muslim, they’re going to continue to stress associations with alleged radicals and militants. Anything that can be thrown against Barack Obama, I fear, will be thrown against him in this campaign,” he said.
Obama must now to decide if the fight will be easier with Hillary at his side as running-mate.