Whether successful or not, Barack Obama’s bid to become president of the United States marks a landmark in US history.
The Harvard Law School graduate and civil rights lawyer was only elected to Congress in 2004. But, less than three years later, he had thrown his hat into the ring for the most powerful job on the planet.
“I recognise that there is a certain presumptuousness, a certain audacity to this announcement,” he told supporters in February 2007.
“I know that I have not spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I have been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change.”
Young and charismatic, Obama was widely hailed as a breath of fresh air.
He first made a name for himself at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, giving a rousing and highly personal keynote speech that won him widespread acclaim.
A grass-roots activist in the early 1990s when Bill Clinton came to power, it was now Obama’s turn to take office. As a newly elected Illinois Senator he would rub shoulders with the former first lady, whose own White House hopes he would later obliterate.
Born to a black, Kenyan father and a white, American mother, Obama personifies US diversity.
The man hoping to become the first African-American US president has already achieved what some thought impossible. After turning the tables on former front-runner Hillary Clinton, he triumphed in the primaries.
“Because of you tonight, I can stand here and say that I would be the democratic nominee for the president of the United States of America,” he announced to a rally at the start of June.
In the Barack Obama success story though, the final and biggest hurdle remains. The happy ending he is hoping for is now in the hands of