Democrats in Denver made history last night, naming the first African-American to head a major political party presidential ticket. A roll call at the Democratic National Convention ended when rival Hillary Clinton asked to suspend the vote and declare Obama the nominee by acclamation. Missouri voted 82-to-6 for Obama prior to Clinton’s request.
Missouri had been nearly evenly split between the two. Obama narrowly won the presidential primary in February and had to settle with a 36-36 split of delegates. The remaining 16 Super Delegates leaned toward Obama. Clinton delegates heeded the call for unity made by party officials and confirmed by Clinton herself in an address to the convention. Missouri delegates held a meeting Wednesday morning after the delegation breakfast to discuss what to do. Many members called for a sign of unity and urged colleagues to cast their vote for Obama. Clinton met with her delegates at the convention center in the early afternoon and officially released them.
The Obama campaign whip in Missouri, Brian Wahby of St. Louis, says the state vote sent a strong message that Missouri Democrats are unified behind Obama’s campaign.
And Wahby believes those Clinton supporters who have switched to Obama are ready to fully support his candidacy by working for his campaign upon their return from the convention.
In Obama’s camp from the beginning is first-time convention delegate Robin LaBrunerie of Columbia, who so anticipated the vote for Obama, everything seemed to have more meaning, including the daily Pledge of Allegiance at the breakfast Wednesday. LaBrunerie is a true believer. She says Obama has the ability to bring diverse people together, something she sees as sorely needed in today’s politics.
Tonight, Obama takes the stage, across the way in the Broncos stadium rather than the Nuggets arena, to accept his party’s nomination. He will make his case for the presidency just prior to the Republican National Convention in the Twin Cities next week.