Obama's Challenge

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The stage is set, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008 for Barack Obama, at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver where he will accept the Democratic nomination for President tonight. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
The stage is set at Invesco Field in Denver where Barack Obama will accept the Democratic nomination for President. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

His journey to this moment has been extraordinary. In 2004, Obama — then a little known candidate for the U.S. Senate — delivered an electrifying keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in Boston. After that speech, the headlines read: rising star for the Democrats. Just four years later, he is their nominee.

There have been some big speeches this week, but for sheer scale, nothing compares to this night: The nation’s first African-American presidential nominee, on the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream" speech, at a time of national trial, before a crowd of more than 70,000. This is as big as it gets.

This hour, On Point: We are in the stadium. From Invesco Field in Denver, Barack Obama’s big night.

You can join the conversation. What do you need to hear — want to hear — from Barack Obama tonight?Guests:

Rep. James Clyburn, Congressman from South Carolina’s 6th district since 1993 and Majority Whip in the 110th Congress.

Ryan Lizza, Washington correspondent for The New Yorker. His article on Obama's Chicago years, "Making It: How Chicago shaped Obama," was published in July.

Jonathan Kaufman, political editor of The Wall Street Journal. His piece in today's paper, "Rethinking Racial Progress," looks at how the 1980s, once seen as a lowpoint, are now seen as a time when big strides were made toward the civil-rights goals of the 1960s.

Fred Thys, political reporter for WBUR-Boston.

Frank Donatelli, deputy chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Laura Washington, columnist for The Chicago Sun-Times.

Watch Obama's acceptance speech at Invesco Field on Thursday night, August 28, 2008:

Watch Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, on August 28, 1963, in Washington, DC:

And here's the much-talked-about advertisement from the McCain campaign, airing tonight in battleground states around the time of Obama's acceptance speech:


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