News

    Democrats Open Convention With Calls for Party Unity

    Multimedia

    Audio

    Democrats have launched their presidential nominating convention, portraying their candidate Barack Obama as a man of faith and American values.  Party leaders are hoping the gathering will inspire unity and heal wounds from a contentious primary season.  VOA Correspondent Meredith Buel has details from the convention being held in Denver, Colorado.

    Democratic delegates erupted on the floor of their convention as the candidate's wife, Michelle Obama, arrived.

    Her goal on the opening night of the convention was to give millions of Americans watching on television an opportunity to meet a family that, for many, is largely unknown.

    "I come here as a wife who loves my husband and believes he will be an extraordinary president," she said.

    Democrats hope Barack Obama will make history as the first African-American president of the United States.

    Michele Obama says she and her husband come from similar working-class backgrounds and were raised with the same values of hard work and treating people with dignity and respect.

    "Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values and pass them on to the next generation," she said.  "Because we want our children and all children in this nation, to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work hard for them."

    Senator Obama is not in Denver, but made an appearance via satellite to greet the delegates and say hello to his two daughters and congratulate his wife on her speech.

    "Now you know why I asked her out so many times even though she said 'no,'" he said.  "You want a persistent president."

    An emotional highlight to the convention's first night was a tribute to U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, an early Obama supporter who was diagnosed several months ago with brain cancer.

    The senator is the last surviving brother of the late President John F. Kennedy and a Democratic Party icon who has served more than four decades in the U.S. Congress.

    He told the cheering delegates the time has come to pass the torch of leadership to a new generation.

    "I have come here tonight to stand with you, to change America, to restore its future, to rise to our best ideals and to elect Barack Obama president of the United States," he said.

    In addition to introducing Obama, another critical task for the Democrats is to unite their party after a marathon primary season between him and Senator Hillary Clinton.

    Polls show a significant number of Clinton supporters, still upset that she lost the nomination and was not selected as Obama's running mate, may vote for Republican candidate John McCain in November.

    Senator Clinton is urging her supporters to back Obama and will address the convention on Tuesday.

    Clinton delegate Joe Ellen Litz still has a strong emotional attachment to her candidate, but says she will vote for Obama in the November election.

    "What he can do is be, wow, open and honest and I guess I would like to use the word sensitive to the feelings of all of the people who supported Hillary," she said.

    The Democrats will formally nominate Obama Thursday and he is scheduled to accept during a speech to at least 75,000 people at an outdoor sports stadium.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora