2004 Democratic National Convention

The 2004 Democratic National Convention convened from July 26 to 29, 2004 at the FleetCenter (now the TD Garden) in Boston, Massachusetts, and nominated Senator John Kerry from Massachusetts for President and Senator John Edwards from North Carolina for Vice President, respectively, in the 2004 presidential election.

The 2004 Democratic National Convention included the featured keynote speech of Barack Obama, then a candidate for the United States Senate from Illinois, who would later go on to become the 44th President of the United States in 2009. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson served as chairman of the convention, while former presidential advisor to Bill Clinton, Lottie Shackelford, served as vice chairwoman.

The 2004 Democratic National Convention marked the formal end of the active primary election season, although all meaningful primary elections had finished months earlier. After the convention, John Kerry and John Edwards were defeated by the incumbent George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in the general election.

2004 Democratic National Convention
2004 presidential election
2004dnc logo 150pix 03 04
Kerry and Edwards
Date(s)July 26–29, 2004
CityBoston, Massachusetts
ChairBill Richardson of New Mexico
Keynote speakerBarack Obama of Illinois
Presidential nomineeJohn Kerry of Massachusetts
Vice Presidential nomineeJohn Edwards of North Carolina
Total delegates4,322
Votes needed for nomination2,164
Results (President)Kerry (MA): 4,253 (98.40%)
Kucinich (OH): 43 (0.99%)
Abstaining: 26 (0.60%)
Results (Vice President)Edwards (NC): 100% (Acclamation)
Mayor Thomas M. Menino welcomes delegates to the 2004 Democratic National Convention (15488514810)
Boston mayor Thomas Menino welcomes delegates to the convention

Convention themes

The 2004 Democratic National Convention featured a theme for each day of the convention. The first night of the meeting focused on the theme "Plan for America's Future" with speeches devoted to building optimism for John Kerry's candidacy. The second night of the meeting focused on the theme "A Lifetime of Strength and Service" devoted to John Kerry's biography and his path to his nomination. The third night of the meeting focused on the theme "A Stronger More Secure America" devoted to issues of homeland security and the global war on terror. The last night of the meeting focused on the theme "Stronger at Home, Respected in the World" devoted to the overall agenda of the party to secure the borders, improving domestic welfare while at the same time promoting international cooperation in world affairs.[1] The phrase "Help is on the Way" was often repeated by speakers such as John Edwards.[2][3]

Party platform

The 2004 Democratic National Convention successfully passed an official party platform. A forty-three page document, the party platform was entitled "Strong at Home, Respected in the World" – also the name of the theme conveyed on the last night of the convention. The first part of the platform was called "A Strong, Respected America". The section defined specific goals and actions to defeat terrorism, to keep weapons of mass destruction from the hands of terrorists, to promote world peace and security, to strengthen the military, to achieve energy independence and to strengthen homeland security. The second part of the platform was called, "A Strong, Growing Economy". The section defined specific goals and actions to create what the party called "good jobs" and "standing up for the great American middle class." The third part of the platform was called, "Strong, Healthy Families." The section defined specific goals and actions to reform the healthcare system in the United States, to improve education and to protect the environment. The final part of the platform was called, "A Strong American Community." It stressed the diversity of the nation and the importance of upholding civil rights as a major tenet of the party.

Boston venue

The FleetCenter hosting the 2004 Democratic National Convention
Beacon Hill and Downtown Boston as seen from Cambridge

The 2004 Democratic National Convention was the first held in Boston, one of the few held in the home state of the presidential nominee, and also the first since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.[4] During the convention, there was a memorial service to honor the victims of the attacks. Halima Salee, who lost her daughter, son-in-law, and unborn grandchild on American Flight 11, spoke.

Site selection

After an initial notice to 34 cities, 10 cities requested the RFP to host the convention: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Miami, New York and Pittsburgh. Of those, five cities (Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, Miami and New York) submitted bids, and four cities (not including Baltimore) were visited by the DNC during the site selection process. Boston was announced as the host of the convention on November 13, 2002.[5]

As a result of the selection of Boston, organizers of the Reebok Pro Summer League had to fold the league into the upstart Las Vegas Summer League due to a lack of lodging in the Boston area.[6]


U.S. Coast Guard providing security during the convention
DNC 1076048
A U.S. Coastguardsmen patrols the waters adjacent to the FleetCenter

During the convention, U.S. Capitol Police, the U.S. Coast Guard, and other governmental organizations took many security measures to protect the participants of the Democratic National Convention.[7] Security measures included bomb-sniffing dogs, 7-feet high metal barricades, a ban on corporate and private flights at Logan airport, along with the shutting down of Interstate 93.[7]

Police union

Other Bostonians took advantage of the meeting as a national stage for specific agendas.[8] The police union, for example, gained attention with threats of picketing of delegates from entering and exiting functions – a dilemma for Democrats as the party has traditionally been an ally of organized labor. Having worked without a contract for two years, the police union struck a deal with Boston mayor Thomas Menino for a new contract, avoiding a major embarrassment for the party.[8]

Barack Obama's keynote address

State Senator Barack Obama, the Illinois Democratic candidate for United States Senate, delivered the convention's keynote address on Tuesday, July 27, 2004. His unexpected landslide victory in the March 2004 Illinois U.S. Senate Democratic primary had made him overnight a rising star within the national Democratic Party, started speculation about a presidential future, and led to the reissue of his memoir, Dreams from My Father.[9] His keynote address, although not carried by the commercial broadcast television networks, was well received, which further elevated his status within the Democratic Party and led to his reissued memoir becoming a bestseller.[10] As the keynote speaker, Obama set the tone for the party platform. His speech, proclaiming the unnecessary and artificial divides in American culture and politics, was reminiscent of John Edwards's "Two Americas" stump speech: "There's not a liberal America and a conservative America—there's the United States of America." Obama emphasized the importance of unity, and made veiled jabs at the Bush administration and the news media's perceived oversimplification and diversionary use of wedge issues: "We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don't like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the red states. We coach Little League in the blue states, and yes, we've got some gay friends in the red states. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the Stars and Stripes, all of us defending the United States of America."[11]

Obama noted his interracial and international heritage: he was born in Honolulu, Hawaii to a Kenyan immigrant father and a white mother from Kansas. He emphasized the power of education, recounting the privilege of attending the exclusive Punahou School and Harvard Law School despite his family's poverty, and criticized the perception that poor black youths who read books are "acting white." He went on to describe his successful career in law and politics while raising a family in Chicago. "In no other country on Earth is my story even possible", Obama proclaimed. Towards the end of his speech, he emphasized the importance of hope in the American saga, and he illustrated how that hope manifested itself in the lives of John Kerry, John Edwards, and even his own personal life, as "a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him too." According to Obama, the "audacity of hope" is "God's greatest gift" to Americans, allowing him to feel optimistic that the lives of average Americans can be improved with the right governmental policies. Following the speech political commentator Chris Matthews rightly predicted "I just saw the first black president".[12]

Edwards' address

Not yet formally nominated for the Vice Presidency, John Edwards took the stage at the Convention to give the first major national speech of his political career. Delegates raised red-and-white vertical "Edwards" banners and chanted his name. The theme of Edwards's address was the divide between the "two Americas", his populist message throughout the primary campaign and now one embraced by Kerry. He tied the division to his own roots in North Carolina, and introduced his family to the audience. Edwards addressed his parents from the podium: "You taught me the values that I carry in my heart: faith, family, responsibility, opportunity for everyone. You taught me that there's dignity and honor in a hard day's work. You taught me to always look out for our neighbors, to never look down on anybody, and treat everybody with respect." Edwards went on to define the two Americas he claimed to exist, one for the rich and one for the poor, and repeated several times that "It doesn't have to be that way."[13] He called for one health care system, equal in quality to the coverage received by Senators and other elected officials, and promised to establish a Patients' Bill of Rights. Edwards proposed one public school system for all, arguing that "None of us believe that the quality of a child's education should be controlled by where they live or the affluence of their community."[13] He appealed for the end of the two economies, "one for people who are set for life, they know their kids and grandkids are going to be just fine, and then one for most Americans, people who live paycheck to paycheck."[13] Edwards also stated how the Democrats expected to pay for their agenda: "We're going to roll back – we're going to roll back the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. And we're going to close corporate loopholes. We're going to cut government contractors and wasteful spending. We can move this country forward without passing the burden to our children and our grandchildren."

Many pundits noted that while Edwards's charismatic style was in evidence, he had rushed through the speech, ending several minutes earlier than planned. The delegates in the FleetCenter, however, were enraptured, and Edwards led them several times in a statement-response chant: "Hope is on the way." This, and the general upbeat tone of the address, was a response to attacks by the Bush campaign claiming that Kerry and Edwards were pessimistic and cynical; it was altered and echoed the next day in the more detailed speech of John Kerry: "Help is on the way."

Results of delegate voting

In the days before the convention started, the other candidates withdrew, freed their delegates and officially endorsed Kerry. All the delegates voted to ratify this decision and vote for Kerry, except those of Kucinich, who attempted to vote for Kucinich anyway. Many states refused to let them do so, and only permitted them to register abstentions. The final tally went thus:


Democratic National Convention presidential vote, 2004[14]
Candidate Votes Percentage
John Kerry 4,253 98.40%
Dennis Kucinich 43 0.99%
Abstentions 26 0.60%
Totals 4,322 100.00%

Vice President

Kerry's address

Prior to his speech, John Kerry's daughter spoke about her father. After this, a video played, showing highlights from Kerry's life, including his birth in Colorado, his childhood in New England, the travels with his diplomat father to post-World War II Germany, and his service in Vietnam's Mekong Delta, interspersed with clips of Kerry speaking and narrated voice overs. After the video's conclusion, former U.S. Senator Max Cleland delivered a speech proclaiming that the global conflict and active wars in Afghanistan and Iraq required a decorated military hero such as Kerry in the White House. This concluded with Kerry's entrance, where he made a military salute and announced, "I'm John Kerry, and I'm reporting for duty!" Kerry then accepted the nomination for President.

Democrats reacted positively to John Kerry's acceptance speech.[15] With Democrats strongly opposed to the Bush administration, John Kerry spent most of his speech appealing to independent voters and to swing voters.[15] He promised to train 40,000 new active duty troops,[16] to implement all the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission,[16] to cut the national deficit in half within four years,[16] to cut middle class taxes while repealing the Bush administration's tax cuts for those making more than US$200,000 per year,[16] to stop privatization of Social Security,[16] and to expand stem cell research.[16]

On the day after Kerry's speech, George W. Bush's reelection campaign launched a counterattack on the claims and promises made by Kerry and others at the convention. At a campaign stop in Springfield, Missouri, Bush told a crowd: "My opponent has good intentions, but intentions do not always translate to results", attacking Senator Kerry's record in the Senate.[17]

Other speakers

In addition to the Obama, Edwards, and Kerry addresses, there were also speeches from former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, former Vice-President and 2000 Presidential nominee Al Gore, New York Senator and former First Lady Hillary Clinton, Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy, former candidate Al Sharpton, and Presidential Advisory Counsel on HIV/AIDS Denise Stokes. Ron Reagan, son of Republican President Ronald Reagan, also spoke at the Convention, blaming Bush's hijacking of his father's legacy for his switch in support to the Democrats.

Lack of convention 'bounce'

Polls conducted after Kerry's speech showed no significant increase of support (or "convention bounce") for the Democratic nominee's bid to unseat President Bush.[18] Democrats ascribed the disappointing numbers to an unusually polarized electorate that year with few undecided voters, though Bush did get a small bounce out of his convention.[19]

Demonstrations and protests

DNC4 7-27-2004
Fred Phelps speaking at a Westboro Baptist Church picket of the convention
Dennis Kucinich 2004 Democratic National Convention
Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich speaks out against the Iraq War.
Tom Hayden urges anti-war activists to continue efforts to organize.

There were a number of demonstrations during the 2004 Democratic National Convention.[20] Protesters included members of the Bl(A)ck Tea Society, a group of self-described anarchists, who opposed the war in Iraq.[20] Approximately 400 members of the Bl(A)ck Tea Society marched through Boston's financial district and headed toward the fleet center, where they set fire to an effigy that showed George Bush on one side and John Kerry on the other.[20]

That evening a group of peace activists held a peaceful rally a few hundred feet from the FleetCenter. Local Boston politicians were joined by presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich and long-time activist and California state senator Tom Hayden in a call to end the occupation of and to remove U.S. troops from Iraq and to bring in an international peacekeeping force. Also, Hayden and Kucinich called on anti-war Democrats to support John Kerry against George Bush in the general election.[21]

The largest protest was held on the Sunday evening before the convention was set to start. An estimated 2,000 anti-war members marched at the same time as approximately 1,000 anti-abortion activists, and the two groups crossed paths en route to the convention center.[20] The following day, this anti-abortion group had its permit revoked to protest outside of the Kerry family home. They challenged the decision, but it was upheld by a federal judge, who sided with the Secret Service in determining that the protest would be too close to Kerry's home, potentially endangering the presidential candidate.[20][22]

See also


  1. ^ "2004 Democratic Convention Speakers List". Archived from the original on November 14, 2007. Retrieved May 15, 2007.
  2. ^ Transcript of Edwards' speech
  3. ^ "Elections 2004 - Rounding Up The Democratic Convention". Moderateindependent.com. July 30, 2004. Retrieved September 4, 2013.
  4. ^ Webb, Cynthia L. (July 26, 2004). "Democrats Get Wired in Boston". Washington Post. Retrieved May 15, 2007.
  5. ^ "Site Selection 2004". GWU. Retrieved January 13, 2009.
  6. ^ Christovich, Amanda (July 19, 2018). "How NBA's inaugural Vegas Summer League was kick-started by the Democratic National Convention". USA Today. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Security details: dogs, guns, choppers – politics | NBC News". MSNBC. July 25, 2004. Retrieved September 4, 2013.
  8. ^ a b Greenhouse, Steven (June 30, 2004). "Democrats Fear Boston Police Union May Picket During Party Convention". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  9. ^ Mendell, David (March 17, 2004). "Obama routs Democratic foes; Ryan tops crowded GOP field; Hynes, Hull fall far short across state". Chicago Tribune. p. 1. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  10. ^ . (August 2, 2004). "Star power. Showtime: Some are on the rise; others have long been fixtures in the firmament. A galaxy of bright Democratic lights". Newsweek. pp. 48–51. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  11. ^ https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/convention2004/barackobama2004dnc.htm
  12. ^ http://www.completeobamaspeecharchive.com/keynote.html
  13. ^ a b c "Text:Sen. John Edwards Speech to DNC". The Washington Post. July 28, 2004. Retrieved October 20, 2007.
  14. ^ "Democratic Convention 2004". The Green Papers. Retrieved April 13, 2008.
  15. ^ a b Wilgoren, Jodi; Halbfinger, David (July 31, 2004). "THE 2004 CAMPAIGN: REACTION; Democrats Across the Board Are Pleased". The New York Times. Retrieved January 18, 2010.
  16. ^ a b c d e f "'We Have It in Our Power to Change the World Again'". The New York Times. July 29, 2004.
  17. ^ "President's Remarks in Springfield, Missouri Remarks". Retrieved January 15, 2010.
  18. ^ "No Convention Bounce For Kerry". CBS News. February 11, 2009. Retrieved September 4, 2013.
  19. ^ Page, Susan (August 3, 2004). "So why did Bush, not Kerry, get the bounce?". Usatoday.Com. Retrieved September 4, 2013.
  20. ^ a b c d e "Boston protests draw police action – politics | NBC News". MSNBC. July 29, 2004. Retrieved September 4, 2013.
  21. ^ "THE CONSTITUENCIES: LIBERALS; From Chicago '68 to Boston, The Left Comes Full Circle". New York Times. July 28, 2004. Retrieved September 4, 2013.
  22. ^ "Anti-abortion groups lose suit over protests – politics | NBC News". MSNBC. July 26, 2004. Retrieved September 4, 2013.

External links

Preceded by
Los Angeles
Democratic National Conventions Succeeded by
2004 Democratic National Convention keynote address

The keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention (DNC) was given by then Illinois State Senator, United States senatorial candidate, and future President Barack Obama on the night of Tuesday, July 27, 2004, in Boston, Massachusetts. His unexpected landslide victory in the March 2004 Illinois U.S. Senate Democratic primary made him a rising star within the national Democratic Party overnight, started speculation about a presidential future, and led to the reissue of his memoir, Dreams from My Father. His keynote address was well received, which further elevated his status within the Democratic Party and led to his reissued memoir becoming a bestseller.Obama first met Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in the spring of 2004, and was one of several names considered for the role of keynote speaker at the party's convention that summer. Obama was told in early July 2004 that he was chosen to deliver the address, and he largely wrote the speech himself, with later edits from the Kerry presidential campaign. Delivered on the second night of the DNC in just under 20 minutes, the address included both a biographical sketch of Obama, his own vision of America, and the reasons for his support of Kerry for the presidency. Unlike almost all prior and all subsequent convention keynote addresses, it was not televised by the commercial broadcast networks, and was only seen by a combined PBS, cable news and C-SPAN television audience of about nine million. Since its delivery, several academics have studied the speech, both for the various narratives it describes as well as its implications for racial reconciliation.

2004 Democratic National Convention speakers

The 2004 Democratic National Convention featured a variety of speakers, ranging from former presidents to rising newcomers.

2004 Democratic Party presidential primaries

The 2004 Democratic presidential primaries were the selection process by which voters of the Democratic Party chose its nominee for President of the United States in the 2004 U.S. presidential election. Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts was selected as the nominee through a series of primary elections and caucuses culminating in the 2004 Democratic National Convention held from July 26 to July 29, 2004, in Boston, Massachusetts. Kerry went on to lose the general election on November 2, 2004, to incumbent Republican President George W. Bush.

Catherine L. Barrett

Catherine L. Barrett of Cincinnati, Ohio, United States, is a former Democratic member of the Ohio House of Representatives, who served for eight years, the applicable term limit for that body. Previously, she served as mayor of Forest Park, Ohio.She also served as a delegate for John Kerry on the Ohio delegation to the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston.

Denny White

Dennis L. White of Columbus, Ohio, was the chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, 2002–2005. He was chairman of the Ohio delegation to the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, where he urged members of his delegation not to cross picket lines in the event of a labor dispute between Boston's Mayor and its police union. This led several delegates to complain that they were being "forced to take a side without knowing all the facts".White resigned as chairman of Ohio Democratic Party on 26 November 2005. He is currently a member of the Democratic National Committee.

Don Mischer

Mischer leads here. For the specialized treatment for diseases of the brain and spine, see Mischer Neuroscience InstituteDonald Leo "Don" Mischer (born March 5, 1940) is an American producer and director of television and live events.

Dreams from My Father

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance (1995) is a memoir by Barack Obama, who was elected as U.S. President in 2008. The memoir explores the events of Obama's early years in Honolulu and Chicago up until his entry into law school in 1988. Obama published the memoir in July 1995, when he was starting his political campaign for Illinois Senate. He had been elected as the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review in 1990. According to The New York Times, Obama modeled Dreams from My Father on Ralph Ellison's novel Invisible Man.After Obama won the U.S. Senate Democratic primary victory in Illinois in 2004, the book was re-published that year. He gave the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention (DNC) and won the Illinois Senate seat in the fall. Obama launched his presidential campaign three years later. The 2004 edition includes a new preface by Obama and his DNC keynote address.

Greg DiDonato

Gregory L. DiDonato of Dennison, Ohio, is an American politician of the Democratic party. While still in high school, DiDonato was elected to the village council of Dennison, Ohio. At age 21, he was elected mayor of the Village of Dennison. He was re-elected mayor in 1987. While in college, he worked as a baker. Afterwards, he worked for a grocery distribution company. In 1990, DiDonato won a seat in the Ohio House of Representatives, serving the 97th district. In 1994, DiDonato was the Democratic nominee for a seat in the United States House of Representatives to replace retiring Democratic incumbent Douglas Applegate. DiDonato lost that race to Robert W. Ney. He was minority leader of the Ohio State Senate. He served as a delegate for John Edwards on the Ohio delegation to the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. DiDonato was elected to the Ohio Senate in 1996. His most recent term ended in January 2005. He was prevented by Ohio's term limits law from seeking a third consecutive term in the Senate. DiDonato was again elected as mayor of Dennison, Ohio in 2007. He stepped down to become the chairman of Tuscarawas County Democratic Party.DiDonato currently serves as the Executive Director of the Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association (OMEGA).

Keep On Pushing (song)

"Keep On Pushing" is a 1964 single by The Impressions. The single became the group's sixth Top 40 single, and a Top 10 Pop smash, peaking at number ten. It went to number one for two weeks on the Cash Box R&B chart.It was one of the songs sung in the Civil Rights Movement in America during the turbulent 1960s and was the title song of The Impressions' Top 10 hit album, Keep On Pushing. The title was mentioned in-between the lyrics, by Curtis Mayfield in the Impressions rendition of the Negro Spiritual "Amen". (1964). The album (cover) is one of several featured on the Front Cover of the Bob Dylan's 1965 album Bringing it all back home, praise enough.

Decades later, the song was used as the theme to the 2004 Democratic National Convention keynote address by then-Illinois State Senator Barack Obama, who endorsed U.S. Senator John Kerry for President. It was even featured in the 1995 film Dead Presidents.


A keynote in public speaking is a talk that establishes a main underlying theme. In corporate or commercial settings, greater importance is attached to the delivery of a keynote speech or keynote address. The keynote establishes the framework for the following programme of events or convention agenda; frequently the role of keynote speaker will include that of convention moderator. It will also flag up a larger idea – a literary story, an individual musical piece, or event.

At political or industrial conventions and expositions and at academic conferences, the keynote address or keynote speech is delivered to set the underlying tone and summarize the core message or most important revelation of the event. Some of the more famous keynote speeches in the United States are those made at the party conventions during Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns. Keynote speakers at these events have often gained nationwide fame (or notoriety); for example, Barack Obama at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, and have occasionally influenced the course of the election. In the commercial arena, Steve Jobs delivered influential keynote speeches at Apple product, system and service launches, and former presidential candidate, Al Gore delivers a notable keynote address which is edited into the documentary film An Inconvenient Truth, (2006).

Keynote speeches are also given at the graduation and commencement ceremonies of colleges, universities, and major high schools, usually by accomplished academics or celebrities invited by the student body. These speeches are often called a commencement speech.

Keynote speakers are often selected to raise interest in a particular event, such as a conference or large meeting sponsored by a corporation or association, and draw attendees to attend that program. Selecting a keynote speaker who is well known for his or her expertise in a particular field, or who has wide name recognition due to other accomplishments, will probably raise enthusiasm among prospective attendees for a meeting or conference. Increasingly the word keynote is being used as a synonym for plenary session or "invited talk," with some conferences having an opening keynote, a closing keynote, and many other keynotes.

A keynote speaker may work independently, be represented by a speakers bureau, or by a new crowdsourced model such as the speakerwiki website. In the event that a speaker is represented by a traditional speakers bureau, a commission, typically 25%–30%, is due; however, this is traditionally and ethically absorbed by the speaker rather than the client so that the fee remains flat and transparently priced to the client.The term key note comes from the practice of a cappella, such as doo-wop or barbershop singers, playing a note before singing. The note played determines the key in which the song will be performed.

List of The Daily Show episodes (2004)

This is a list of episodes for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in 2004.

Redemption Song (book)

Redemption Song: An Irish Reporter Inside the Obama Campaign, is a book by Niall Stanage about the 2008 presidential election campaign of Barack Obama.

It was first published by Liberties Press, Dublin on December 1, 2008, so becoming one of the first books published anywhere to cover the entirety of Obama's campaign. [1] The author is based in New York—he is a regular contributor to The New York Observer—but was born and raised in Belfast, hence the Irish reference in the book's subtitle, and its initial release through an Irish publisher. It is distributed in North America by Dufour Editions.

Redemption Song received a generally positive critical reception upon its release, being described as "extraordinary...superbly written" by The Irish News, "terrific.... a real insider's account" by the Evening Herald[3] and "sharp, incisive" by The Sunday Business Post.[4]Pat Rabbitte, the former leader of the Irish Labour Party reviewed Redemption Song for the Irish edition of the Mail on Sunday on December 21, 2008. Awarding the book four stars out of five, he said of the author, "He has written a very fine book, culminating in that magic night in Chicago when the world watched men and women cry as the results came in and hope and history seemed to rhyme." (The last phrase is a reference to a famous poem by Seamus Heaney called 'The Cure at Troy'.)

Redemption Song is broadly sympathetic to Obama. Although it includes some detail about the president-elect's early life, its focus is on the period between Obama's landmark speech to the 2004 Democratic National Convention and his election as president on November 4, 2008. It draws heavily on Stanage's eye-witness campaign trail reporting, including interviews with key Obama advisers, old friends and grassroots volunteers.

Reebok Pro Summer League

The Reebok Pro Summer League, known originally as the Shaw's Pro Summer League, was a professional basketball developmental league hosted by the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA) during the league's off-season at Clark Athletic Center on the campus of the University of Massachusetts Boston. Founded in 1999, the league planned a 2004 season, but was forced to fold due to the 2004 Democratic National Convention, which was being held in Boston. From 1999 to 2002, the league was sponsored by grocery store chain Shaw's. In 2003, footwear and apparel company Reebok became the title sponsor of the league.

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog is a puppet character puppeteered and voiced by Robert Smigel, best known for mocking celebrities in an Eastern European accent. As his name indicates, Triumph's comedic style is almost exclusively insult comedy. A Montenegrin Mountain Hound, Triumph often puffs a cigar, which usually falls out of his mouth when he starts talking. He debuted in 1997 on NBC's Late Night with Conan O'Brien and also appeared on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien from time to time, as well as the short-lived TV Funhouse, TBS's Conan, and Adult Swim's The Jack and Triumph Show. Smigel and Triumph have been ejected from several events for Triumph's antics, including Westminster (three times), the Honolulu line for auditions for American Idol, and the 2004 Democratic National Convention (while shooting an aborted movie project).

Two Americas

Two Americas is a catch phrase referring to social stratification in American society, made famous in a 2004 speech by former U.S. Senator and former presidential candidate John Edwards, originally referring to haves and have-nots. The speech has since become popular and inspired many parodies and similar metaphors.

United States Senate career of Barack Obama

The United States Senate career of Barack Obama began on January 3, 2005 and ended on November 16, 2008. He resigned his seat in the U.S. Senate upon being elected President of the United States. Obama won the seat in an election against Alan Keyes who replaced Republican Primary election winner Jack Ryan.

Prior to his election but after Ryan withdrew from the race, he rose to national prominence by delivering the 2004 Democratic National Convention keynote address. Upon his election, he became the fifth African-American Senator in U.S. history, the third to have been popularly elected.

As a Senator, he served on a variety of committees and chaired the United States Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs. His bill sponsorship and voting records indicates that he was a loyalist to the Democratic Party. He was considered to be among the most liberal by various analyses. In his first session (109th Congress), he was involved in immigration reform. Legislation bearing his name was passed for armament reduction and federal transparency as well as relief aid.

In the first year of the 110th Congress, he worked on lobbying and campaign finance reform, election reform, climate control and troop reduction. In the second year, he legislated for oversight of certain military discharges, Iran divestment and nuclear terrorism reduction, but President George W. Bush vetoed his legislation for State Children's Health Insurance Program-related military family job protections.

Republican Party
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Democratic Party
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