According to media projections, Barack Obama has gained enough support to win the Democratic nomination race. Hillary Clinton said she would consult her supporters before making a decision.
Barack Obama on Tuesday laid claim to his place in history as the first black US presidential nominee and vowed to his countrymen "this is our time," as he urged Democrats to rally to his side.
"Tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States," he was to tell crowds at a victory rally here, according to remarks released by his campaign.
"Tonight we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another -- a journey that will bring a new and better day to America," Obama vowed as US media said he had clinched the party's nomination by securing the 2,118 delegates needed.
"America, this is our moment. This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past," the Illinois senator pledged as he claimed the Democratic crown to run in the November general elections against Republican presumptive nominee John McCain.
"Our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face. Our time to offer a new direction for the country we love."
At the end of the gruelling 17-month primary campaign, the longest and most expensive ever, Obama, 46, was effusive in his praise for his defeated rival, former first lady Hillary Clinton.
"Senator Hillary Clinton has made history in this campaign not just because she's a woman who has done what no woman has done before, but because she's a leader who inspires millions of Americans with her strength, her courage, and her commitment to the causes that brought us here tonight," he said.
And despite their bitter differences as they tussled to secure the party's nomination, Obama paid tribute to Clinton's "unyielding desire to improve the lives of ordinary Americans, no matter how difficult the fight may be."
But he rounded on McCain, warning voters that the Arizona senator would represent four more years of the same policies of outgoing President George W. Bush.
"There are many words to describe John McCain's attempt to pass off his embrace of George Bush's policies as bipartisan and new. But change is not one of them," he said.
"Change is a foreign policy that doesn't begin and end with a war that should've never been authorized and never been waged."
Date created : 2008-06-04