This year marks one of the most historic periods in American politics. The Democratic Party will hold its National Convention August 25-28 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado, though the nominee’s acceptance speech will be at INVESCO Field because of its larger seating capacity.
Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, will become the first-ever African American to be the presidential candidate of a major national political party in our country’s 232-year history. The word “presumptive” is operative, as neither he nor his Republican counterpart, Senator John McCain, is the official nominee of each respective party until after each convention.
Though a long shot, the Democrats, for some unknown reason, could choose a different nominee to run for President. Senator Hilary Clinton would be the most likely—though highly unlikely—other option, as she never officially dropped out of the Democratic primary race, but only suspended it for the time being.
However, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Web site lists everything with Obama’s name attached. Both he and McCain have been continuing in this year’s presidential race with the support of their parties.
On Monday, August 25, the DNC Chairman, former Governor Howard Dean, will call the convention to order. Initially, the Credentials Committee will ensure that all delegates who eventually will choose the nominee meet the necessary standards and regulations, clearing up any questions that may have arisen. A keynote speech will be delivered later in the evening.
The next day, the Democrats will debate and discuss what planks it will include in the party’s national platform. They are positions on everything from the economy, the housing crisis, and oil prices to the official stance on gay marriage. Though the presidential nominee is not required to follow these planks exactly, it is expected that the party as a whole will want to stand united when it comes to the race for the White House. A split party only will create a problem when it comes to this year’s very heated presidential race.
Wednesday is when the convention officially will nominate its pick for President, presumably Obama. Had such no candidate emerged with such an overwhelming number of delegates prior to the convention, this would have been the time when the candidates would have their final debate, and a final vote would have been taken to choose a victor. Obama will need the majority of the more than 4,000 delegate votes before he can move on as the official nominee.
On Thursday, the final day of the convention, the nominee for Vice President will be chosen. As this issue goes to press, neither Obama nor McCain has announced a choice for Vice President. The two are not expected to do so until shortly before their respective conventions, or at the conventions themselves.
By August 29, if all goes as expected, Obama will be able to move forward as the official Democratic candidate for President with the full support and financial backing of his party.