NEW YORK (CNN) - Barack Obama made history Tuesday night when he became the first African-American in U.S. history to clinch a major party's presidential nomination. But the Illinois senator faces several challenges as the campaign now turns to the general election - notwithstanding a first order of business of helping to heal the wounds of a deeply divided Democratic Party.
Obama offered an olive branch to rival Hillary Clinton on Tuesday evening, telling supporters at his victory rally in St. Paul, Minnesota, that the country and the party "are better off because of her." He added that Clinton has "an unyielding desire to improve the lives of ordinary Americans, no matter how difficult the fight may be."
Obama and Clinton rounded out the 2008 Democratic primary season by splitting the final two states: Montana and South Dakota. And despite his loss in South Dakota, Obama gained enough delegates to cross the finish line an hour before the Montana polls closed.