June 4th, 2008
01:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama calls win 'very humbling'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/04/art.obamacap.ap.jpg caption="Obama is back on Capitol Hill Wednesday."] WASHINGTON (CNN) - Barack Obama's run for the White House bodes well for the future, the presumptive Democratic nominee told CNN Wednesday, a day after he clinched the nomination.

"I have heard from a number of people already, both black and white, that their kids - 7, 8, 9 years old - take for granted now that, of course a black can run for president, that a woman can run for president," he said.

"There is a matter-of-factness to it that i think bodes well for the future."

The Illinois senator said it was "an enormous honor" and "very humbling" to be the first African-American to lead a major party ticket for president.

"You think about all the people who had to knock down barriers for me to walk through this door," he said in a Senate hallway. "And the challenges they went through were so much more difficult, so much more severe, and the risks they took were so much greater that I will say, last night standing in that auditorium, it struck me that it was testimony to them."

Obama dodged questions about Hillary Clinton, his rival for the Democratic nomination who has not admitted defeat.

They spoke by telephone Tuesday night and met briefly Wednesday in person at the annual conference of a pro-Israel lobbying group, the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee.

"It wasn't a detailed conversation," Obama said. "As I said, I am very confident about how we're going to be able to bring this party together."

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (617 Responses)
  1. Ratgurl

    Very gentlemanly. Thanks, Barack, for showing such a pleasant side of humanity!!

    June 4, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. Dr. Sam

    GOD BLESS AMERICA–LAND OF THE FREE!!! In that spirit of freedom, Obama should have the freedom to choose his running mate–without blackmail or pressure from any quarters. AT SOME POINT soon OBAMA WILL HAVE TO CALL HILLARY'S BLUFF! That will TESTIFY TO HIS STRENGTH AS A LEADER WHO CANNOT BE BULLIED OR BLACKMAILED. That is a sterling quality of Ronald Reagan: He is a compromiser; but no patsy. People saw a leader who is prepared to take risk. Obama IS doing everything to woo the Clinton some of their supporters; but it is clear that they will never co-operate or compromise. They will not be easy to work with; they only want a fight and talk about what might have been. Obama then must face up to them without fear. If they will rather have eight more years of George Bush, bugged down in an endless war in Iraq, huge tax break for the rich, elimination of women's right to choose by more conservative judges at the Supreme Court, more economic malaise, lobbyists' controlled of politics in Washington, etc, then he doesn’t need their votes! Obama will always have his detractors; but his resolve will earn him respect and most Americans will rally to give him the resounding support he needs to carry forward his vision. He will appear weak should he succumb to blackmail (as Mondale did years back and later lost). One of the reasons Mondale lost was the baggage of the husband of his running mate, just as Bill Clinton will be should Obama choose Hillary as a running mate. Obama cannot continue on a path of indefinite appeasement. His enemies will only become emboldened. That will ultimately contribute to his own destruction. This is true of especially internal enemies who are determined to do you harm—and who have predicated and calculated their rise upon something bad happening to you. Obama will never please them! Therefore, he must demonstrate strength and courage. May God give him Solomon’s wisdom as he seeks to resolve the difficult issues ahead. Surely, his enemies will never rest. Solomon moved swiftly to deal with his enemies. Then he ruled over a peaceable Kingdom! Obama’s enemies will never come to respect him unless he shows grit in taking them on. All America will see a leader who is prepared to take risk without fear!!! Enough is enough!!!

    June 4, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. HRB


    June 4, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. Jonas

    congratulations Mr Obama you deserve to be the president of all Americans......may God bless you!!

    June 4, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  5. denise

    i hope people realize what they did if obama becomes president!!! i know for myself i'm scared. he is so inexperienced, and one sided, everything will not be equal not that it is now, but mark my words this country is done and equal rights will be a thing of the past, especially for the white people. i hope you obama supporters are happy, i'll be asking you people next year at the same time how you like him if he is president. the country is going to hell in a hand basket?

    June 4, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  6. Dave SC

    My candidate is John McCain. Obama is fake.

    June 4, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  7. Cherriterri

    Congradulations Senator Obama! It's overwhelmingly obvious that you give people hope again and for me that is also true. Your speech today at the AIPAC, and as well as Senator Clinton's, were very inspiring. I believe you both had good points and I applaud the race, it was the most heated in many years. It reved people up to caring about who ran this country; made the contest become human again.

    I think what you don't know, you will learn, as every single president has had to do. While experience is a good thing, hope is a better thing; and your heart and determination to overcome and succeed has given many people the will to see through the hard times with someone who does care. Thank you. I look forward to watching your inauguration in January.

    June 4, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  8. candycane

    Barack Obama IS a humble man! He learned what "respect" and "family values" are as a small child, who was raised by a single mom!! No contrast between he and HRC!! Hillary Clinton had two parents who had "financial security" when she was a small child. And now, look at how selfish and self-serving she is????? Barack Obama has values!! HE WILL MAKE AN AWESOME PRESIDENT!!

    June 4, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  9. MA

    I was very happy to hear that Obama remembers that he has arrived where he is because of his ancestors who helped to paved the way. It shows that he has an understanding of his history and roots. He is a humble person that God has selected to lead our country. I think that he is the only person that could have beat Hiliary in securing the democratic nomination. My prayer is that his personal security is good for I believe that there are evil forces conspiring to bring him down. God Bless America.

    June 4, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  10. BG

    He should be humbled, since his career consists of doing nothing! He is the Paris Hilton of politicians!

    June 4, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  11. K in CT

    Bring on the drums! The beat goes on and on and on and on and on and onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

    June 4, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  12. joyce

    Obama deserves it. As for his running mate, it should not be Hillary Clinton.

    Hillary's prolonged fight for the position of president has given her the image for leadership. Thus, she will not fit for a position of vice president. On top of that, with Bill Clinton in the shadow, there will be too many cooks in the kitchen.

    June 4, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  13. Chicken Hawk

    I always hoped my children would grow up to see an African-American president. Fortunately, they may get to do it 20 years earlier than I expected. Congratulations Senator Obama! You truly demonstrate that if you live in America and are willing to work hard, anything is possible.

    June 4, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  14. yns

    So.... if race is not an issue why is it that he is the "first African-American......" blah, blah, blah, I think the dems were afraid if he did not get the nomination that he would whine about it being a race issue.

    June 4, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  15. Anita

    I, honestly, don't care who his VP is. I'm still voting for him. PERIOD!! After hearing his speech in front of the AIPAC. All my doubts are gone.

    Obama/ Whoever '08

    June 4, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  16. kmk canada

    Congratulations America You have chosen well!( The world was whatching and breathed a sigh of relief to see true change coming to the good old U.S.A.)

    June 4, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  17. nannie bouroughs, Kenosha, WI

    Enjoy your self nomination as long as you can; you will not be elected President...

    June 4, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  18. Christine

    Never a doubt – since I saw him speak at the last Democratic Convention – I knew then. I hope all the naysayers will open their minds and their hearts and give this fair and decent man a chance. We will all benefit. I was a kid when JFK was President and I am thrilled to see Sen. Obama with this opportunity while I am still young enough to do my part.

    Thank you Sen. Obama for staying true to your mission. I am proud to say I was a volunteer for you in the Philadelphia area and will continue to be as we approach the White House. You got this far without any help from the Clintons. Please keep it that way.


    June 4, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  19. ATLian

    What a speech! What a speech! Bring on the debates! Take some lessons McCain. You better be ready!!.

    June 4, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  20. al

    My man Barack...I am so proud and excited. To me he is a mixture of Abraham Lincoln, JFK and MLK. I pray to God that the USA has the good fortune to be blessed with such a man as its leader. Go, Barack , go!!!!!!!!!

    PS: Thank you to Hillary Clinton for putting him through the fire. This will help him against McCain.

    June 4, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  21. The US abolishes century old clinton dynasty

    History in the making, the whold world is watching and we are so very so proud of this humble smart amazing Nominee Obama-
    thank you ,

    the whole world has welcomed this and it is incredible, the whole world is cheering.. we all want change, peace and a better future
    the world and we all know he will bring that no matter how hard the clintons make it for him,

    YES WE CAN !!!!
    YES WE CAN !!!!
    YES WE CAN !!!!
    YES WE CAN !!!!
    YES WE CAN !!!!
    YES WE CAN !!!!
    YES WE CAN !!!!
    YES WE CAN !!!!
    YES WE CAN !!!!YES WE CAN !!!!YES WE CAN !!!!

    June 4, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  22. Sam

    Enjoy your few months of glory November will be a different story !

    McCain '08

    June 4, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  23. Jane, College Park, MD

    If he runs the country half as effectively as he ran his campaign, the US.A. will shine again and LEAD the world.

    June 4, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  24. J. Sully, New York

    Mr. Obama can be proud of the way he ran his campaign. He is a humble, kind, strong and intelligent human being. GO ALL THE WAY OBAMA! GODSPEED!!!

    June 4, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  25. James

    YOU GO BOY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 4, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
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