Show Your Support With the Beautiful President Barack Obama Mouse Pad! On February 10, 2007, Obama announced his candidacy for President of the United States in front of the Old State Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois.The choice of the announcement site was symbolic because it was also where Abraham Lincoln delivered his historic "House Divided" speech in 1858. Throughout the campaign, Obama emphasized the issues of rapidly ending the Iraq War, increasing energy independence, and providing universal health care. Obama stands on stage with his wife and two daughters just before announcing his presidential candidacy in Springfield, Illinois, Feb. 10, 2007.During both the primary process and the general election, Obama's campaign set numerous fundraising records, particularly in the quantity of small donations. On June 19, Obama became the first major-party presidential candidate to turn down public financing in the general election since the system was created in 1976. A large number of candidates initially entered the Democratic Party presidential primaries. After a few initial contests, the field narrowed to a contest between Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton, with each winning some states and the race remaining close throughout the primary process. On May 31, the Democratic National Committee agreed to seat all of the disputed Michigan and Florida delegates at the national convention, each with a half-vote, narrowing Obama's delegate lead. On June 3, with all states counted, Obama passed the threshold to become the presumptive nominee. On that day, he gave a victory speech in St. Paul, Minnesota. Clinton suspended her campaign and endorsed him on June 7. From that point on, he campaigned for the general election race against Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee. On August 23, 2008, Obama announced that he had selected Delaware Senator Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate. On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama defeated John McCain.
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