The Iowa Jefferson Jackson Dinner is one of the pivotal moments in the contest for the Democratic party's presidential nomination, and Barack Obama gave what could be the most important speech of the campaign to more than 9,000 Iowa Democrats in Des Moines this weekend.
He sparked new momentum on the ground in Iowa, where the January 3rd caucuses will be the first true test of our campaign and Senator Clinton's.
See some of the overwhelming response to the performance and donate now so we can capitalize on this moment.
Des Moines Register (David Yepsen) "Yepsen: Obama's superb speech could catapult his bid":The six leading Democratic presidential candidates showed up for the Iowa Democratic Party's big Jefferson Jackson Dinner on Saturday night, and five of them gave very good speeches. Barack Obama's was excellent. It was one of the best of his campaign. The passion he showed should help him close the gap on Hillary Clinton by tipping some undecided caucusgoers his way. His oratory was moving, and he successfully contrasted himself with the others — especially Clinton — without being snide or nasty about it.
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The Garance (Garance):Barack Obama, on the other hand, finally gave the speech his supporters have been waiting for him to give all year. If anyone comes out of this dinner with The Big Mo, it will be him. Obama’s supporters used their voices, not tools, to make noise. The moment House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced his name in her introduction, she was met with screams, whoops, ululations, whistles, shouts, and cries of wordless enthusiasm. When she said, "Please welcome the next president of the United States" — a line she’d used in earlier introductions — the crowd burst into what my notes could only capture as "TOTAL ROAR."
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Washington Post (Dan Balz and Shailagh Murray) "Obama stands out in night of speeches":...In the view of many watching, he [Obama] emerged as the oratorical winner at the biggest Democratic political event in Iowa before the state's January caucuses....Before the Saturday dinner, Barbara and Mike Donnelly hadn't been certain which candidate to support in the Democratic caucuses. They left with colorful glow necklaces, handed out by Obama's campaign. "We just think he's a very strong character," said Barbara Donnelly. Obama's speech "crystallized it for me," said Mike Donnelly.
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ABC News (David Chalian/Eloise Harper/Sunlen Miller/Raelyn Johnson) "Democrats Rally the Troops in Iowa":... The Obama troops clearly won the contest for loudest cheers in the hall as they offered some call and response with the "fired up, ready to go" chants that have become the standard finale to the senator's stump speech.... In what appeared to be the most rousing speech of the evening, Sen. Obama was sure to revisit his theme of calling for a change in the political climate and again offering a thinly veiled swipe toward his main opponent. "This party -- of Jefferson and Jackson, of Roosevelt and Kennedy -- has made the most difference in people's lives when we've led, not by polls, but by principle; not by calculation, but by conviction," Obama said to applause.
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MSNBC (Aswini Anburajan) "Obama Shows Off Organizational Strength":Nearly one in three people at last night’s Jefferson-Jackson Dinner was an Obama supporter. The campaign brought 3,000 supporters to a dinner that had 9,000 attendees. They also made sure to have a representative from each of Iowa’s 99 counties in attendance. ... Obama’s speech was buoyed by his large crowd of supporters. They chanted, yelled and stood up and cheered as he evoked the civil rights movement to talk about how he could only stand on this stage because those who had come before him were not afraid to take the difficult positions that he is supposedly espousing now.
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Chicago Sun-Times (Jennifer Hunter) "Obama vows moral high ground for Dems, U.S.":About 9,000 activists turned up for the dinner... But Obama's followers were the most uproarious.
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Time (Anna Marie Cox):Obama: The excerpts give a flavor of what he delivered, but I have to say, given the low energy of the room, his performance was especially striking. Again, the applause at his introduction was thundering. He also drew the longest, loudest responses throughout his speech: hooting, hollering and he was the only candidate to draw an enthusiastic chant. He also was the only candidate that seemed, for lack of a better word, to be working it. He gave that speech as if he was trying to convince people, not just solidifying the support he already had.
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Barack Obama's Speech at the Jefferson Jackson Dinner
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