Conn. delegates to 2004 convention saw big things ahead for Obama

FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2012 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. The president acknowledged Wednesday, July 27, 2016, that his hopes for a new tone in politics, embodied in the rousing Democratic convention speech he delivered 12 years ago, never materialized. Still, he says he remains undaunted. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — President Obama’s gifted speaking skills will be on display in primetime Wednesday at the Democratic National Convention. But a short dozen years ago, he was a political unknown from Chicago.

In a rousing speech to the Democratic National Convention on July 27, 2004, then Illinois State Senator Barack Obama told the crowd, “There is not a liberal America and a conservative America; there is the United States of America,” to deafening cheers. He added, “There is no a black America and a white America, a Latino America, an Asian America, there is the United States of America,” to a cheering, loud, standing ovation.

This was the speech, 12 years ago tonight, that put a 43-year-old State Senator from Illinois, on the national political map.

After nearly 8 years in office, President Obama will deliver his final major political address aimed at boosting the campaign of Hillary Clinton and extending his political legacy.

12 years ago this week, the young Obama was the talk of Connecticut Democratic delegates. “If he stays on course he’s going to be a dynamite. He could be anything, he could be vice president of this country someday down the road,” said 2004 delegate Carmen Boudier following the speech about his future.

Another Connecticut delegate saying, “He has a very compelling personal story, as to where he’s headed; I hope the first stop is the U.S. Senate and after that time will tell I guess.” Added Boudier that day; “Who knows, another 15 years from now or so, we’ll be seeing a different America with diversity on the top of the ticket in the United States.”

Connecticut’s delegates to the convention 12 years ago saw a big future for Barack Obama, but no one thought he would rise so fast.

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