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Preparations finalized for Obama's speech tonight



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Forty-five years ago today, Martin Luther King Jr. addressed a sea of people on the National Mall in Washington D.C.

Now part of the dream he spoke of is coming true. For the first time in our nation's history, a black man will accept his party's nomination for president.

Barack Obama's speech will take place at INVESCO Field at Mile High Stadium in Denver this evening. It wraps up a week Democrats hope will energize voters and build support for their candidate. Seventy-five-thousand people will hear it live in the stadium. Millions more will watch at home.

Obama said, "Change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things, and so we want to open up this convention to make sure that everybody that wants to come can join in the party and join in the effort to take America back."

This afternoon, the stage at INVESCO Field is set and ready to host a crowd of 75,000. And expectations are high. Political insiders say setting the right tone will be tricky. With Republicans painting Obama as a candidate without the chops to be president, such a grand stage could backfire.

Large rallies served Obama well during the primaries, but they also created the image of celebrity that Republicans now use against him. Last minute touches are aimed at making the stage feel more intimate, and making Obama appear to be one of the crowd, not above them.

So what about the speech itself?

Obama Campaign Manager David Plouffe said, "We think after tonight people are going to have a clear sense of who Barack Obama is his values and where he wants to lead the country."

Obama's camp also says the senator's remarks will be a direct conversation with the American people.

Adding a touch of celebrity to the convention's final night, singers Sheryl Crow, Stevie Wonder and will.i.am were scheduled to perform, with Academy Award-winner Jennifer Hudson singing the National Anthem.

Deanie Wimmer

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