Obama Advances, Praises Clinton

Sen. Barack Obama
Sen. Barack Obama
Sen. Hillary Clinton
Sen. Hillary Clinton
Sen. John McCain
Sen. John McCain

ST. PAUL, MN (KHNL) - - "America, this is our moment. This is our time."

Hawaii-born Senator Barack Obama Tuesday is claiming victory as the Democratic presidential nominee.

Tuesday Obama shattered a barrier that's more than two centuries old.

He's become the first African American candidate ever nominated by a major political party,  for our nation's highest office.

On Tuesday night of the primary season Obama took Montana, while Hillary Clinton won South Dakota.  Still, Obama now has all the delegates he needs.

Tuesday night the counted was Hillary Clinton with 1,932.  But Obama has 2,156, putting him above the 2,118 needed to be the nominee.

After five months and 54 primary contests, Barack Obama wasn't high fiving, even in private, says a top aide, but his supporters in St. Paul went wild...as Obama declared himself the winner.

"Tonight, I can stand here and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States." said Obama.

He won Tuesday's primary in Montana...and won over dozens of super delegates... But on this final day, Obama lost South Dakota to Hillary Clinton...whom he praised.

"Our party and our country are better off because of her, and I am a better candidate for having had the honor to compete with Hillary Rodham Clinton." Obama said.

She was in New York, not ready yet to concede that she's lost the nomination.

"And in the coming days I'll be consulting with advisers and party leaders to determine how to move forward with the best interest of our party and my country guiding my way." said Clinton, but she recognized Obama's accomplishment.  "It has been an honor to contest these primaries with him, just as it is an honor to call him my friend." Clinton said.

For the first time Tuesday, Clinton told supporters that she would consider the Vice Presidency if Obama asks.

Obama's focusing on his next race.

"There are many words to describe John McCain's attempt to pass off his embrace of George Bush's policies as bipartisan and new, but change is not one of them." Obama said.

McCain versus Obama could get nasty. "I have a few years on my opponent, so I am surprised that a young man has bought in to so many failed ideas." said McCain.

Five more months of campaigning ahead, but Tuesday for Barack Obama: celebration.

Wednesday both Obama and Clinton will be in Washington. both facing the same question. Will they form a dream team?

This is an historic night of course for the nation, and it is also big for Hawaii because many consider Obama to be an island son.  He was born on August 4, 1961 here in Honolulu, and he attended punahou school from the fifth grade until his graduation in 1979.

Obama went on to study law at Harvard,  worked as a civil rights lawyer in Chicago and  was elected to the US Senate in 2004.  But, as he publically announced tonight, he's still very tied to his family here in Hawaii.

"Thank you to my grandmother who helped raise me and is sitting in Hawaii somewhere right now because she can't travel.  But who poured everything she had into me, and who helped to make me the man I am today.  Tonight is for her.  (cheers)" said Obama.

Local supporters of Barack Obama couldn't be happier with the results, as he inched closer to clinching the Democratic party nomination for president, many across town couldn't contain their excitement.