He’s in:

Democrat Barack Obama declared himself a candidate Saturday for the White House in 2008, evoking Abraham Lincoln’s ability to unite a nation and promising to lead a new generation as the country’s first black president.

The first-term senator announced his candidacy from the state capital where he began his elective career just 10 years ago, and in front of the building where in another century, Lincoln served eight years in the Illinois Legislature.

“We can build a more hopeful America,” Obama said in remarks prepared for delivery. “And that is why, in the shadow of the Old State Capitol, where Lincoln once called on a divided house to stand together, where common hopes and common dreams still live, I stand before you today to announce my candidacy for president of the United States.”

Obama will be appearing on 60 Minutes tomorrow night. I’m sure either Allah or myself will be posting video.

Update (AP): Hotline has rolling updates. The crowd exceeds 15,000.

Update (AP): Comparing himself to Jesus wouldn’t have gone over well, so Obama did the next best thing.

“We can build a more hopeful America,” Obama said in remarks prepared for delivery. “And that is why, in the shadow of the Old State Capitol, where Lincoln once called on a divided house to stand together, where common hopes and common dreams still live, I stand before you today to announce my candidacy for president of the United States.”…

He repeatedly referred to Lincoln and his success in moving a nation. He said it is because of Lincoln that Americans of every race face the challenges of the 21st century together.

“The life of a tall, gangly, self-made Springfield lawyer tells us that a different future is possible,” Obama said. “He tells us that there is power in words. He tells us that there is power in conviction. That beneath all the differences of race and region, faith and station, we are one people. He tells us that there is power in hope.”

Politico quotes him as saying this, too: “Together, starting today, let us finish the work that needs to be done, and usher in a new birth of freedom on this Earth.” Tell me, fellow Lincolnphiles: to which two famous passages from Uncle Abe’s writing does that single sentence allude?

Update (AP): Video of the speech is now available at Obama’s website. Click the image to watch.

obama-speech.jpg

Update (AP): From Anwyn, more messiah magic!

Rosalee, 9, a third-grader at North Ward Elementary School, and Isabel, 8, a second-grader at the school, met the senator twice in 2004 and once in 2005.

“He was really nice, and I remembered thinking when I shook his hand what a warm hand he had,” said Rosalee.