Celebrities Turn Out at Convention

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The Force is with Obama. George Lucas was among the entertainers and Hollywood types who were spotted in the halls of Invesco Field yesterday in the hours leading up to Senator Obama’s historic acceptance speech. Forest Whitaker arrived with his wife, Keisha, and Star Jones, while will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas was spotted leaving the field level following Stevie Wonder’s sound check. Before singing the national anthem to a slowly filling stadium, Jennifer Hudson appeared lost in thought, wearing a casual grey dress and listening to iPod earphones as her handlers asked for directions to the podium. While waiting, she typed on a Sidekick. Also spotted on the field in the hours leading up to the presentation: Daniel Dae Kim of “Lost,” new mother Jessica Alba and her husband, Cash Warren, Rosario Dawson, Wilmer Valderrama, and Fergie — who waved to fans shouting her name. “Fired up!” said an excited Spike Lee. “Bigger than the Super Bowl!” The musical lineup for the evening included will.i.am performing with John Legend, Sheryl Crow (who Mr. Obama has said is among the artists on his iPod), Mr. Wonder, and Michael McDonald.


The first wife of Senator Obama’s father has said she never dreamed that a black man could become president of the United States but now believes her stepson’s “time has come.” Kezia Obama, 67, who now lives in a modest semi-detached home in a cul-de-sac on a housing estate in Bracknell, England, is the mother of four of the Democratic presidential nominee’s half-siblings, Abongo, 50, Auma, 48, Bernard, 40, and Abo, 37. A child bride, she met her husband Barack Obama Sr. when she was at school in Kenya and is unsure whether she was 15 or 16 when they married a year later in a village ceremony that included a dowry of 14 cows. “This is young Barack’s moment,” she said. “His time has come now. I feel it in my bones and I pray to the Lord that he will beat John McCain just as he beat Hillary Clinton. Hillary was a tough lady but I always knew it was his destiny to win.” She is so confident that she has placed a $100 bet that Mr. Obama, 47, will win. Mrs. Obama, who flew to the United States for her stepson’s wedding in 1992 and for his inauguration as a senator just under four years ago, said she expects to be on the steps of the Capitol in Washington watching him be sworn in as President.


The Colorado man who authorities say made racist threats against Senator Obama was scheduled to be formally charged on state drug and weapons offenses. Tharin Gartrell was due in Arapaho County Court yesterday. Authorities say police found scoped rifles, wigs, fake IDs, and a bulletproof vest in the 28-year-old’s rented truck after he was pulled over in the Denver area last weekend, ahead of the Democratic National Convention there. The resulting investigation led to the arrest of Mr. Gartrell and two other men who authorities say talked about killing Mr. Obama. The U.S. Attorney’s Office later said Mr. Gartrell and the other men were drug users making racists threats and had no firm assassination plot, and no capacity to carry out any attack.


Michelle Obama paid tribute yet again to Senator Clinton as she addressed the convention’s women’s caucus in Denver yesterday morning. “Thanks to her, my husband is a better candidate,” she said. “Thanks to her, his campaign is a better campaign. And thanks to her, my daughters and all of our daughters have the freedom to dream bigger dreams.” Mrs. Obama stressed the importance of the women’s vote and said women “now more than ever need an advocate in the White House.” She was greeted enthusiastically by a crowd of hundreds that included many Clinton supporters. Three demonstrators silently held up Clinton signs reading “Hillary: Smart Choice” as Mrs. Obama began her remarks, and security guards escorted them out of the auditorium when they refused to sit down. Mrs. Obama did not acknowledge the demonstrators and proceeded with her remarks without further incident.

The New York Sun

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