June 4, FoxNews

Barack Obama clinched the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday, becoming the first African-American to run for the nation’s highest office as the standard bearer of a major political party.

The Illinois senator won the final Democratic primary of the season in Montana Tuesday night, adding to the flood of superdelegates that put him over the 2,118 delegates it takes to become the nominee. Hillary Clinton won the South Dakota primary earlier in the evening, but it did not provide nearly enough delegates to push her over the top.

“This is our moment … our time to turn the page on the policies of the past,” Obama declared Tuesday evening in St. Paul, Minn., the site of this summer’s Republican National Convention. The crowd was estimated at 17,000 inside the stadium and 15,000 more outdoors.

“Because of you, tonight I can stand here and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for the president of the United States of America,” he said.

Obama kicked off his general election battle against presumptive GOP nominee John McCain, accusing the Arizona senator of wanting to prolong President Bush’s “failed” economic and foreign policies. The charge is a likely theme for Obama in the months to come.

“While John McCain can legitimately tout moments of independence from his party in the past, such independence has not been the hallmark of his presidential campaign,” Obama said. “It’s not change when John McCain decided to stand with George Bush 95 percent of the time, as he did in the Senate last year.”

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photo: Tuesday: Barack Obama and his wife Michelle acknowledge applause from supporters after his speech at a primary night rally in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo)