JIM LEHRER: On this third day of the Democratic National Convention, Barack Obama is set to become the first black presidential nominee of a major political party.
After a 19-month run, he was formally nominated a short time ago, and the delegates began voting. And let's go to the floor right now where you can see the roll call is going on right now.
SPEAKER: And seven votes for Senator Clinton.
KAREN THURMAN, Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman: Madam Chairman, the great state of Florida...
SPEAKER: Florida, you have 211 votes, full votes. Chairwoman Thurman, how do you cast them?
KAREN THURMAN: We are the great state of Florida, the sunshine state, 833 miles of us from sea to shining sea. And we believe in one vote for one person.
And we have cast those votes for the next president of the United States, Barack Obama, 136; for Hillary Clinton, 51; and one abstention.
JIM LEHRER: And Judy Woodruff is on the floor in the middle of all of that there at the Pepsi Center.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, Jim, as you can hear and see, the roll call has begun. The names of both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have been placed in nomination. A deal has been struck.
Senator Clinton has released her delegates, but, Jim, there's still a little drama involved here. It's not clear yet exactly which state is going to put Senator Obama over the top.
We are told that Senator Clinton herself may very well be involved in saying that she is releasing her delegates and claiming that the nomination should go to him.
So we still have a little drama on this night that the nomination and the roll call takes place.
JIM LEHRER: Great, thanks, Judy.
The nominating speeches just took place right before the roll call began. And we have excerpts from two of the speeches. First up were three for Hillary Clinton. Here's an excerpt from civil rights leader and California delegate Dolores Huerta.
DOLORES HUERTA, Civil Rights Leader: She has stood with hardworking people all of her life. And she knows how important it is to keep fighting and to keep going.
For many in America, working families are invisible. For Hillary Clinton, no American is invisible.
I stand with Hillary. And she stands with Barack Obama to take our country back.
And now, Mrs. Chairman, on behalf of all women and all working families, I have the great honor to nominate Hillary Rodham Clinton, my friend, our champion, to be for the presidency of the United States of America.
JIM LEHRER: Four nominating speeches for Senator Obama came next, and here's an excerpt from Alabama Congressman Artur Davis.
REP. ARTUR DAVIS (D), Alabama: Ladies and gentlemen, 20 years ago, I watched the Democratic convention on a little TV in a tiny motel room in Montgomery, Alabama. My mother and grandmother and I were forced to live in that room for three weeks because our home had been foreclosed.
The fact that I could go from a foreclosure and watching the convention in a tiny motel room to standing before you and the nation 20 years later nominating the next president of the United States tells you very little about me, but tells us everything that is right about my country.
My fellow Democrats, my fellow Americans, I have never seen a moment like this. I have never seen a sense of urgency like this. I'm 40 years old, and I've never seen my country as energized as this. As our next president has said, from the places in America where people hurt to the places where people dream, our time is now. Our time is now. May God bless you, ladies and gentlemen.
JIM LEHRER: And those were excerpts from the nominating speeches for Hillary Clinton first and then for Barack Obama that we heard just a short time ago.
And now, as you know, the roll call vote is now in progress.
Shields and Brooks are here, of course, syndicated columnist Mark Shields, New York Times columnist David Brooks.
Mark, this roll call used to be the center of everything in these conventions, did it not?
MARK SHIELDS, Syndicated Columnist: It did, Jim, but I love the roll calls. I mean, I love the unity and disparity of America, you know, New Mexico, the land of enchantment, every state getting its own slogan in, its own tourism pitch. It still is special.
But, of course, this is -- we've seen it preordained. It is preordained. And the only suspense is who will yield and whether New York will move to make it unanimous and whether, in fact, Senator Clinton will.
JIM LEHRER: Yes. And that's the word, is it not, David -- well, as Judy just said, that they're going to -- probably, when it goes to Illinois, which, of course, is Senator Obama's state, we'll see what happens.
But, you know, the reason they don't do these things in primetime anymore is because everybody's said so much. I mean...
MARK SHIELDS: That's right.
JIM LEHRER: ... the land of this, and the this and that, and whatever.
DAVID BROOKS, Columnist, New York Times: I like that. That was my highlight, you know, Pennsylvania, home of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. They were proud of these things, gateway to Ohio.
This is -- that's what made it fun, as Mark said, is you get the personality. You get to see real people. You get to see a shot that's not pre-fed (ph). Sometimes there's somebody standing in the way.
And it's not exactly Al Smith, the way it used to be, where he'd have the ballots by the dozens, but these people are not entirely figureheads today. I mean, there are some people who have -- Clinton delegates who are voting for Obama on this ballot. Clinton is getting a significant number of votes here.
JIM LEHRER: Sure, absolutely. And the drama over all of this went right down to the end this afternoon. The Obama camp tried to work out a deal, which everybody has been talking about here, that would satisfy Hillary Clinton's delegates.
She appealed for unity last night, of course, and today she met with her delegates and released them to vote for Obama.
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), New York: I signed my ballot this morning for Senator Obama...
... but a lot of other people who are signing their ballots have made a different choice. What is so important -- what is so important is that, at the end of today, we will nominate Barack Obama and Joe Biden for the president and vice president of the United States.
JIM LEHRER: Former President Clinton was set to speak tonight, is set to speak tonight, but it was widely reported he will not attend tomorrow night when Obama gives his acceptance speech.
Obama's running mate, Senator Joe Biden, visited the convention hall late last night. He accepts the nomination for vice president tonight.
Obama himself arrived in Denver this afternoon after another day of campaigning. Earlier, he told a rally in Billings, Montana, that too many people think the American dream is slipping away, but he said Republican John McCain is not the answer.
McCain remained in Phoenix, Arizona, today. He had no public events.
Our convention coverage, with Mark and David among others, will continue in a few moments, right after a summary of the other major news of this Wednesday with Ray Suarez.
RAY SUAREZ: Jim, a U.S. Coast Guard cutter packed with humanitarian aid arrived in Georgia today. It docked at the southern port of Batumi. The city lies south of where Russian and Georgian forces fought this month.
The ship was originally scheduled to arrive in Poti, but that port is still controlled by Russian forces, and it suffered heavy damage in the fighting. A U.S. naval official spoke today in Batumi after the cutter Dallas had docked.
COMMODORE JOHN MOORE, U.S. Navy: We had all the options on the table, and a decision was made to go to Batumi. We wanted to make sure the goods, the humanitarian supplies arrived in a safe and expeditious manner. And we arrived in Batumi in order to do that. We were able to do that three days ago and successfully doing it again today.
RAY SUAREZ: The Russians reacted by sending three ships of their own to the region. They said it was for peacekeeping work.
A missile cruiser and two smaller missile boats anchored at Sukhumi, capital of the disputed province of Abkhazia. That's 180 miles north of where the U.S. cutter docked.
New fighting erupted in Pakistan today near the Afghan border. Pakistani authorities claimed 49 militants were killed in clashes with security forces.
In recent weeks, the fighting has been fierce in the northern Swat Valley and Bajaur, a region known as a base for Taliban operations. An estimated 200,000 people have fled the areas to escape the conflict.
The U.S. Marines are ready to move troops out of Anbar province in western Iraq. The marine commandant, Gen. James Conway, said today the Iraqis are ready to take control of the once-violent region next week. He told a Pentagon briefing, "There aren't a whole heck of a lot of bad guys there left to fight."
JAMES CONWAY, Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps: I do know that 25,000 Marines in the province, again, are probably in excess of the need, especially after Iraqi provincial control assumes responsibilities for security.
Because one of the things we did while we were there was meet with the leadership of that army and police apparatus. And they're pretty confident that at least they can manage the internal security aspects of what has to take place now.
RAY SUAREZ: In another development today, there were allegations that three American soldiers shot and killed four Iraqi prisoners in Baghdad last year.
The New York Times reported two of the suspects told Army investigators it was revenge for the deaths of two other soldiers. The account said they fired "pistol shots to the head as the prisoners stood handcuffed and blindfolded." So far, none of the soldiers has been charged.
Tropical Storm Gustav killed at least 22 people as it moved across Haiti and the Dominican Republic overnight. The storm drifted away today, heading northwest. It was expected to strengthen back into a hurricane and strike the U.S. Gulf Coast by next week.
This afternoon, parts of Cuba were already inundated by heavy rain. Streets and fields were flooding as the storm moved closer.
Oil prices rose again today as the storm moved toward the gulf and toward U.S. drilling platforms. The price in New York trading gained nearly $2 more to finish over $118 a barrel.
And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 89 points to close at 11,502. The Nasdaq rose 20 points to close at 2,382.
Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens easily won re-nomination in a Republican primary Tuesday. The long-time lawmaker goes to trial next month on federal charges of not disclosing $250,000 in gifts. In the primary, Stevens won 63 percent of the vote over six challengers. He'll now face the Democratic mayor of Anchorage in the November election.