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Coming Attractions Out of Nowhere

January 8, 2009

“The buzz was, there was this up-and-coming young state senator from Illinois. Most people probably couldn't pronounce his name.”
Jeff Zeleny, Reporter, The New York Times, on the 2004 Democratic convention

When he took the stage to address the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston, Barack Obama was an obscure state legislator with national name recognition in the low single digits. Seventeen minutes and a standing ovation later, he was on his way to the mountaintop.

Dreams of Obama, airing next week on FRONTLINE, tells the story of how this self-described "skinny kid with a funny name" got to be leader-elect of the free world. Between now and then, we'll offer up some excerpts, starting with the 2004 Convention, where the state senator hit the big time.

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