Barack Obama's 2008 acceptance speech auctions for $153,000



2017-05-02 10:08:05

In August 2008, Robin Hayden had the job of dismantling the podium following the US Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Just hours earlier, Barack Obama had accepted his party's nomination for president with a rousing speech that helped carry him to the White House.

And there, on the podium Hayden was taking down, lay Obama's personal copy of that speech.

Hayden offered it to the future president's secret service agents, who told him he could keep it.

He held on to it for the next nine years. Until he sold it on the weekend at Goldin Auctions for $153,000.

That price reflects Obama's importance to the US story, as the country's first black president.

Obama Obama's secret service men didn't want the speech - image: Goldin Auctions

It also reflects the breath-taking prose contained within it.

Titled The American Promise, it includes the lines:

“The [American] promise is our greatest inheritance.

"It’s a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night, and a promise that you make to yours—a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west; a promise that led workers to picket lines, and women to reach for the ballot.

"And it is that promise that forty five years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln’s Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream."

The date of Obama’s acceptance, August 28, 2008, was also important.

It was exactly 45 years since Martin Luther King had given his I Have a Dream speech on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

The sale is further evidence of Obama's money-spinning cachet.

Two seats from his 2008 campaign bus auctioned for $28,500 at RR Auction earlier this year.

Investment firm Cantor Fitzgerald has paid Obama $400,000 to speak at a healthcare conference this September. 

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