U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, carrying a message of change and an inspiring speaking style that brought thousands to his campaign rallies, battled through the state primaries earlier this year to eventually win the Democratic nomination for president — making history as the first African-American to do so.
Obama picked as his running mate fellow U.S. senator Joe Biden of Deleware. Biden was an early presidential rival to Obama, but dropped out after the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses when he got only 2 percent of the delegates.
However, Biden has had to eat some of his early criticisms of Obama, including a debate statement that Obama was too inexperienced to be president. (See YouTube video.)
• NEVADA CAUCUS — Obama made several trips to Nevada during the primary season and won the endorsement of the powerful Culinary union. However, Nevada Democrats didn't immediately embrace Obama — he lost the first round of the Nevada caucuses on Jan. 19 to Hillary Clinton. (See the Sun's extensive coverage.)
But by the time the final numbers rolled in, Obama finally won the majority of Nevada's state delegates — and enough delegates overall to beat Clinton and secure the Democratic nomination.
• WINNING THE WEST — After the grueling primary battle, a team of Sun journalists took a "Winning the West" road trip in August through the Southwest on the way to the Democratic and Republican national conventions. (See stories, videos, photos and blogs.)
• DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION — At the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Obama brought olive branches to Clinton supporters, enlisting the Clintons to try to put some salve on the deep wounds that the slashing, sometimes ugly primary battles had brought to the party. (See the Sun's team coverage.)
Since that time, Obama has continued his message of change, saying that Republican presidential nominee John McCain represents the same type of Republican leadership that allowed the Wall Street meltdown to happen. He took swings at McCain during a September visit to Las Vegas.