THE DUDE ABIDES: “Sometimes there’s a man — I won’t say a hee-ro, ’cause what’s a hee-ro? — sometimes there’s a man who, well, he’s the man for his time ‘n place, he fits right in there — and that’s the Dude.” –Big Lebowski

Feb. 10 (Bloomberg) — Illinois Senator Barack Obama, standing in front of the building where Abraham Lincoln gave his “House Divided” speech in 1858 opposing slavery, told Americans he will embrace a new kind of politics as he made his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination official.

“We can build a more hopeful America,” Obama, 45, told supporters today in Springfield, Illinois. “And that is why, in the shadow of the Old State Capitol, where Lincoln once called on a divided house to stand together, where common hopes and common dreams still live, I stand before you today to announce my candidacy for president of the United States.”

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