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CAMPAIGN '08: RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE

Farrakhan hails Obama in speech

February 25, 2008|From the Associated Press

CHICAGO — In his first major public address since a cancer crisis, Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan said Sunday that presidential candidate Barack Obama is the "hope of the entire world" that the U.S. will change for the better.

Farrakhan, 74, addressing 20,000 people at the Nation of Islam's annual "Saviours' Day" celebration, did not endorse Obama but spent most of the nearly two-hour speech praising the Illinois Democrat.

"This young man is the hope of the entire world that America will change and be made better," he said. "This young man is capturing audiences of black and brown and red and yellow. If you look at . . . the effect of his words, those people are being transformed."

Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said: "Sen. Obama has been clear in his objections to Minister Farrakhan's past pronouncements and has not solicited the minister's support."

A year ago, Farrakhan made what was called his final public address in Detroit.

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