Nearly two years after announcing his candidacy, Senator Barack Obama has been elected as the 44th President of the United States. And, unlike years past, Obama’s victory was clear-cut: the Senator won 349 electoral votes. He needed 270 to clinch the office.
Taking the state a bit after midnight last night in Chicago, Obama opened his acceptance speech with some of the most inspiring words ever uttered in our nation’s history:
If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.
Its the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled – Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.
The politico went on to declare that “change has come to America,” before concluding:
This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids. To restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace. To reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth that out of many we are one.
Obama’s rival, Senator John McCain, offered an exceptionally gracious and teary concession speech. Though his supporters in Arizona booed at the mention of Obama’s name, McCain urged them to rally behind their new president:
These are difficult times for our country, and I pledge to him tonight that I will do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face. I urge all Americans who supported me to join not only in congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and honest effort to find the necessary compromises to bridge our difference.
Watching the results last night, we were in a bit of shock when Obama was announced the winner – had we done it? Had our nation really elected a black president? Yes. Sitting here, this morning, a bit hung over and exhausted, we’re getting a bit misty as the reality set in – hundreds of years of oppression and racism were stomped. Surely division will continue to plague this great nation, but never before have the American ideals been as clear, vibrant and promising.
We’ve included Obama’s entire speech down below.