OBAMA MAKES HISTORY!
WINS ELECTION TO BECOME NATION'S FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN TO WIN PRESIDENCY
November 05, 2008
(CHICAGO, ILL) -- In a stunning and cathartic electoral landslide victory that amounted to a repudiation of a historically unpopular Republican president and his economic and foreign policies, Americans went to the polls in record numbers Tuesday to elect U.S. Senator Barack Hussein Obama (D-Ill) the 44th president of the United States and in doing so swept away the last racial barrier in American politics.
President elect Obama gives acceptance speech to 125,000 in Chicago's Grant Park
Graph shows Presidential race results in Washington State by County. CLICK FOR LARGER VIEW.
Millions of Americans of all ages, races, religions and places of birth voted to embrace Senator Obama’s call for a change in the direction and the tone of how America goes about the business of governing itself.
Tens of thousands of people turned out to hear Mr. Obama’s victory speech in Grant Park in Chicago where he told the crowd, “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.”
President elect Obama, standing before a large wooden lectern with a row of American flags at his back, told the cheering and often weeping Americans who came to hear his acceptance speech, “It’s been a long time coming but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment, change has come to America.”
OBAMA'S ELECTION A SYMBOLIC BREAKTHROUGH MOMENT IN HISTORY
Obama’s election as President was a palpably symbolic moment in the evolution of America’s troubled racial history and seemed a breakthrough moment in time as well as in America’s political history. Many Americans would have thought this night all but impossible just a few years ago.
For most Americans, the news of Obama’s election came at 8:00 p.m. Seattle time, when the major news networks, waiting for the close of polls in California, declared him the winner. When CNN and the other networks declared Obama the winner a huge roar of elation erupted from the estimated 125,000 people who had gathered in Hutchison Field in Chicago’s Grant Park when they learned Obama had been projected the winner and would be the nation’s next President.
Senator Obama, 47, a first-term senator from Illinois, defeated veteran U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona, 72, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam who was making his second bid for the presidency.
But to the very end McCain’s campaign seemed hamstrung not only by an unpopular sitting Republican President, an unpopular war and an America in the worst economic distress since the Great Depression following the housing bubble collapse, but also by an unusual and charismatic opponent in Obama who was a phenomenon both on the national and international stage, drawing huge crowds of tens of thousands of people and in some cases hundreds of thousands.
McCAIN DELIVERS CONCESSION SPEECH
Mr. McCain delivered his concession speech on the lawn of the Arizona Biltmore hotel in Phoenix, where he and his wife had held their wedding reception. The largely subdued crowd reacted with scattered boos as he offered his congratulations to Mr. Obama and addressed the historical significance of the moment.
“This is a historic election, and I recognize the significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight,” Mr. McCain said. “We both realize that we have come a long way from the injustices that once stained our nation’s reputation,” added McCain.
Senator Obama not only captured the presidency yesterday, but he also led his party to sharp gains in Congress. The new congressional wins put Democrats in control of the House, the Senate and the White House for the first time since 1995 when bill Clinton was President.
As the returns slowly came in it became obvious that Mr. Obama passed milestone after milestone win in his dramatic run to the White House winning in states like Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Iowa, New Hampshire and New Mexico.
Across the nation Americans celebrated in the streets and public squares of towns and cities across the land to celebrate a new era in a nation where just 143 years ago, Mr. Obama, as a black man, could have been owned as a slave.
Mr. Obama and his newly expanded Democratic majority in Washington now face the task of governing America through a difficult time ahead: more than likely a deep and prolonged economic recession and wars in two countries.
OBAMA SAYS ROAD AHEAD WILL BE TOUGH
“The road ahead will be long, our climb will be steep,” said Mr. Obama. “We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you, we as a people will get there,” added the President elect.
In a nod to the difficult transition he faces given the nation’s economic woes, Mr. Obama is expected to begin filling White House jobs as early as this week.
Obama will come into the highest office in the land following an election in which he laid out a number of clear goals: to cut taxes for most Americans, get the United States out of Iraq in a speedy yet orderly manner and to expand health care to all Americans.
For Republicans, especially hard right wing conservatives who have dominated the party for nearly thirty years, Obama’s stunning election win represents a bitter setback and leaves some party officials wondering where the party is now positioned in American politics.
Obama defeated Senator McCain in Ohio, a central battleground in American politics, despite a huge Republican effort by Mr. McCain and his running mate Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska to win the state. Senator Obama had lost the state decisively to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of York in the Democratic national primary election.
Senator McCain failed to defeat Obama in the two Democratic states that were at the top of his target agenda: New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. Senator Obama also held on to Minnesota, the state that played host to the convention that nominated Mr. McCain, as well as Wisconsin and Michigan, a state Mr. McCain once had in his sights as a Republican win state.
Mr. McCain called Mr. Obama at 8:00 p.m. Seattle Time to offer his congratulations. In the call, Mr. Obama said he was eager to sit down and talk. “I need your help,” Mr. Obama told his rival, according to Obama adviser Robert Gibbs. “You’re a leader on so many important issues.”
President Bush called Senator Obama shortly after 8:00 p.m. to congratulate him on his victory. “I promise to make this a smooth transition,” the president said to Mr. Obama, according to a transcript provided by the White House. ”You are about to go on one of the great journeys of life. Congratulations, and go enjoy yourself.”
Mr. Obama seems to have benefited from a huge turnout of voters and particularly among black voters. That voter group made up about 13 percent of the electorate, according to surveys of people leaving the polls, compared with 11 percent in 2006.
In North Carolina, Republicans believe the large turnout of African-Americans was one of the main factors that led to U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole, a Republican, losing her re-election bid.
Mr. Obama also performed well among Hispanic voters while Mr. McCain did worse among this group of voters than President Bush did in 2004. Some analysts and party officials believe this may be due to anger among those voters over four years in which Republicans have been at the forefront of an effort to crack down on illegal immigrants.
Throughout election day millions of Americans lined up at voting polls for hours — some showing up before dawn — to cast their votes in what appeared to be a record-high voter turnout.
OBAMA WINS THE BIG THREE COUNTIES IN WASHINGTON STATE
2008 ELECTION RESULTS FOR PRESIDENT BY COUNTY
As of 11-05-08
% OF THE VOTE TOTAL BALLOTS TABULATED TO DATE
Barack Obama 60.67% 116,472
John McCain 37.7% 72,369
BLUE Counties in Washington where Barack Obama won the vote.
RED Counties in Washington where John McCain won the vote.