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.
It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.
It’s 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. [continued...]
This is one of those moments in history when it is worth pausing and reflecting on the basic facts:
An American with the name Barack Hussein Obama, the son of a white woman and a black man he barely knew, raised by his grandparents far outside the stream of American power and wealth, has been elected the 44th president of the United States.
Showing extraordinary focus and quiet certainty, Mr. Obama defeated first Hillary Clinton, who wanted to be president so badly that she lost her bearings, and then John McCain, who forsook his principles for a campaign built on anger and fear.
Mr. Obama won the election because he saw what is wrong with this country: the utter failure of government to protect its citizens. He promised to lead a government that does not try to solve every problem but will do those things beyond the power of individual citizens: to regulate the economy fairly, keep the air clean and the food safe, ensure that the sick have access to health care, and educate children to compete in a globalized world.
Mr. Obama spoke candidly of the failure of Republican economic policies that promised to lift all Americans but left so many millions far behind. He committed himself to ending a bloody and pointless war. He promised to restore Americans’ civil liberties and this country’s tattered reputation around the world. With a message of hope and competence he drew in legions of voters who had been disengaged and voiceless. [continued...]
They did it. They really did it. So often crudely caricatured by others, the American people yesterday stood in the eye of history and made an emphatic choice for change for themselves and the world. Though bombarded by a blizzard of last-minute negative advertising that should shame the Republican party, American voters held their nerve and elected Barack Obama as their new president to succeed George Bush. Elected him, what is more, by a clearer majority than one of those bitter narrow margins that marked the last two elections. [continued...]