Change Has Come To America…Barack Obama Elected President

This evening, Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States, and the first African American elected to the highest office in the land. It was a truly historic night that and I know that I will always remember where I was on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 8:00 p.m. (PT).

As I sat on my bed with my one year old son and three year old daughter, I thought about how much this country has changed over the past 50 years. I told them that someday I would explain to them exactly why this was such an important day in history, although at this time, they are far too young to understand.

I spoke with my mom who grew up for some of her life down in the South. She saw segregation, she saw racism and she saw how unfairly people were treated. She told me that she never thought that she would see this day, but it was very emotional for her as well as for so many others in this country.

A triumphant Obama vowed in his speech this evening to be a President for all America, even those who voted against him. Heasked for patience to address the nation’s problems of war and finance that he called the greatest challenges of a lifetime.

From CNN:

Barack Obama told supporters that “change has come to America” as he claimed victory in a historic presidential election.

“The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. 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,” Obama said in Chicago, Illinois, before an estimated crowd of up to 240,000 people.

With Obama’s projected win, he will become the first African-American to win the White House.

Obama had an overwhelming victory over Sen. John McCain, who pledged Tuesday night to help Obama lead.

“Today, I was a candidate for the highest office in the country I love so much, and tonight, I remain her servant,” McCain said.

McCain called Obama to congratulate him, and Obama told the Arizona senator he was eager to sit down and talk about how the two of them can work together.

President Bush also called Obama to offer his congratulations.

Bush told Obama he was about to begin one of the great journeys of his life, and invited him to visit the White House as soon as it could be arranged, according to White House spokeswoman Dana Perino.

Obama will be working with a heavily Democratic Congress. Democrats picked up Senate seats in New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia, among others.

From the Associated Press:

The first black president-elect cast his election as a defining moment in the country’s 232-year history and a rebuke to cynicism, fear and doubt.

“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,” he said in his first public words after winning the election.

His victory speech was delivered before a multiracial crowd that city officials estimated at 240,000 people. Many cried and nodded their heads while he spoke, surrounded by clear bulletproof screens on his left and right.

He appeared on stage with his wife, Michelle, and daughters Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, poised to become the first family of color ever to occupy the White House. Every family member dressed in black and red, and Obama told his daughters during his speech that they would get the puppy he promised would come with a victory.

“Even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime — two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century,” he said. “There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and, for us to lead, alliances to repair.”

He was already suggesting a second term to accomplish his goals, saying he expected “setbacks and false starts.”

“We may not get there in one year or even one term,” he said. “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.”

To those who voted against him, he said, “I will be your president, too.”

Obama, an Illinois senator born 47 years ago of a white American mother and a black African father, sprinkled his address with references to the civil rights struggle. He paid tribute to Ann Nixon Cooper, a 106-year-old daughter of slaves born at a time when women and blacks couldn’t vote. She cast her ballot in Atlanta Tuesday, Obama said.

From MSNBC:

The election of Barack Obama as the first black president of the United States overwhelmed many African-American voters, especially older ones who still vividly recall the dark days of Jim Crow.

Obama won 95 percent support from black voters nationwide, according to msnbc.com’s analysis of exit polling data. One of them was Ellora Lyons, 81, of Peoria, Ill.

Lyons recounted boarding a train to Oklahoma with her two oldest boys in 1948. Her brother had been killed in an accident, and they were going to his funeral.

“There was a sign on this train that said, ‘n—–s to the back,’” she said. “And we couldn’t drink out of the same water fountain.”

“I remember my mom and my dad talking about black folks being not able to vote,” Lyons said. “I never thought that I would see a black man [in the White House], but I was hoping that one day that a black man would run for president.”

Leon Modeste of Community Outreach Ministry in Albany, Ga., said, “Never in my wildest dream did I think that an African-American would even be considered, let alone get this close to the presidency.

“I figured maybe my grandchildren or something,” would live to see it, but not him, Modeste said.

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One Comment on “Change Has Come To America…Barack Obama Elected President”


  1. My humble musical letter to president Obama:
    http://www.writinghannah.blogspot.com

    Best,
    Hannah


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