By ALY TAMBOURA
In an election that is truly one for the history books, Barack Obama won his bid for the White House in a sweeping victory, capturing an overwhelming number of the nation’s electoral college votes in a fashion which the nation has rarely seen.
By 7:30 pacific time, Fox News had announced Obama the victor and president-elect. The other major networks followed suit of the announcement, forecasting Barack Obama as the next President. Over the next few hours, as the vote counts were broadcast on television, it was evident that Obama had overwhelmingly won the electorates.
Obama made his victory speech to a quarter of a million supporters in Chicago’s Grant Park shortly after the networks announced him the victor. The speech moved many in the crowd to tears of joy, including celebrities such as Jesse Jackson and Oprah Winfrey, who were both in attendance. Obama’s message of Change was clear in his speech, along with a direct appeal for help from the American people.
“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,” said Obama.
Obama used the story of 106-year old Ann Nixon Cooper as a symbol of the African-American struggle.
“Born just a generation past slavery, but for many years could not vote for two reasons, because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin. She was there for the busses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma and a preacher from Atlanta who told people that we shall overcome. Yes we can,” said Obama to an exuberant crowd.
John McCain watched the voter results from his campaign headquarters in Arizona, where he graciously conceded the election. “I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president,” said McCain to a sympathetic crowd.
McCain’s speech was the defining point which ended his decade long quest for the White House. He praised his supporters and his running mate, Sarah Palin, calling her, “One of the best campaigners I have ever seen, and an impressive new voice in our party for reform.”
Pundits are crediting Obama’s defeat of McCain to what is being called the best run political campaign in modern history. By early Wednesday morning Obama had an astonishing 338 electoral votes with McCain’s tally at a diminutive 156, with Obama winning the popular vote by over 7 million.
Countries across the globe celebrated Obama’s victory with Americans. In Kenya, his father’s home country, President Mwai Kibaki proclaimed that Thursday would be a public holiday. Desmond Tutu of South Africa praised Obama’s victory. The Iraqi foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told the press that he thinks Obama “…will not have the same enthusiasm and momentum for this situation,” speaking of the on-going war in Iraq.
George W. Bush commented that Obama’s win is “…especially uplifting for a generation of Americans who witnessed the struggle for civil rights with their own eyes and four decades later see a dream fulfilled. He also invited the president-elect to visit the White House, while vowing to keep him informed during the transition of power.
“At this defining moment change has come to America,..” Barack Obama, president-elect.