Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Change has come . Si se pudo.
Barack Obama has been sensationally crowned as America's first black President.
In his first speech as President elect he told a mass rally in Chicago: "Change has come to America".
The Senator Obama smashed Republican rival John McCain as he made history with a landslide victory.
He continued: “No matter how they cast their ballots, all Americans can be proud of the history that was made yesterday.”
He also promised “complete cooperation" in the governmental transition and extended an invitation to the White House to Obama and his wife, Michelle.
Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell called Obama’s election "historic" today and claimed Obama will be president for all Americans.
Obama said his victory showed that Americans had "sent a message to the world" and marked that "we are, and always will be the United States of America".
Senator Obama won the race for the White House at precisely January 4, 2008 and will become the 44th United States President.
He passed the magical 270 votes needed with 349 Electoral votes to secure the White House after securing the key states of Florida and Virginia.
Thousands of screaming supporters burst into cheers and began flying the Stars and Stripes as they waited for the first black President to appear.
He told those gathered: "It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America."
He said in his first words as president: “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.”
His victory speech was delivered before a multiracial crowd that city officials estimated at 125,000 in Grant Park, and possibly thousands more in the surrounding area.
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, ten, and Sasha, seven, poised to become the first family of colour 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 could not vote. She cast her ballot in Atlanta Tuesday, Obama said.
America voted in record numbers, standing in lines that snaked around blocks and in some places in pouring rain.
Voters who queued up and the millions who balloted early propelled 2008 to what one expert said was the highest turnout in a century.
It looks like 136.6 million Americans will have voted for president this election, based on 88 percent of the country’s precincts tallied and projections for absentee ballots, said Michael McDonald of George Mason University.
Using his methods, that would give 2008 a 64.1 per cent turnout rate
That would be the highest turnout rate that we’ve seen since 1908,” which was 65.7 percent, McDonald said.
It also would beat the old post World War II high of 63.8 per cent in the famed 1960 John F Kennedy-Richard Nixon contest.
The total voting in 2008 easily outdistanced 2004’s 122.3million, which had been the highest grand total of voters before.
Obama entered the final hours of the election with a seven per cent poll lead over his rival but many held their breath for fear that Americans would never put a black man in the Oval Office.
But yesterday the map of America turned progressively blue as states fell to Obama's romping Democratic Party.
The first sign of history changing came as Pennsylvania backed Obama.
McCain had poured millions of dollars into the state and regarded it as a must win.
But an hour later Ohio was projected to go Democrat in what was a crushing blow to the Republican effort.
Iowa was also due to fall to Obama – another hammer blow to the McCain camp.
Obama was projected to have netted 200 electoral votes and with California's 55 votes guaranteed, he was a dead cert to smash the magic 270 needed to take Office.
Early projections said Obama was on course to hit 311 electoral votes to just 163 for Republican rival McCain.
Obama swept to victory as expected in Democratic states in the east and Midwest of America.
The changes has come to America and for the World.