America has elected its first black president. President Elect Barack Obama, 47,gave his victory speech from Glen Park in his hometown of Chicago at Midnight (5 o’clock this morning U.K time).
The speech gave praise to McCain, as well as his own campaign team and family. “You have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House” he joked to his daughters. He also told the story of one 106 year old voter, Anne Nixon Cooper, who had voted for the first time, illustrating how America has changed in the last century, and how it may continue to change.
“I will listen to you, especially when we disagree” said Obama, reaching out to those who did not support him, despite their opposition.
Senator McCain gave his speech conceding the victory to Obama earlier, from Phoenix Alabama, congratulating Obama on his victory. McCain’s supporters booed at the mention of Obama. Chants of “we want john” were heard in Phoenix. McCain quieted the crowd and continued to praise the new president elect, appearing magnanimous in defeat and asking his supporters to forget the defeat and to reach out to the new president elect, for the benefit of all Americans.
Elsewhere in the U.S sentiments seem to be more hopeful towards the new president elect. Chants of “Yes We Can” and “Brand New Day”, two of Obama’s campaign slogans were heard at many rallies and election night parties. One particular celebration saw former presidential candidate and civil rights activist Jessie Jackson shed tears of happiness.
Mr Obama’s victory has been hailed as “another Camelot” for the world. With “the politics of fear and militarism … about to come to an end” as Dr Robert Franklin, president of Moorhouse college (Dr Kings Alma Matter) said. This may well be the common view across the world. To meet his manifesto promises, Barack Obama will have to work hard – but as one Blogger featured on the BBC’s coverage of the election said: “Tonight we celebrate – tomorrow we work”.
Celebrations were not confined to America, with Barack Obama’s grandmothers village in Kenya celebrating and Kenya holding tomorrow as a day of celebration.
At the time of publishing there are still some states which have not declared a victor, though President elect lead the electoral collage vote with 338 to 155 for McCain. 270 electoral votes were needed to carry the presidency. There is still a chance that the already impressive victory will turn into a landslide. The Democrats have also won control of the senate.
The current president, George Bush, called Obama to congratulate him saying “it was an amazing night”, despite being from the opposing party.
Mr Obama will take office as the 44th president of the United States of America on the 21st of January next year.