Senator Barack Obama made U.S. history Tuesday night (November 4) when he took the 2008 presidential election in a landslide to soon become the 44th President and our first African-American Commander in Chief.
He told a crowd of an estimated 125,000 people that “change has come to American,” as he addressed the country for the first time as the president-elect.
In a moving speech, Obama spoke about the long road ahead, and the steep climb America has as a whole, adding that he looked forward to working with Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin “to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead.”
“The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep,” Obama said during his election night victory rally at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois. “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.”
Before concluding his speech, Obama told the story of a 106-year-old woman from Atlanta, Georgia, who had experienced U.S. history for over a century, and reminded the American people that we’ve endured hardships in the past, and we can overcome them today.
Chants of “Yes, we can” filled Grant Park. Obama ended his by the usual, “God bless America,” before inviting new Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Michelle Obama to the stage to greet the crowd.
McCain conceded earlier in the evening, and followed by urging Americans to join him in congratulating Sen. Barack Obama on his projected victory in the presidential election. He also called Obama to congratulate him.
“I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face,” McCain said before his supporters in Phoenix, Arizona. “”Today, I was a candidate for the highest office in the country I love so much, and tonight, I remain her servant.”
According to CNN, President Bush also called Obama to congratulate him. He 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.
Going into the election, national polls showed Obama with an 8-point lead.
Tuesday also marked the end of the longest presidential campaign season in U.S. history — 21 months.