Barack Obama Victory Speech Transcript. US President Elect Speech. November 4th 2008


Hello, Chicago.

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.

It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen, by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different, that their voices could be that difference.

It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states.

We are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It’s the answer that led those who’ve been told for so long by so many to be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment change has come to America.

A little bit earlier this evening, I received an extraordinarily gracious call from Sen. McCain.

Sen. McCain fought long and hard in this campaign. And he’s fought even longer and harder for the country that he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine. We are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader.

I congratulate him; I congratulate Gov. Palin for all that they’ve achieved. And I look forward to working with them to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart, and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on the train home to Delaware, the vice president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

And I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last 16 years the rock of our family, the love of my life, the nation’s next first lady Michelle Obama.

Sasha and Malia I love you both more than you can imagine. And you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the new White House.

And while she’s no longer with us, I know my grandmother’s watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight. I know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my sister Maya, my sister Alma, all my other brothers and sisters, thank you so much for all the support that you’ve given me. I am grateful to them.

And to my campaign manager, David Plouffe, the unsung hero of this campaign, who built the best — the best political campaign, I think, in the history of the United States of America.

To my chief strategist David Axelrod who’s been a partner with me every step of the way.

To the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you’ve sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you. It belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn’t start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington. It began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston. It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give $5 and $10 and $20 to the cause.

It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation’s apathy who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep.

It drew strength from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on doors of perfect strangers, and from the millions of Americans who volunteered and organized and proved that more than two centuries later a government of the people, by the people, and for the people has not perished from the Earth.

This is your victory.

And I know you didn’t do this just to win an election. And I know you didn’t do it for me.

You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For 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.

Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us.

There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after the children fall asleep and wonder how they’ll make the mortgage or pay their doctors’ bills or save enough for their child’s college education.

There’s new energy to harness, new jobs to be created, new schools to build, and threats to meet, alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in 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.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as president. And we know the government can’t solve every problem.

But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it’s been done in America for 221 years — block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began 21 months ago in the depths of winter cannot end on this autumn night.

This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.

It can’t happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.

Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers.

In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let’s resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.

Let’s remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity.

Those are values that we all share. And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.

As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.

And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces, to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.

To those — to those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.

That’s the true genius of America: that America can change. Our union can be perfected. What we’ve already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight’s about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing: Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons — because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America — the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs, a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that “We Shall Overcome.” Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination.

And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change.

Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves — if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment.
advertisement

This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.

Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States

Congratulations to President Elect Obama and to … America!


John McCain is now conceding the election with an eloquence that would have benefited his campaign, noting how historic this election has been for America.

CNN has projected what has been clear for several days now – Barack Obama will win the US Presidency,

With this decision we leave behind a two year campaign – the longest transition of leadership in the history of *any* democracy, and we enter a new and potentially transformative time for America. We face some of the greatest challenges in the history of our proud Democracy, but working together we can overcome them all.

CNN Holographic Reporting Debut: Cool


Kudos to CNN for using holographic imagery for the first time in TV reporting.

35 high definition cameras surround Jessica Yellin in a tent in Chicago at the massive Obama rally as she is beamed live to the CNN situation room to talk with Wolf Blitzer.

The imagery is imperfect but of a high enough quality to suggest we’ll be seeing this tool used more and more as a virtual meeting environment.

Good job CNN !

Election Day 2008


Election Day 2008

Voting is still underway but the outcome is already clear – Obama will win our US presidency by either a modest or large number of electoral votes and probably about 54% or more of the popular vote. Many Americans are breathing a sigh of relief that the outcome today is clear and uncompromised by the many flaws of our counting system.

Election and electoral irregularities, negative campaign strategies, and the flaws of Democracy aside, all Americans should be very proud that our nation will once again make our qaudrennial peaceful transition of executive leadership from one administration to another after a national vote.

The Obama victory, combined with large gains in congress for the Democrats, will likely be viewed for centuries as one of the most significant transformative events in American history. This will be one of the largest swings from “conservative Republican” to “liberal Democrat” leadership in all of history.

In a decision based overwhelmingly on political rather than racial considerations, Obama’s rise to the US Presidency will also demolish the pervasive-but-misguided mythology that has suggested for over a generation that America could never transcend our history of prejudice and elect an African American to the highest office.

Yet Americans can transcend the challenges of our past.

We just did.

Oregon Coast Travel


The Oregon Coast is our state’s most recognizable travel destination.   Highway 101 – a National Scenic Byway – winds 363 miles from the Washington state border in the north to the California Border in the south.

At our Oregon Coast Travel website we have a mile by mile guide to Highway 101 that covers ever mile of the journey and the cities and attractions along the way.

This list is NOT all inclusive yet – I’ll be adding more over time… also feel free to leave any  travel or relevant information in the comments.

Astoria to Seaside

Near Astoria is Fort Clatsop where Lewis and Clark spent the winter after their incredible journey across the US as part of Jefferson’s expedition to explore the newly aquired Louisiana Territory.     Seaside remains a popular hotspot for visits to Oregon Coast beaches.

Cannon Beach to Manzanita

Cannon Beach is a very popular beach destination.

Manzanita to Tillamook

Popular attractions in this area include the Tillamook lighthouse and Tillamook Cheese Factory which offer a fun and educational factory tour.    The Cheese Factory is an excellent family attraction and located right off of Highway 101.

Tillamook to Lincoln City

Lincoln City to Newport

Newport to Yachats

In Newport you’ll want to visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium, a world class facility that was once home to Keiko the Whale.    Be sure to check out the Jellyfish exhibits where these amazing and beautiful creatures float in special lighting, and the walk through shark tank.    Allow at least several hours at the Aquarium.   If you are on a very tight budget and don’t have kids (who will love the aquarium!) the Mark O. Hatfield Marine Science Center is nearby and I think it still offers free tours of this Oregon Coast and sea life research facility.

Yachats to Florence

For many the central Oregon Coast offers the most spectacular scenery and the most sublime of the many great Oregon Coast Experiences.   Devils Churn at Cape Perpetua is an amazing sea feature where water rushes into a narrow channel several hundred feet long.   From a short hike you can stand right atop this combination of surf and a collapsed volcanic lava tube to watch the massive surges of water rush in.    Above Devil’s Churn is Cape Perpetua Visitor Center which excellent hikes and interpretive exhibits.

Florence to North Bend

Florence’s “Old Town” is a very popular Oregon Coast destination for dining and shopping with charming shops and several excellent restaurants all within a few blocks of beautifully remodelled buildings that formerly were at the heart of the fishing industry here.

North Bend to Reedsport

Coos Bay to Port Orford

Coos Bay along highway 101 remains a major shipping point from Oregon but thanks to an extensive urban renewal project along the waterfront and the Mill Casino Coos Bay now offers attractive tourist features right off the highway.

Here, 101 diverges from the coast until Port Orford, so if you have time head west on the Cape Arago highway to Shore Acres State Park with some excellent coastal scenery and wonderful coastal gardens.

Port Orford to Brookings to California

Port Orford’s Battle Rock Park is right off of the Highway and the view is spectacular.   There’s an excellent information center here as well with helpful staff.

Brookings is a very popular coastal destination for Oregon’s heading to the beach from Medford and inland Southern Oregon.