Thursday, 6 November 2008 12:03 AM

Obama Wins US Election, Makes History

The United States Presidential candidate, the Democrats' Barack Obama, won the American presidency last night making history as the first African-American president.

History has been made in one of the most powerful nations in the world when Barack Obama, the first African-American to ever be nominated by a major US political party, won the American Presidency last night beating rival, Republican John McCain with 349 - 147 electoral votes.

270 votes are needed to win and Obama clearly won majority, 'the first Democrat to receive more than 50 percent of the popular vote since Jimmy Carter in 1976', according to the Associated Press.

Celebrations are taking place around the world as various cities and communities celebrate this historic moment not just for the US, but for the rest of the world. Many shed tears that they lived to see this historical achievement and the thought of what it meant not just for Americans, but for the rest of the world.

According to the Associated Press, in his speech to a victory rally of 125,000 people jammed into Chicago's Grant Park, Obama said, "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".

Obama scored an Electoral College landslide that redrew America's political map. He won states that reliably voted Republican in presidential elections, like Indiana and Virginia, which hadn't supported the Democratic candidate in 44 years. Ohio and Florida, key to Bush's twin victories, also went for Obama, as did Pennsylvania, which McCain had deemed crucial for his election hopes.

The son of a Kenyan father and a white mother from Kansas, the 47-year-old Obama has had a startlingly rapid rise, from lawyer and community organizer to state legislator and U.S. senator, now just four years into his first term. He is the first senator elected to the White House since John F. Kennedy in 1960.

Also, Democrats expanded their majority in both houses of Congress. In the House, with fewer than a dozen races still undecided, Democrats captured Republican-held seats in the Northeast, South and West and were on a path to pick up as many as 20 seats.

When Obama and running mate Joe Biden take their oath of office on Jan. 20, Democrats will control both the White House and Congress for the first time since 1994.

After the longest and costliest campaign in U.S. history, Obama was propelled to victory by voters dismayed by eight years of George W. Bush's presidency and deeply anxious about rising unemployment and home foreclosures and a battered stock market that has erased trillions of dollars of savings for Americans.

Obama acknowledged that repairing the economy and dealing with problems at home and overseas will not happen quickly. "We may not get there in one year or even in 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."

McCain conceded defeat shortly after 11 p.m. EST, telling supporters outside the Arizona Biltmore Hotel, "The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly."

"This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and the special pride that must be theirs tonight," McCain said. "These are difficult times for our country. And I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face".
He also added that the U.S. had moved "a world away" from its racist past by electing the nation's first black president.

'In Atlanta, at civil rights leader Martin Luther King's old church, Ebenezer Baptist, a deafening shout greeted the announcement of Obama's victory and rolled on for minutes'.

'And in Chicago's Grant Park, Rev. Jesse Jackson stood among a crowd of tens of thousands of Obama supporters with tears rolling down his cheeks'. He had 'witnessed King's assassination in Memphis 40 years ago'.

While this is particularly significant for African-Americans who fought so long and hard for the end of slavery and for equality and lost so many lives in the fight, Obama's win is also important for the country as a whole who told the world last night that they were ready for a change for the better and race would not be a barrier in this quest.

Thus, they fulfilled Martin Luther King Jnr.'s words, ""I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal".

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