IgniteCAST.com Video – Obama’s Victory Speech

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Wednesday, 5 November 2008

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(CNN) — Barack Obama told supporters that “change has come to America” as he claimed victory in a historic presidential election.

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“The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. 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,” Obama said in Chicago, Illinois, before an estimated crowd of up to 240,000 people.

With Obama’s projected win, he will become the first African-American to win the White House.

Obama had an overwhelming victory over Sen. John McCain, who pledged Tuesday night to help Obama lead. Video Watch Obama pay tribute to McCain »

“Today, I was a candidate for the highest office in the country I love so much, and tonight, I remain her servant,” McCain said.

McCain called Obama to congratulate him, and Obama told the Arizona senator he was eager to sit down and talk about how the two of them can work together.

President Bush also called Obama to offer his congratulations.

Bush 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, according to White House spokeswoman Dana Perino.

Obama will be working with a heavily Democratic Congress. Democrats picked up Senate seats in New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia, among others.

“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,” Obama said. Video Watch more on the balance of power »

Flanked by American flags, Obama told the roaring crowd, “This is your victory.”

“To those Americans whose support I have yet to earn — I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president too,” he said. Video Watch Obama tell voters ‘all things are possible’ »

Supporters in Chicago cheering, “Yes, we can” were met with cries of “Yes, we did.”

More than 1,000 people gathered outside of the White House, chanting “Obama, Obama!”

Sen. Hillary Clinton, Obama’s former rival for the Democratic nomination, said in a statement that “we are celebrating an historic victory for the American people.” iReport.com: Share your Election Day reaction with CNN

“This was a long and hard fought campaign but the result was well worth the wait. Together, under the leadership of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and a Democratic Congress, we will chart a better course to build a new economy and rebuild our leadership in the world.”

Sen. Ted Kennedy said Americans “spoke loud and clear” in electing Obama.

“They understood his vision of a fairer and more just America and embraced it. They heard his call for a new generation of Americans to participate in government and were inspired. They believed that change is possible and voted to be part of America’s future,” the Massachusetts senator said in a statement.

As results came in Tuesday night, Obama picked up early wins in Pennsylvania and Ohio — states considered must-wins for McCain.

Obama also won Virginia, a state that has not voted for a Democratic president since 1964.

Going into the election, national polls showed Obama with an 8-point lead.

Voters expressed excitement and pride in their country after casting their ballots in the historic election. Poll workers reported high turnout across many parts of the country, and some voters waited hours to cast their ballots.

Tuesday marks the end of the longest presidential campaign season in U.S. history — 21 months.

Obama, 47, will now begin his transition to the White House. He will be sworn in at the 44th president on January 20, 2009.

Long lines form early as voters finally decide

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By NEDRA PICKLER and BETH FOUHY –

CHICAGO (AP) — Long lines have formed as polls open in Eastern states. John McCain is counting on a narrow path to an upset victory today while Barack Obama pinned his hopes for becoming the nation’s first black president on a ground organization designed to swell precincts with voters across the country.

“I think these battleground states have now closed up, almost all of them, and I believe there’s a good scenario where we can win,” McCain told CBS’ “The Early Show” in an interview broadcast as the day’s first voters stood in early-morning lines.

“Look, I know I’m still the underdog, I understand that,” the Arizona senator said. “You can’t imagine, you can’t imagine the excitement of an individual to be this close to the most important position in the world, and I’ll enjoy it, enjoy it. I’ll never forget it as long as I live.”

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said he was confident that new voters and young voters would fuel an enormous turnout to benefit the Illinois senator.

“We just want to make sure people turn out,” Plouffe told “Today” on NBC. “We think we have enough votes around the country.”

Standing in line in one of the battleground states, Ahmed Bowling of Alexandria, Va., said the election “will mark a significant change in the lives of all Americans, and so we do have to come out as early as possible to cast our votes.”

In Brooklyn, N.Y., 49-year-old Venus Kevin said the line at her precinct was “already down the block and around the corner” when she arrived shortly before 6 a.m. EST.

“Obama is the man,” said Kevin, who is black. “His message and his vision has reached a lot of people, not just African-Americans.”

The contest pitted the 47-year-old Obama, a first-term Illinois senator who rocketed to stardom on the power of his oratory and a call for change, against the 72-year-old McCain, a 26-year lawmaker whose mettle was tested during 5 1/2 years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

“I’m feeling kind of fired up. I’m feeling like I’m ready to go,” Obama told nearly 100,000 people gathered for his final rally Monday night in Virginia.

“At this defining moment in history, Virginia, you can give this country the change it needs,” Obama said to voters in a state that hasn’t voted for a Democratic presidential nominee in 44 years.

The Illinois senator’s final day of campaigning was bittersweet: He was mourning the loss of his grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, who helped raise him. She died of cancer Sunday night, never to see the results of the historic election.

McCain completed a cross-country trek through seven battleground states before arriving at home in Phoenix early Tuesday morning.

“This momentum, this enthusiasm convinces me we’re going to win tomorrow,” McCain told a raucous evening rally in Henderson, Nev. It was the fifth campaign stop in an 18-hour odyssey that took him across three time zones.

Obama planned a quick campaign stop in Indiana on Election Day before a massive outdoor rally in front of the skyline in his adopted hometown of Chicago. The day’s forecast was for an unseasonably warm 70 degrees.

McCain planned events in Colorado and New Mexico, then a party at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix.

Obama urged his supporters to resist overconfidence. “Even if it rains tomorrow, you can’t let that stop you. You’ve got to wait in line. You’ve got to vote,” he said.

Beth Fouhy reported from Phoenix.