Obama triumphs, will be first black US president

  • Follow Latest News

WASHINGTON - Barack Obama was elected the nation's first black president Tuesday night in a historic triumph that overcame racial barriers as old as America itself.

The son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas, the Democratic senator from Illinois sealed his victory by defeating Republican Sen. John McCain in a string of wins in hard-fought battleground states — Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Iowa.

A huge crowd in Grant Park in Chicago erupted in jubilation at the news of Obama's victory. Some wept.

McCain called his former rival to concede defeat — and the end of his own 10-year quest for the White House. "The American people have spoken, and spoken clearly," McCain told disappointed supporters in Arizona.

Obama and his running mate, Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, will take their oaths of office as president and vice president on Jan. 20, 2009.

As the 44th president, Obama will move into the Oval Office as leader of a country that is almost certainly in recession, and fighting two long wars, one in Iraq, the other in Afghanistan.

The popular vote was close, but not the count in the Electoral College, where it mattered most.

There, Obama's audacious decision to contest McCain in states that hadn't gone Democratic in years paid rich dividends.

Obama has said his first order of presidential business will be to tackle the economy. He has also pledged to withdraw most U.S. combat troops from Iraq within 16 months.

Fellow Democrats rode his coattails to larger majorities in both houses of Congress. They defeated incumbent Republicans and won open seats by turn.

The 47-year-old Illinois senator was little known just four years ago. A widely praised speech at the Democratic National Convention, delivered when he was merely a candidate for the Senate, changed that.

Overnight he became a sought-after surrogate campaigner, and he had scarcely settled into his Senate seat when he began preparing for his run for the White House.

A survey of voters leaving polling places on Tuesday showed the economy was by far the top Election Day issue. Six in 10 voters said so, and none of the other top issues — energy, Iraq, terrorism and health care — was picked by more than one in 10.

"May God bless whoever wins tonight," President Bush told dinner guests at the White House, where his tenure runs out on Jan. 20.

The Democratic leaders of Congress celebrated in Washington.

"It is not a mandate for a party or ideology but a mandate for change," said Senate Majority leader Harry reid of Nevada.

Said Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, "Tonight the American people have called for a new direction. They have called for change in America."

Comments (127) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Marko4194
0
Points
Marko4194 11/05/08 - 04:46 pm
0
0
HYPOCRITES 08 - I am sure

HYPOCRITES 08 - I am sure there were a number of people who voted against Obama because of color (he is not black however), just as I am sure there were many who voted for him because of color. I think the percentages are higher of people voting for him because of color simply because they wanted to see the first black president...and even now, we have yet to see a truely black president. I am not racist and not against a black president...I am against voting for one simply because of color.

apex24
0
Points
apex24 11/05/08 - 04:56 pm
0
0
He selected another crook and

He selected another crook and thug from Chicago for his Chief of Staff. Get use to it, you'll see it up until the time Obama is impeached. Then we'll get our country back from the the liberals.

FallingLeaves
27
Points
FallingLeaves 11/05/08 - 05:41 pm
0
0
Obama is not the right man

Obama is not the right man for the job. The better choice was Alan Keyes or John McCain. But he is our President now, so we will have to work with what we've got.

STHS_REBELS
0
Points
STHS_REBELS 11/05/08 - 06:30 pm
0
0
Help us Lord.

Help us Lord.

GnipGnop
11857
Points
GnipGnop 11/05/08 - 08:04 pm
0
0
Look I didn't vote for him

Look I didn't vote for him but he is the next POTUS. Does it really matter how he got elected or who voted for him? He got elected. He is my next president. End of story. I will still support him and this, the greatest country in the world!!

KSL
126403
Points
KSL 11/05/08 - 08:33 pm
0
0
Rozzie with that divine

Rozzie with that divine intervention again. Geeze.

CanDawgsDoMath
0
Points
CanDawgsDoMath 11/05/08 - 08:52 pm
0
0
hi

hi

Back to Top

Top headlines

Accord tops list of stolen vehicles

The National Insurance Crime Bureau released its annual report on the 10 most stolen vehicles in the country earlier this month, and some residents say they aren't surprised with what they saw.
Search Augusta jobs