“Yes we can!” Senator Barack Obama’s campaign slogan held true tonight as he overcame racial barriers to become the first black president on a historic Tuesday night.
After winning key battleground states Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Iowa, the 47-year-old Democratic senator took the election with 333 electoral votes, only needing 270. With only Alaska, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, and North Carolina still to announce, John McCain, the Republican senator from Arizona, had 156 electoral votes.
While Obama won the national election, Somervell voters overwhelmingly supported McCain. He took more than 75-percent of the county votes while Obama won only 22-percent.
After the returns, McCain addressed supporters at a post-election event in Phoenix.
“I had a chance to speak with President Obama earlier and congratulate him,” he said. “That he not only won this long, hard battle, but also inspired so many voters who felt their voices no longer mattered is to be commended. I hope you all join me in congratulating him.”
A crowd gathered together in Grant Park in Chicago to cheer his win and hear the president-elect’s first speech.
“On this day, in this election, at this historic moment, Americans came together to say, ‘We believe in change,’” Obama told the emotional crowd who braved the cold. “I spoke with senator McCain and congratulated him and senator Palin on a long fight and I look forward to working with both of them to make this country great again. America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there!”
Obama left the stage as the crowd chanted “Yes, we can! Yes we can!”
The 44th president and his running mate, Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware, will take their oaths on Jan. 20, 2009.
Obama has said he plans to make his first order of business as president to tackle the economy and withdraw most of the troops from Iraq and Afghanistan within 16 months.