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 very first
time in their lives, because they believed that this time must
be different; that their voice could be that difference.
It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat
and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American,
gay, straight, disabled and not disabled -- Americans who sent
a message to the world that we have never been 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 have been told for so long
by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of 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.
I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He
fought long and hard in this campaign, and he's fought even
longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices
for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we
are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless
leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have
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 that train home
to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States,
I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding
support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock
of our family and the love of my life, our nation's next First
Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much,
and you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the
White House. And while she's no longer with us, I know my grandmother
is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I
miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.
To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David
Axelrod, and 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.
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 five dollars and ten dollars and twenty
dollars to this 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; from the not-so-young people who braved
the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of
perfect strangers; 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 this Earth. This is your victory.
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 their children fall asleep and wonder how they'll make
the mortgage, or pay their doctor's bills, or save enough for
college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created;
new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.
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.
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 that 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 join in the work of remaking this nation
the only way it's been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one
years -- block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused
What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must
not 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 cannot happen without you.
So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and
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
Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship
and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics
for so long. Let us 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,
individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values 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, 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 our world -- our stories are singular,
but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership
is at hand. To those who would tear this 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 our the might of
our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power
of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding
For that is the true genius of America -- that America can change.
Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved
gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.
Barack Obama: American politician.
Born August 4, 1961. Elected 44th President of USA November 4, 2008.