Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama wins White House

WKRN Channel 2 News Barack Obama has been elected president of the United States, the first African American ever to win the White House. With victories in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and other battleground states, the 47-year-old Democratic senator built a commanding lead over Republican rival John McCain. A huge crowd gathered in Chicago's Grant Park to cheer his improbable triumph and await his first public speech as president-elect. McCain gave his concession speech shortly before 10:30 p.m. Central Time. Obama followed with his acceptance speech not long after. "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," he told the crowd. In his concession speech, McCain urged all Americans to join him in congratulating Obama on his election victory. He also said despite their differences, he was willing to work with Obama in the future. "Senator Obama and I have had and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt many of those differences remain. 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 said. Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, McCain's running mate, was standing with him but she did not speak. Afterwards, she mingled with the crowd, talking to supporters and taking pictures. Many of Palin's fans said they want her back on the Republican presidential ticket in four years. Obama surged in the polls in recent weeks, campaigning as the candidate of change. The son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas, he was rather unknown when he made his first run for the Senate, giving a speech just four years ago at the Democratic National Convention. Emphasizing his early opposition to the Iraq war, Obama defeated Senator Hillary Clinton after a long, bruising primary fight. He then beat back Republican efforts to portray him as reckless, naive and inexperienced and combated Internet misinformation questioning his religion and patriotism. Obama attracted millions of first-time voters in his fight to become president and brought the historic American election to the attention of the entire world. *The Associated Press contributed to this report

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