The United States has a new president. Senator Barrack Obama became the first African American to ascend to the White House, defeating Senator John McCain. The Democrats won 349 electoral seats, whilst the Republicans held onto 149.With victories in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and other key battleground states, Obama built a commanding lead over McCain after surging in the polls in the midst of a national financial crisis.
The Democratic Party widened its majority in the senate capturing 56 seats to the Republicans’ 40, but was still 4 seats short of the 60 needed in the 100-member chamber to clear Republican procedural hurdles.
Obama Wins Election
Producer: Zaa Nkweta
ZAA NKWETA, TRNN: The United States has a new president. Senator Barack Obama became the first African-American to ascend to the White House. Delivering his victory speech in Chicago, the senator from Illinois had this to say.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENT-ELECT: 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.
NKWETA: Senator John McCain conceded defeat and congratulated his rival in what has been the longest and most expensive presidential campaign in US history.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ): We have come to the end of a long journey. The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly. A little while ago, I had the honor of calling Senator Barack Obama to congratulate him—. [crowd booing] Please. To congratulate him on being elected the next president of the country that we both love.
NKWETA: With victories in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and other key battleground states, Obama built a commanding lead over McCain after surging in the polls in the midst of a national financial crisis. The Democratic Party widened its majority in the Senate, capturing 56 seats to the Republicans’ 40, leaving them 4 seats short of the 60 needed in the 100-member chamber to clear Republican procedural hurdles. Democrats who now control the House of Representatives with 235 seats to the Republicans’ 199 were projected to pick up about 20 seats, somewhat fewer than the number earlier predicted by various analysts. Instances of voter suppression were reported in several battleground states, with several lawsuits filed in Pennsylvania. But on this night the crowds were more concerned with the enormity of Senator Obama’s victory. However, he cautioned the crowd, letting them know that the road ahead would not be easy.
OBAMA: There’s new energy to harness, new jobs to be created, new schools to build, and threats to meet, alliances to repair. The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year, or even in 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.
Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.