Obama’s supporters had gathered from far and wide at an open air park in hopes that their chosen candidate would be the victor. Throughout the night, as election returns from each state came in, and Obama’s lead over his Republican rival John McCain grew, the crowd was energized.
There were hugs, laughs and cheers, and even some tears among Obama’s most faithful supporters as they reveled in the history-making moment. They were given exclusive access to the event, and had the best view in the crowd near the podium where Obama gave his acceptance speech.
Obama had arrived at this moment with a message of change that seems to have resonated with the voting public, as evidenced in his election night victory. "It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election at this defining moment, change has come to America," he said.
The election is historic. When Obama takes office in January, he will become the first African American president in the nation’s 232-year history. His election ends eight years of Republican control of the White House under President George W. Bush.
As the vote count progressed, the Democrat far outpaced his rival in the state-by-state tally of electoral votes. The winning candidate needs 270 electoral votes.
Senator McCain fell far short, as Obama won such contested states as Ohio and Pennsylvania, which many saw as crucial for a McCain victory.
Conservative-leaning Christians voting for McCain have expressed concerns however about Obama’s perceived pro-abortion views and said they would have preferred a "pro-life president", BosNewsLife monitored.
Yet, the visibly tired Senator McCain encouraged supporters in his concession speech in his home city of Phoenix, Arizona, to get behind Obama. "I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together, to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences, and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited," he said.
Obama made clear that while his election signaled "change" in America, much remains to be done. "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," he stressed, captivating crowds with his familiar rhythm and sense for drama.
President-elect Obama’s exit from the stage, marks the beginning of a two-month period when he will focus on forming his Cabinet, and the priorities he will tackle in the first months of his administration, which begins on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009. (With addittional reporting by VOA’s Kent Klein, www.voanews.com. BosNewsLife’s NEWS WATCH is a regular look at key general news developments impacting the Church and/or compassionate proffesionals).and BosNewsLife News Center. Read,listen and view more on the presidential election via BosNewsLife’s affiliate network Voice of America (VOA).