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US: All is possible in America, Obama says as he makes history

05 Nov 2008 4:52 PM
US: All is possible in America, Obama says as he makes history

CHICAGO, Illinois Nov 5 AAP - Barack Obama has told euphoric supporters that anything is possible as he claimed victory and wrote himself into the history books as America's first black president.

"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 told a crowd of 65,000 in his home town of Chicago.

"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 said a new dawn of American leadership was at hand, and stressed the shared destiny of the United States and the rest of the world.

"All of those watching tonight from beyond our shores, in the parliament and in the palaces, those huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular but our destiny is shared," he said.

"A new dawn of American leadership is at hand.

"To those who would tear the world down, we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security, we support you.

"We have proved that the true strength of our nation comes not from the scale of our wealth but from the power of our ideals - opportunity, democracy,liberty and hope."

He spoke of the phone call Republican John McCain had made to him to concede defeat, describing it as "extraordinarily gracious".

"Senator McCain fought long and hard in this campaign and he's fought even longer and harder for the country that he loves.

"He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine. We are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader.

"I congratulate him, I congratulate Governor Palin and all that they've achieved and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation ... in the months ahead."

Obama also paid tribute to his campaign team and thanked "the vice president of the United States", his running mate Joe Biden.

He also thanked "my best friend for the last 16 years, the rock of our family, the love of my life, the nation's next First Lady Michelle Obama" and his two young daughters.

They had earned the new puppy going with the family to the White House, he said.

Obama told supporters he was "never the likeliest candidate for this office".

"We didn't start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was nothatched in the halls of Washington. It began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms and the front porches of Charleston.

"It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give5 and $10 and $20 to this cause.

"I know you didn't do this just to win an election and I know you didn't doit for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task at hand.

"Even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest in our lifetime - two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century."

He spoke of US troops risking their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan and the challenges of providing health care and eduction to a new generation of Americans. He also spoke of repairing America's relations with the world.

"The road ahead will be long and our climb will be steep," he said.

"We may not get there in one year, or even in one term. But America, I havenever been more hopeful that we will get there.

"I promise you, we as a people will get there."

He wrapped up his address with the crowd returning his chant of "yes we can" when he spoke of the challenges the nation must overcome.

"This is our time - to put people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream ..."

AAP tnf=0A