‘Yes we can!’

Barack Obama swept to victory as the nation’s first black president Tuesday night in an electoral college landslide that overcame racial barriers as old as America itself. "Change has come," he declared to a huge throng of cheering supporters.

The son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas, the Democratic senator from Illinois sealed his historic triumph by defeating Republican Sen. John McCain in a string of wins in hard-fought battleground states — Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Iowa and more.

On a night for Democrats to savor, they not only elected Obama the nation’s 44th president but padded their majorities in the House and Senate, and come January will control both the White House and Congress for the first time since 1994.

Obama’s election capped a meteoric rise — from mere state senator to president-elect in four years.

In his first speech as victor, Obama catalogued the challenges ahead. "The greatest of a lifetime," he said, "two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century."

He added, "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."

McCain called his former rival to concede defeat — and the end of his own 10-year quest for the White House. "The American people have spoken, and spoken clearly," McCain told disappointed supporters in Arizona.

President Bush added his congratulations from the White House.

In his speech, Obama invoked the words of Lincoln and echoed John F. Kennedy.

"So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder," he said.

He and his running mate, Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, will take their oaths of office as president and vice president on Jan. 20, 2009.

Obama will move into the Oval Office as leader of a country that is almost certainly in recession, and fighting two long wars, one in Iraq, the other in Afghanistan.

The popular vote was close — 51.3 percent to 47.5 percent with 73 percent of all U.S. precincts counted — but not the count in the Electoral College, where it mattered most.

There, Obama’s audacious decision to contest McCain in states that hadn’t gone Democratic in years paid rich dividends.

Obama has said his first order of presidential business will be to tackle the economy. He has also pledged to withdraw most U.S. combat troops from Iraq within 16 months.


  1. griff

    That’s right. Freedom is not an option. We need the government to control every aspect of our lives, for we are far too dumb to figure it out on our own.

  2. history guy

    Timr, you do realize that ALs and Alfs also come in very liberal persuasions. They want to make all tobacco use illegal. Ban unpleasant speech and keep us all very safe. If you refuse to be safe enough, they will restrict your life and liberty in some way, even put you in jail. They will send our children to war to save oppressed peoples. Remember Bosnia and Somalia? They were not red state looney politicians. They sponsor the “war on drugs” and our huge number of prisoners in this “free” country.

  3. DejaVuAllOver

    Well said, Timr. Here in Montana the right-wing crazies seem to be getting stronger, more vocal, more angry and stupider. Their lust for a judeo-christian empire or “rapture” or power to people who were always on the losing end of every playground fight, class president election or prom date request, seems to increase every day.

    Yesterday was a GREAT day for this country. And I’m just hoping the optimism will last long enough that I can sell my house and get the HELL away from these red-state loonies, once and for all!

  4. Timr

    After all is said and done, 1 threat to the future of the US Republic is still out there and is gaining strength from generation to generation. I am referring of course to Authoritarianism. There have been literally hundereds of studies, many multi generational, since the victorious allies of WWII set out in 1947 to understand how a single person could subvert an entire nation of law abiding people.

    Where we stand now; There are, according to the studies,(google Authoritarianism) about 25% of the US population who are either Authoritarian Followers-AF or Leaders-AL or the third branch the Leader Follower-ALF.

    Neither these people nor their philosophy are going to go quietly away. Think “Jesus Camp” the movie or Think of the evangelical mega churchs and their leaders, think of the followers of Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage and others of their ilk whose followers believe blindly what they are told. Look to the right wing, conservative and military blogs this day after the election and see how they blindly repeat what their chosen leaders tell them if you don’t believe me.

    Admittedly this is a generational threat, but 25 years ago only about 15% of our nations population were Authoritarians. Please look at Authoritarianism, see how a person is determined to be a AF or an AL. It will open your eyes.

    I still believe that the future of the US will be an Authoritanian style dictatorship, most likely with elements of fascism and theocracy led by multinational and military-industrial corporation oligarchs. President Elect Obama might dely what I see as the inevitable progression of the US from a free republic to a future police state. Now if McCain had won, I believe that the future that I envision would have come about much sooner, perhaps in my lifetime. Now, maybe within 50-80 years I believe the US will become a 3rd world dictatorship with a very strong, perhaps the strongest, military in the world and visions of empire.