A crowd of thousands gathered in Grant Park, in Chicago, Illinois, on November 4, awaiting a moment that many thought they would never see.
Shortly after 10:00 p.m. in Chicago, that moment arrived, bringing with it a sense of historical
significance that seemed to overwhelm many in the crowd. Senator Barack Obama became the President-elect of the United States.
While every new
presidency is the beginning of a new era in the United States, Obama's victory is a remarkable milestone. He is the first African-American elected to the office. As recently as 45 years ago, many African Americans were not even assured of their right to vote in an
Although not all of this year's votes were counted by the time Obama was named the winner, he appeared to have won a decisive victory. His message of hope and change connected with a majority of voters in the states with the biggest populations. His running mate, Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware, will be the next Vice President.
"Change has come to America," Obama told the sea of
supporters at Grant Park. "This is your victory." Uniting the Nation after a long fight, McCain, whose military and government service to his country have gained him wide admiration, vowed to stand behind Barack Obama when he is the new President of the United States.
"The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly," McCain told a crowd of his supporters in Arizona. "I pledge to (Obama) tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face."
McCain faced an uphill battle from the very start. His party's sitting President, George W. Bush, had become very unpopular with voters before McCain even won the Republican nomination. Polls also showed that McCain's choice of vice-presidential running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, concerned some voters. They thought she had too little
experience for the job.
Grateful, and still
hopeful, Obama will take over as Commander-in-Chief at a time when financial problems have Americans worried. Many companies are making less money than they expected to, this year. Thousands of workers are losing their jobs. Being the leader of this country will be no easy task, especially in the early days. But Obama told his supporters how grateful he is for the chance to lead the nation out of these challenging times.
"Two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial disaster in a century," he said. "The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep, we may not get there in one year... But America, I've never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there."
In January, Obama and his family will move into the White House and begin a new life. For President Barack Obama, that is when the real work will begin.
By Martha Pickerill,
Time for Kids
Obama Makes His Speech
America's new first family came out on stage at 11:57 p.m. Eastern Time. President-Elect Barack Obama walked out with his wife Michelle and two daughters Malia and Sasha to a cheering crowd of about 160,000 people at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois.
America now has its first African-American President. "If there is anyone out there who still doubts that all things are possible, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer," he said. "It is the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches by numbers that people have never seen. They believed that this time must be different. That their voices could be that difference.
"Americans have sent a message to the world that we have never been a
collection of individuals or red state and blue states, but we are and always will be the United State of America."
He acknowledged his wife and kids and told them the thing they have been waiting to hear. "You have earned the new puppy that is coming with us to the White House," he said. Michelle Obama revealed in an interview to Scholastic News Kid Reporters in Chicago early in the race that the kids were promised a dog win or lose.
"Because of what we did on this day in this election in this defining moment, change has come to America," he told Americans.
‘Ask the Kid Reporters’,