If there is anyone outthere who still doubts that America is a place where all things arepossible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive inour time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight isyour answer.



It‘s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools andchurches in numbers this nation has never seen, by people who waitedthree hours and four hours, many for the first time in their lives,because they believed that this time must be different, that theirvoices could be that difference.


It‘s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat andRepublican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay,straight, disabled and not disabled. Americans who sent a message tothe world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or acollection of red states and blue states. We are, and always will be,the United States of America.


It‘s the answer that led those who’ve been told for so long by so manyto be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve to puttheir hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hopeof a better day.


It’s been a long time coming,but tonight, because of what we did onthis date in this election at this defining moment change has come toAmerica.


A little bit earlier this evening, I received an extraordinarily gracious call from Sen. McCain.

Sen. McCain fought long and hard in this campaign. And he‘s fought evenlonger and harder for the country that he loves. He has enduredsacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine. We arebetter off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader.I congratulate him; I congratulate Gov. Palin for all that they’veachieved. And I look forward to working with them to renew thisnation‘s promise in the months ahead.


I want to thank mypartner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart, and spokefor the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton androde with on the train home to Delaware, the vice president-elect ofthe United States, Joe Biden.


And I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding supportof my best friend for the last 16 years the rock of our family, thelove of my life, the nation‘s next first lady Michelle Obama.


Sashaand Malia I love you both more than you can imagine. And you haveearned the new puppy that‘s coming with us to the new White House.


And while she‘s no longer with us, I know my grandmother’s watching,along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight. Iknow that my debt to them is beyond measure.


To my sister Maya, my sister Alma, all my other brothers and sisters,thank  you so much for all the support that you‘ve given me. I amgrateful to them.


And to my campaign manager, David Plouffe, the unsung hero of thiscampaign, who built the best — the best political campaign, I think, inthe history of the United States of America.To my chief strategistDavid Axelrod who‘s been a partner with me every step of the way.To thebest campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics you madethis happen, and I am forever grateful for what you’ve sacrificed toget it done.


But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you. It belongs to you.


I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn‘t startwith much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched inthe halls of Washington. It began in the backyards of Des Moines andthe living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston. It wasbuilt by working men and  women who dug into what little savings theyhad to give 5 and 10 and 20 to the cause.


It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of theirgeneration‘s apathy who left their homes and their families for jobsthat offered little pay and less sleep.

It drew strength fromthe not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heatto knock on doors of perfect strangers, and from the millions ofAmericans who volunteered and organized and proved that more than twocenturies later a government of the people, by the people, and for thepeople has not perished from the Earth.


This is your victory.


AndI know you didn‘t do this just to win an election. And I know youdidn’t do it for me.You did it because you understand the enormity ofthe task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know thechallenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime —two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.


Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans wakingup in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risktheir lives for  us.There are mothers and fathers who will lie awakeafter the children fall asleep and wonder how they‘ll make the mortgageor pay their doctors’ bills or  save enough for their child‘s collegeeducation. There’s new energy to harness, new jobs to be created, newschools to build, and threats to meet, alliances to repair.


The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not getthere in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never beenmore hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you,we as a people will get there.


There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won‘t agreewith every decision or policy I make as president. And we know thegovernment can’t solve every problem. But I will always be honest withyou about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially whenwe disagree. And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work ofremaking this nation, the only way it‘s been done in America for 221years — block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by callousedhand.


What began 21 months ago in thedepths of winter cannot end on this autumn night. This victory alone isnot the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make thatchange. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. Itcan‘t happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spiritof sacrifice.


So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, whereeach of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not onlyourselves but each other. Let us remember that, if this financialcrisis taught us anything, it‘s that we cannot have a thriving WallStreet while Main Street suffers. In this country, we rise or fall asone nation, as one people.


Let‘sresist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship andpettiness  and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.Let’s remember that it was a man from this state who first carried thebanner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded onthe values of self-reliance and individual liberty and nationalunity.Those are values that we all share.


And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we doso with a measure of humility and determination to heal the dividesthat have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far moredivided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion mayhave strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.


And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not havewon your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And Iwill be your president, too.


And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, fromparliaments and palaces, to those who are huddled around radios in theforgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but ourdestiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.


To those — to those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you.To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all thosewho have wondered if America‘s beacon still burns as bright: Tonight weproved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not fromthe might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduringpower of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyieldinghope.


That‘s the true genius of America: that America can change. Our union can be perfected. What we’ve already achieved gives us hope for what wecan and must achieve tomorrow.


This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told forgenerations. But one that‘s on my mind tonight’s about a woman who casther ballot in Atlanta. She‘s a lot like the millions of others whostood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for onething: Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.


She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were nocars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn‘tvote for two  reasons — because she was a woman and because of the colorof her skin.


And tonight, I think about all that she‘s seen throughout her centuryin America — the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress;the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed onwith that American creed: Yes we can.


At a time when women‘s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed,she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot.Yes we can.


When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land,she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs, a newsense of common purpose. Yes we can.


When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, shewas there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy wassaved. Yes we can.


She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, abridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that “WeShall Overcome.” Yes we can.


A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world wasconnected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in thiselection, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote,because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and thedarkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.


America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is somuch more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves — if our childrenshould live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so luckyto live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? Whatprogress will we have made?


This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is ourtime, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity forour kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; toreclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that,out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where weare met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can‘t,we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of apeople: Yes, we can.


Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.



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