Thursday, November 27, 2008

Complete Text of Remarks by President-Elect Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008, Chicago, Ill.

Nov. 4, 2008, Chicago, Ill.

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.

It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled –- Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection 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 have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

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.

I just received a very gracious call from Sen. McCain. [UPDATE: Complete text of Sen. John McCain's concession speech available here.] He fought long and hard in this campaign, and he’s fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Gov. Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke....
...for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the vice president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nation’s next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House. And while she’s no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics – you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you’ve sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to -– it belongs to you.
I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn’t start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington –- it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.

It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation’s apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.

I know you didn’t do this just to win an election and I know you didn’t do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. 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.

Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they’ll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor’s bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America –- I have never been more 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 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.

I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it’s been done in America for 221 years –- block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek -– it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.
So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other.

Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers -– in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House –- a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity.

Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends…though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.” And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn -– I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world –- our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down –- we will defeat you.

To those who seek peace and security -– we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright –- tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

For that is the true genius of America -– that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.
This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing –- Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons –- because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in 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 on with 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 and a new sense of common purpose. Yes, we can.
When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes, we can.

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

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest 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 so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves –- if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time –- to put our 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 and reaffirm that fundamental truth –- that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

Yes, we can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.
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This is probably the best acceptance speech ever given and will be studied and dissected by generations of students from now on. But consider this:
Regardless of what you might believe, we didn't elect a black man to the Presidency tonight. Rather, I submit to you that tonight we elected a man to be President who just happens to be black. The difference therein is great and we must never confuse the two. That is what will determine and define our greatness and whether or not we have truly subscribed to his message of change that was largely responsible for his election.
Posted by: Glenn Sand from Moses Lake, WA November 04, 2008 at 10:10 PM
this is an amazing win for all american people. I am so excited, thi sis a moment all americans can rejoice in and remember for the rest of their lives. OBAMA you did it! THREE cheers for HOPE and CHANGE. GOD bless you all!
Posted by: steve November 04, 2008 at 10:21 PM
This is a beautiful, inspiring speech. And something he said echoed my exact thoughts this evening. This election is the chance we have been striving for. It's not the end of the work. It's the beginning of a window of opportunity we have to make the changes we are seeking towards a more equitable society. It's the beginning of the work. Now is an incredible, uplifting, awe-inspiring time for those of us who thought it was beyond our wildest dreams that we would actually have this chance. We need to seize it and BE THE CHANGE WE WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD. Let's get to work.Peace and gratitude.
Posted by: Lisa W. from Orange County, CA November 04, 2008 at 10:57 PM
America should be very cautious to not congratulate herself too quickly nor with smug arrogance. Our election of President Obama is not a solution, is not a step forward, is not change. This election is nothing more than appointing a new name to our American president. No matter the candidate, we have, so far, only changed the name of our president.
President Obama, from this day forward, is now responsible to honor his promises to America, is accountable to our peoples and to our world. Eloquent rhetoric will solve no problem, will not produce betterment for our nation nor our world. We Americans are responsible to lend our support to President Obama while he keeps his word. We Americans are also responsible to impeach President Obama should he violate our trust. We Americans are both responsible for and accountable for our electing Barack Obama as our president. Should he keep his word, should he prove his worth, we Americans can take pride in our choice. Should he not keep his word, should he not prove his worth, we Americans can take pride in impeaching him.
Our America is in dire straights. Our world is in dire straights. We Americans failed our country and failed our world by sitting idle while President Bush abused every founding principle of our country, while offending the Spirit of America. We Americans are accountable for George Bush and we are accountable for Barack Obama. This time, my personal expectation is Americans will stand up and accept full responsibility. This is a responsibility to support our newly elected president, and is a responsibility to impeach and remove our newly elected president should he fail us. My personal expectation is Americans will not sit idle, will not simply hope rather will stand up and work to solve our problems.
This time, if our president proves to be a false promise, I will demand Americans stand up, impeach him then remove him from office rather than sit idle while he destroys our America. Never again should we allow a George Bush to disgrace our America, to shame our America.
President Obama, I give you my word I will work hard, shoulder-to-shoulder with you, and President Obama I give you my word if you fail America I will do all within my power to remove you from office and cast you to the wayside.
My adamant expectation is all Americans will adopt my firm but fair attitude. If not, I will be quick to cast you to the wayside and quick to constantly remind you of your being accountable.
Mark my words Americans, I will hold you accountable.
Okpulot TahaChoctaw Nation
Posted by: Purl Gurl November 04, 2008 at 11:10 PM
Studying abroad has awakened me to the impact of our American politics on the world as a whole. Reading Obama's beautiful acceptance speech gave me the chills even without seeing him speak. I know that he is the answer the world has been looking for in an American President. We Americans must live by the wisdom Barack Obama imparts on us in his eloquent speeches and unite under our flag to overcome our challenges. Today, the world breathes a sigh of relief as this election gave us the answer we were all looking for.
Posted by: Max from Sydney November 04, 2008 at 11:40 PM
Yeah I love the way he first thanks his campaign manager and strategist. And then says suffer sunshines, you gave me $600 million to buy my way into the White House and now the seas will stil rise and I will do what I like whether you agree or not. And yes you now WILL be hearing alot from Bill Ayers, and Farrakhan, and Wright, and Rezko, and Khalid. Hey they might get to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom. What a sad day for America. To vote a man in who shares the same ideology as the men who tortured Americans like McCain.
Posted by: nony November 05, 2008 at 12:50 AM
America is back on track again! Set there by a people that is fair, kind, and sincere. Everyone will see America as that beackon of light for all others that have less hope and security.God Bless America!
Posted by: jethromayham November 05, 2008 at 02:26 AM
Good morning America! Finally a day of hope for you and the whole world!Ursula from Italy
Posted by: Ursula November 05, 2008 at 04:38 AM
Poor Girl !!!
I read too much bitterment.
President Obama was very clear that he needs us all together to make he change we need, He needs people with clearer views, strong ethics y great energy to re-build our great nation.
A Sour heart bring the same old past.
President Obama doesn't need expectators, he needs active people with bright ideas !!!
Posted by: Liah November 05, 2008 at 04:55 AM
It seems some Latinos has problems with black people.
Congratulations to all americans for your decision to vote Obama as new president.
Posted by: Neumann November 05, 2008 at 05:09 AM
I didn't vote for Obama, but his speech does give me encouragement. May his leadership follow that pattern. Regardless of my concerns about him, it is a great speech as was McCain's concession. We only have a chance if the committed leaders will put the country first over party. Obama is now to be my president, so he begins with my trust and hope unless he (like Clinton did) proves himself unworthy of that trust.
Posted by: Jim November 05, 2008 at 05:11 AM
Below is an excerpt taken from Obama’s acceptance speech. I guess I hear two things. One: I may never deliver on the promises I made to the people of this country, and 2) If I do deliver it may take me up to 8 years (and that is him assuming he will get elected for a second term) .
Wow, the election machine button isn’t even cold and Obama is almost reneging on his promises. Baaa, Baaa. off to the shearing shed we go.
“The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America –- I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you –- we as a people will get there”

Monday, November 24, 2008

Barack Obama New Book on Sale Now

Lee Davis has written two new books on President Barack Obama Elect
Please go to to

President Elect at DNC

President Barack Obama