Obama Wins Presidency
Celebrates victory in 2008 election with 160,000 people in Chicago
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8
America has its first African-American President.
At 11 p.m. Tuesday, November 4, 2008, Senator Barack Obama was projected as the 44th President of the United States. Americans and Obama supporters from the Harlem section of New York to villages in Kenya, Africa, to the more than 160,000 people gathered at the Obama victory rally in Grant Park in Chicago cheered, hugged, and wept when the news was announced.
For the next hour, the crowd in Chicago grew and waited for Obama to address the nation. After taking the stage, Obama's wife, Michelle, and his two daughters, Sasha and Malia, joined him on stage. Obama delivered a victory speech that made some supporters ecstatic while others silently soaked up the moment.
"It's been a long time coming," Obama said. "Change has come to America."
For Obama, change begins with getting people to work together — despite party, class, and race.
"As a country, we rise and fall as one nation," Obama said.
He referenced many of the divisions that Americans face, but made sure to point out that he will work closely with Republican John McCain and his supporters.
"I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president too," Obama said.
Obama also began laying out his what will be important pieces of his first term as President. One of the most important is restoring America's reputation abroad, and ensuring that the nation is safe from outside harm.
"Our stories are singular, but our struggles are shared. And a new generation of American leadership is at hand," Obama said.
An Inspirational Moment
Over the course of the 2008 Election, President-elect Obama engaged and inspired people with his speeches. The one he gave Tuesday night was one of his most energetic and powerful.
"I thought that Obama's speech tonight really enforced the message that he has had throughout the campaign," Malcolm Bim, a Chicago resident at the rally said. "I'm ready for Obama's ideas, and I really hope future generations greatly benefit [from them]."
Aeial Guegh, a French college student studying in Chicago says she is already benefiting from Obama's ideas. She was at the victory speech and was impressed by Obama's victory and his remarks.
"I came to America because of your culture and your life," Guegh said. "But I've always been a little bit nervous. After hearing Obama's speech I am amazed. I am confident in America again."
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Scholastic Kid Reporters covered Election Day from their home states across the country. Check out their coverage of Election 2008 at www.scholastic.com/election2008.
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Additional reporting by Allie Sakowicz and Joe Wlos.