Thank you. Thank you, my friends. Thank you for coming here on this beautiful Arizona evening.
My friends, we have — we have come to the end of a long journey. The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly.
A little while ago, I had the honor of calling Senator Barack Obama to congratulate him.
To congratulate him on being elected the next president of the country that we both love.
In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving.
This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight.
I've always believed that America offers opportunities to all who have the industry and will to seize it. Senator Obama believes that, too.
But we both recognize that, though we have come a long way from the old injustices that once stained our nation's reputation and denied some Americans the full blessings of American citizenship, the memory of them still had the power to wound.
A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt's invitation of Booker T. Washington to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage in many quarters.
America today is a world away from the cruel and frightful bigotry of that time. There is no better evidence of this than the election of an African-American to the presidency of the United States.
Let there be no reason now ... Let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth...
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
In response to the recent Weekly Reader poll (and children's ability to reflect their parents' attitudes and therefore predict their presidential preferences) I tried my hand at electoral prognosticating, and feel pretty good about the effort.
I said, "If my math and my crystal ball are correct - I see it closer to 352 for Obama, and 186 for McCain."
As it stands this morning President-elect Barack Obama has 349 electoral votes with Missouri and North Carolina not settled. If a recanvas confirms the current vote Obama will take North Carolina (2,101,986 to 2,089,826) and John McCain will take Missouri (1,442,577 to 1,436,724).
If that holds true, it'll be 364 for Obama and 173 for McCain.
Over all I made two bad calls and one particularly good one. I thought North Carolina and Missouri would each go the opposite way. But, I did see Indiana trending blue.
So congratulations to Barack Obama and to America for this historic result. Obama will need our support to clean up the current mess in Washington and get the economy working again.
And finally, in his concession speech, we got a glimpse of the real John McCain - the guy I thought we'd see during the campaign. The straight shooter who was attractive to moderates - gracious and classy in defeat.