News

    Obama Wins Historic Election

    Barack Obama has been elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African-American elected to the office.  Mike O'Sullivan reports, the Democratic senator from Illinois promised to unify the country when he takes office, January 20, 2009.

    In Grant Park in Chicago, hundreds of thousands of supporters reacted with screams of joy as American television networks projected Barack Obama as the next U.S. president.

    In Phoenix, Arizona, losing Republican candidate Senator John McCain conceded the race, telling his somber supporters they had reached the end of a long journey.

    "The American people have spoken and they have spoken clearly," said McCain.  "A little while ago, I had the honor of calling Senator Barack Obama to congratulate him on being elected the next president of the country that we both love."

    A short time later, Senator Obama mounted the stage in Chicago with his wife and two daughters, then spoke to his supporters in a televised address that was seen around the world.

    "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," he said.

    The election is historic.  When Mr. Obama takes office in January, he will become first the African-American president in the nation's 232-year history.  His election ends eight years of Republican control of the White House under President George W. Bush.

    As the vote count progressed, the Democrat far outpaced his rival in the state-by-state tally of electoral votes.  The winning candidate needs 270 electoral votes.  Senator McCain fell far short, as Mr. Obama won such contested states as Ohio and Pennsylvania, which many saw as crucial for a McCain victory.
     
    In his victory speech in Chicago, Mr. Obama spoke of the challenges facing the nation, which include the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, what he called a planet in peril and the worst financial crisis in a century.

    "There's new energy to harness, new jobs to be created, new schools to build and threats to meet, alliances to repair.  The road ahead will be long.  Our climb will be steep," said Mr. Obama. "We may not get there in one year or even in one term.  But America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there."

    As Senator Obama called for unity in the face of the country's problems, Senator McCain pledged his support, despite the differences the two men expressed in the campaign.

    "No doubt, many of those differences remain," McCain said.  "These are difficult times for our country and I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face."  

    In cities around the United States, there were gatherings to celebrate the historic election.  VOA's Kane Farabaugh was in the crowd in Chicago.

    "There's a few tears, but many more smiles," said Farabaugh.  "I would say the atmosphere here is jubilant."

    In Washington, D.C., Edward Badu, who was born in the African nation of Ghana, was thrilled.  Senator Obama has African links himself.  His father was born in Kenya.  Badu said he can scarcely believe what has happened.

    "It looks like it's a dream, you know.  Yeah, it is like a dream," he said.  "I still can't believe it."

    Angela Young, from Atlanta, was in Washington on business, and says she felt the same excitement.

    "I think it's wonderful.  I mean, just the sense of pride for America, period.  And, a lot of hope," she said.  "Real hope."

    This presidential race aroused intense interest around the world.  Senator Obama had a message for those who are viewing events in America from a distance.

    "And, all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces, those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared," said Mr. Obama.  "The new dawn of American leadership is at hand."

    President-elect Obama will enter office with a sympathetic Congress.  Democrats strengthened their grip on both the House of Representatives and Senate in Tuesday's election, winning Republican-held Senate seats in Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire and North Carolina.  They fell short of the 60 Senate seats they had hoped for, which would have allowed them to avoid procedural blocks known as filibusters.  This will be the first time since 1995 that the Democrats have held the presidency and a majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora