President-elect Barack Obama praised the peaceful and orderly
transition of power in his final radio address before Tuesday's
inauguration, saying Americans should not take it for granted.
the weekly Democratic radio address, President-elect Barack Obama
looked forward to his own historic inauguration just four days away.
Tuesday, the world will be watching as America celebrates a rite that
goes to the heart of our greatness as a nation. For the forty-third
time, we will execute the peaceful transfer of power from one president
to the next," he said.
The soon-to-be first U.S.
African-American president in history said since the first inauguration
220 years ago, the United States has undergone many changes. But he
said the peaceful and orderly transition of power from one president to
another, and at times from one political party to another, is a
constant that should not be taken for granted.
"For us, it is
easy to take this central aspect of our democracy for granted. But we
must remember that our nation was founded at a time of kings and
queens, and even today billions of people around the world cannot
imagine their leaders giving up power without strife or bloodshed," he
Mr. Obama commended President Bush and his administration for all their cooperation and assistance in this time of transition.
final leg of Mr. Obama's long journey to the White House is under way
Saturday, with a day-long railroad trip from Philadelphia to
Washington, D.C, retracing part of the route former President Abraham
Lincoln took to his inauguration. The association with President
Lincoln is meaningful to Mr. Obama, not just because both men came to
Washington from Illinois, but also because Lincoln signed the
Emancipation Proclamation ending slavery in the United States and is a
hero to Mr. Obama.
Mr. Obama and his wife Michelle, and their
two daughters Malia and Sasha are likely to be met by crowds of
cheering fans along the 220-kilometer rail route.
also celebrating her 45th birthday Saturday. The tour begins in
Philadelphia, with the next stop in Wilmington, Delaware, where the
Obamas will be joined by Vice President-elect Joe Biden and his
family. The next stop will be in Baltimore, Maryland, before the final
stop in the nation's capital.
On Sunday, a huge crowd of a
million people or more are expected to attend a free outdoor inaugural
concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. It will feature
performers including Bono, Beyonce, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and