Obama started his electrifying election night speech by reminding us that America is STILL a land of possibility and the realization of dreams. He spoke of us being a diverse people while seeking to unite us by saying that we are not a collection of red and blue states…we are the UNITED STATES of America.
He was gracious in speaking of John McCain and his sacrifices for and service to our country. Obama said he looks forward to working with McCain to “renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead.” He also acknowledged Joe Biden, his best friend and the rock of his family Michelle Obama, children Malia and Sascha, and his family. Obama acknowledged the “unsung hero of this campaign who built the best political campaign, I think, in the United States of America”…David Plouffe. He also thanked David Axelrod, his campaign strategist and long-time friend, and other campaign workers. He spoke of how the young and old alike sacrificed, volunteered, and gave – a victory made possible by the people.
He spoke of the challenges ahead, but then assured us that “We, as a people, will get there.” The crowd agreed: “Yes we can!” Obama assured us he will always be honest with us and needs us to join hands with him to make changes. He asked us to resist falling back on partisanship and pettiness and to heal the divides that have “held back our progress.” He quoted Lincoln: “We are not enemies, but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.” He appealed to those who didn’t vote for him and asked for their support and help and said “I will be your president, too.” He sent out a message to those around the world that a “new dawn of American leadership is at hand.”
He warned: “To those who would tear the world down, we will defeat you.” He then said: “To those who seek peace and security, we support you.” He embued us with inspiration by saying: “To all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright, tonight we’ve proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from 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.”
He then told a stirring story of a 106-year-old African-American woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta and told of the changes she has seen in her lifetime, which included not being able to vote because she was a woman and was black. He reminded us of difficult and powerful times that America and the world have endured during that woman’s lifetime and affirmed after each story: “YES WE CAN.” The crowd chanted back “YES WE CAN.” He ended by affirming the “timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people”” YES WE CAN.”
Watch it for yourself for the first time…or the second, third, or fourth.