‘Change has come to America,’ first African-American leader tells country
A crowd of 125,000 people jammed Grant Park in Chicago, where Obama addressed the nation for the first time as its president-elect at midnight ET. Hundreds of thousands more — Mayor Richard Daley said he would not be surprised if a million Chicagoans jammed the streets — watched on a large television screen outside the park.
“If there is anyone out there who doubts that America is a place where anything is possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer,” Obama declared.
“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 to a long roar.
McCain notes history in the makingObama congratulated his opponent, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, for his “unimaginable” service to the United States, first as a prisoner of war for 5½ years in North Vietnam and then for nearly three decades in Congress.
McCain called Obama to offer his congratulations at 11 p.m. ET, Obama’s chief spokesman, Robert Gibbs, told NBC News. Obama thanked McCain for his “class and honor” during the campaign and said he was eager to sit down and talk about how the two of them could work together.