Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Barak own

US has first African American as President, catholic as Vice-Prez.Overcoming their nation’s torturous racial history, American voters overwhelmingly elected Barack Obama as the first black president of the United States, turning to the inspiring young senator as their best hope to revive a country weary from economic turmoil and war.Obama tore up the US political map as he defeated John McCain, the veteran Republican senator who had struggled in vain to distance himself from George W Bush’s unpopular presidency. Obama captured states once seen as Republican strongholds, including Florida, Indiana and Virginia, while defending all traditionally Democratic states.The election of Obama, the son of black Kenyan man and a white Kansan woman, is a remarkable turning point for a nation that denied the vote to many African Americans just decades ago.“If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are 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 said at a victory rally before more than 100,000 supporters in Chicago’s Grant Park. After almost two years of campaigning on a theme of hope and change, Obama told the crowd, “Change has come to America.”Obama scored a decisive win the in the electoral vote, the state-by-state tally that determines the winner. Needing 270 votes to claim the presidency, Obama had 349 to McCain’s 163, with Missouri and North Carolina too close to call.By comparison, Bush won the White House twice, and never tallied more than 286 electoral votes. The largely symbolic popular vote was much closer: Obama had 52 per cent to 46 per cent.Voter turnout, still being counted, was expected to shatter records. The race was the most rivetting in memory, and certainly the longest and most expensive. Obama and McCain had been on the campaign train for almost two years.McCain called his former rival to concede defeat and mark the end of his own 10-year quest for the White House. “This is an historic election, and I recognise the special significance it has for African-Americans and the special pride that must be theirs tonight,” McCain told supporters in Arizona.“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.” Bush added his congratulations from the White House and promised a smooth transition.“What an awesome night for you,” he told Obama, who picked a seasoned Senate veteran, Joseph Biden of Delaware, as his running mate. Biden will be the first Roman Catholic vice president.Vital stats•Obama secured 349 electoral votes to McCain’s 163•Popular vote was much closer: Obama 52 pc; McCain 46 per cent•Obama earned 62.98 million votes nationwide and McCain, 55.78 million