Barack Obama was elected the nation's first African-American president, defeating Sen. John McCain decisively Tuesday as citizens surged to the polls in a presidential race that climaxed amid the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

"Change has come," Sen. Obama told a huge throng of cheering supporters in Chicago at a midnight rally.

In his first speech as victor, Sen. Obama catalogued the challenges ahead. "The greatest of a lifetime," he said, "two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century." (See the full text of Obama's speech.)

He added, "There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as president, and we know that government can't solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face.''

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Click to see an interactive map of election results.

The culmination of the epic two-year campaign marks a historic moment in a nation that since its founding has struggled with racial divisions. It also ushers in a period of dominance for Democrats in Washington for the first time since the early years of President Bill Clinton's first term. With Tuesday's elections, Sen. Obama's party will control both houses of Congress as well as the White House, setting the scene for Democrats to push an ambitious agenda from health care to financial regulation to ending the war in Iraq.

In becoming the U.S.'s 44th president, Illinois Sen. Obama, 47 years old, defeated Arizona Sen. McCain, 72, a veteran lawmaker and Vietnam War hero. Despite a reputation for bucking his own party, Sen. McCain could not overcome a Democratic tide, which spurred voters to take a risk on a candidate with less than four years of national political experience. Sen. Obama is the first northern Democrat elected president since John F. Kennedy in 1960....READ MORE....


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1 Comment

  1. Priya Says,

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Shashank Krishna
Bangalore, up, India
nothin much to say.........doin in IIIT allahabad loves bloggingn hacking.... :) and loooves blogging
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