Barack Obama sounded presidential in his first speech to the nation after his overwhelming victory.
"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," he said in the opening of the historic speech –– the first given by a black president of the United States.
The crowd of over 100,000 –– that included Oprah Winfrey and Jesse Jackson –– swelled with emotion as exuberant cheers mixed with tears streaming down faces at Grant Park in Chicago, Obama's home town.
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"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," Obama said.
His landslide victory, with at least 338 electoral votes, allowed him to speak from a position of strength, and put national security in his acceptance speech.
"To all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world –– our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down –– we will defeat you."
Obama also praised his defeated rival, Arizona senator John McCain.
"I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and he’s fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead."