The world has seen it all: Obama win breaks barriers


    [Editor’s Note:  The author is Central Luzon Bureau Chief of Tribune U.S.A. and only recently completed his second multi-state U.S. tour, with first-hand perspectives of American society and politics.  For this article, he interviewed the Tribune U.S.A. (T/USA) news crew, by phone and E-mail, to zero in on the mind-boggling “firsts” of the 2008 U.S. presidential election.]

    Analysts around the globe call it “breathtaking”.

    There are pundits who make a variation to call the turn of events “breathstopping”.  Media experts say the episode is “sensational, unbelievable”.

    America on Tuesday, November 4, 2008, signalled to the world an historic, unprecedented transition to a new dawn by electing Illinois Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, 47, the 44th President of the country of 50 states and 300 million people.

    Obama is the first African-American to win the White House plum in the 232-year history of the American republic.

    “There was near-pandemonium of excitement all over America,” reports the T/USA crew that covers U.S. politics.  “Polls opened at 7 a.m., November 4, and right after 11 p.m. of the same day when all tabulations were complete, cable and regular networks were already announcing Obama’s victory.  The loser, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, 72, delivered his concession speech from the Biltmore Resort [Phoenix].  Within just minutes, Obama gave his acceptance speech at Grant Park [Chicaco, Illinois] amid a tumultuous celebration that reverberated worldwide.  Seventy-one million televiewers watched the Election Night victory ceremonies. ”

    The T/USA reported from the primaries and caucuses to the actual Election Day on November 4, summarizing that “the finale was not even close. Obama delivered a TKO.  As in a boxing match, the end was swift and telling”.

    Americans hugged, cried, raised their fists in triumph, and screamed in joy—all in jubilation about a turning point in American history that the nation’s racial barrier has been shattered, and that, from here on, natural-born Americans of any color have a right to dream and to achieve the highest aspirations, including the U.S. Presidency.

    “Change has come to America,” Obama declared on globally hooked-up live TV and cable networks.  “This is our time.  This is our moment.”

    The T/USA crew reports that on Monday, November 10, President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush welcomed President-elect Obama and his wife, Michelle, to the White House as part of the transition and familiarization process.  The Obamas are moving in with their children Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, after the President-elect takes his oath of office on January 20, 2009. 

    Obama won with his running-mate, Sen. Joe Biden.

    The VP candidate of the McCain ticket, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, lost the election in her first bid for a national office.

    Bush and Obama transition teams are at work for a full and smooth takeover by the new administration—effective and seamless handover of power being a esteemed tradition in American law and governance.

    The Tribune U.S.A. additionally reported: 

    “Obama bagged a safe margin in the popular vote, and just past midnight after the polls closed was already the decisive winner with 338 electoral votes against the 159 of his Republican rival, Mr. McCain.

    “States previously known as Republican ‘red’ turfs tilted in favor of the Democrats (‘blue’) to give Obama a commanding lead in early tabulations, including Obama’s near-sweep of the battleground states that McCain hoped to win to score an upset.

    “November 4 climaxed 21 months of primaries, caucuses, and the election itself, the Republican and Democratic standard-bearers barnstorming city-to-city in relentless drives.

    “The battle had been bitter and acrimonious at times, the most expensive of any U.S.
    presidential battle.  Economy and war were the top issues.  People wanted change.  So they voted for Obama.”


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