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Barack Obama's Victory Speech

Barack Obama's Victory Speech

President-elect Barack Obama spoke at a rally in Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois, after being elected into the White House Tuesday night. Here’s the transcript of his speech:

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.

It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen, by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different, that their voices could be that difference.

It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states.

We are, and always will be, the United States of America.

(Click inside to continue reading Barack Obama’s Victory Speech…)

Barack Obama’s Victory Speech

It’s the answer that led those who’ve been told for so long by so many to be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment change has come to America.

A little bit earlier this evening, I received an extraordinarily gracious call from Sen. McCain.

Sen. McCain fought long and hard in this campaign. And he’s fought even longer and harder for the country that he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine. We are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader.

I congratulate him; I congratulate Gov. Palin for all that they’ve achieved. And I look forward to working with them to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart, and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on the train home to Delaware, the vice president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

And I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last 16 years the rock of our family, the love of my life, the nation’s next first lady Michelle Obama.

Sasha and Malia I love you both more than you can imagine. And you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the new White House.

And while she’s no longer with us, I know my grandmother’s watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight. I know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my sister Maya, my sister Alma, all my other brothers and sisters, thank you so much for all the support that you’ve given me. I am grateful to them.

And to my campaign manager, David Plouffe, the unsung hero of this campaign, who built the best — the best political campaign, I think, in the history of the United States of America.

To my chief strategist David Axelrod who’s been a partner with me every step of the way.

To the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you’ve sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you. It belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn’t start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington. It began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston. It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give $5 and $10 and $20 to the cause.

It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation’s apathy who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep.

It drew strength from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on doors of perfect strangers, and from the millions of Americans who volunteered and organized and proved that more than two centuries later a government of the people, by the people, and for the people has not perished from the Earth.

This is your victory.

And I know you didn’t do this just to win an election. And I know you didn’t do it for me.

You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime — two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.

Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us.

There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after the children fall asleep and wonder how they’ll make the mortgage or pay their doctors’ bills or save enough for their child’s college education.

There’s new energy to harness, new jobs to be created, new schools to build, and threats to meet, alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there.

I promise you, we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as president. And we know the government can’t solve every problem.

But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it’s been done in America for 221 years — block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began 21 months ago in the depths of winter cannot end on this autumn night.

This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.

It can’t happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.

Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers.

In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let’s resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.

Let’s remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity.

Those are values that we all share. And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.

As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.

And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.

And 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 the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.

To those — to those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.

That’s the true genius of America: that America can change. Our union can be perfected. What we’ve already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight’s about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing: Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons — because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America — the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs, a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that “We Shall Overcome.” Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination.

And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change.

Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves — if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment.

This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.

Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.

Just Jared on Facebook
Photos: Joe Raedle/Getty
Posted to: Barack Obama, Michelle Obama

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  • Dani

    Loved the coverage of the rally. Such hope in everyone. Hope it stays.

  • venny

    WOOOOOO! Obama is awesome im so happy he won he’ll do so much for the US :)

  • Madeleine


    he has a lot of work ahead of him, and it will be so hard, but he was (and is) the best choice for president. i believe that he can get america out of our current state, and help us become the wonderful country that we were, are, and always will be.

    OBAMA ’08!!!!!!!

  • asd


  • Gasol_fan16

    Great acceptance speech! It sounds like there will be change I hope and that is what America needs right now! Great coverage!

  • w00t!

    This is how its suppose to be.

  • African Girl

    Jared, you gotta make that CHICAGO part really big, seriously! :razz: :P

    So freaking, hysterically happy about this election. It showed you don’t have to stoop to the gutters or play dirty tricks to win an election. He kept his head up and his eyes focused on the price. There is hope for clean politics

    Good for him! :)

  • izabella

    omg! thank god Barack Obama won!!
    I can’t wait to see what he will do now!! ♥

  • kathy

    I am SO Proud

  • Ann

    Yeah he has lot work ahead of him to take our money that we work our ass off and give it to the people that are capable of working!! Oh I forgot he’s gonna pull troops out and give us another terrorist attack on our country. If you heard the news today that our econmy will go up either if McCain or Obama wins. He’s not gonna protect our country. This is the end times for our world.

  • Soyoung


  • Trudy

    God Bless you all for voting. Change has come…
    Trudy U.K.

  • fashiondytaster

    im sooo happy obama won!
    GObama :)

  • katie n

    God bless America with a smart and unifying president. Now it is up to us to give all our support so he can accomplish many things.

  • cindy

    all talk but its nothing……

  • Sunja

    Congrats Obama!!!

  • hayes

    God bless America! Much needed prayers to the path of evil and destruction!!

  • kloo

    i am soo happy. i cried when i saw that he won :]

  • Grt, Malaysia

    I’m so happy for this win!! I just pray that God will protect him from all his enemies and guide him to make all the right decisions for the Americans and America!

  • usa

    Enjoy the party because reality sets in and it aint pretty.

  • beth

    Im crying because bad things
    are indeed coming to America
    and the world.

  • zac

    I feel sick

  • yvonne

    Revelation from the Bible is really coming.
    People are blinded from false teachings and prophets.
    The one as many thought will lead the way looks handsome
    and is a smooth talker. Little many know he is Satan.

  • ob

    When perverts,terrorists and communists and Hollyweirds,moneyseekers are behind Obama’s victory it smells rotten.

    God help us all.

  • nooooooooo

    Karl Marx Manifesto is now happening in
    America. So sad and scary.

  • Danny Belluci, New York


  • palmspringsliving


    go barack!!!

  • palmspringsliving


    go barack!!!

  • kate

    Stupid desperate Americans voted for Powerful Pharaoh of Egypt. Ramsey even looks like Obama. The Renaissance times will become hell.

    Idiots turn their backs,laugh and mock Moses who is not a good speaker for Israel because their demands and change was not granted by God asap.

    Some of us know what happened in that dessert.
    It was death and chaos.

    Foreshadowing of America.

  • grrrr

    Signs of the times for the U.S. and the world. Not good @ all.


    #26 I agree!
    Yvonne you truly are a dumbasss if you actually believe that. Then you better run for your life for more then half of your country voted for him so MORE then HALF of American are satans! Hear that everybody yvonne is saying we half of Americans are satanist

  • &


  • anna

    Talk but is nothing. Just the way he says all that and not very earnestly seems like he is just saying what the people want said. I wouldn’t be surprised if nothing happened. and if something does I don’t think it will be good.. hopefully, this will be a short 4 years.

  • Danny Belluci, New York

    ” ann -Oh I forgot he’s gonna pull troops out and give us another terrorist attack on our country. ”



  • lulu

    God is more than powerful than more than half of America!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://obamasvictoryspeech bob

    what an awful dress michelle wore she looks like satans wife!

  • http://obamasvictoryspeech bob

    what an awful dress michelle wore she looks like satans wife!

  • seniors

    I pity our troops and military that voted for McCain…….they dont want Obama the politician but McCain who is their own the real Cmdr. in Chief.

  • ANonymousdiva

    I can’t believe the sheer stupidity of some of these statements.

    All I can say is, thank God WE, along with Obama, will prove to you reactionary dim$hits just how wrong you are.

  • yoyo

    People seem so blind. How could all of those red flags be ignored?? This certainly could be the end of America> We’ve lost our freedom and liberty. How can this be happening??


    woot woot

    go obama yes we can baby

    woot woot

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    woot woot

    go obama yes we can baby

    i voted

  • Rose

    Obama’s speech was so beautiful. I have never sat and listened so intently to a speech for so long. But I grasped every single word he said. He is an amazing speaker, an amazing person, an amazing father and husband, and will be an amazing President to the USofA. He will change the US for the better, and he will change this world. I may be an Australia, but I look forward to his presidency and leadership.

    Congrats Obama!!

  • peace

    The bad guys always wins” temporarily”.

  • Danny Belluci, New York

    Stupid desperate Americans voted for Powerful Pharaoh of Egypt. Ramsey even looks like Obama. The Renaissance times will become hell.
    KATE …

    1- IT’S Ramses NOT RAMSEY
    2- THE “The Renaissance times ” ENDED IN THE 17th CENTURY

  • anonymous

    Please God spare those who love you and even those who reject you and God save America.

  • Johnny

    AMerica is now doomed!

  • Johnny

    morons who voted for obama. wait and see. it’s the downfall of U S of A!

    dat his wifey? ugh! fugly!!!!

  • John33

    morons who voted for obama. wait and see. it’s the downfall of U S of A!

    dat his wifey? ugh! fugly!!!!

  • Katie


  • http://obamasvictoryspeech bob

    michelle obama looks like she just stepped out of a belated halloween party dressing in a costume as first devil how ridiculios is that its not halloween anymore its election night and thats what you chose to wear i dont get it ive never seen anything like this beforein all my life who dressed her and will she continue this form of dress? can you see Jackie O dressing like that NEVER!