Obama elected first black US president [Archives:2008/1205/Front Page]

November 6 2008

By:Mohammed Al-Qadhi
For the Yemen Times

ARIZONA-USA, Nov. 5 ) The Americans have made it and with their different ethnic Hispanic, Indian, African and above all Anglo-Saxon backgrounds made the historic event and took the bi-racial African American Barack Obama to the White House for the first time ever in the history of the United States.

The son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas, , Obama, the Democratic senator from Illinois sealed his historic triumph by defeating his rival John McCain in a string of wins in hard-fought battleground states ) Ohio, Florida, Iowa and more. He captured Virginia and Indiana, too, the first candidate of his party in 44 years to win either. “Change has come,” he told a jubilant hometown Chicago crowd estimated at nearly a quarter-million people.

Obama got 349 Electoral College votes, well over the 270 needed for victory while McCain had 144.

In presence of his running mate for vice president Sarah Palin, McCain acknowledged his loss and congratulated Obama. He urged in a speech to a big crowd of his supporter in Beltmore in Arizona all the Americans to support Obama, describing the moment as “historic.”

McCain called his former rival to concede defeat ) and the end of his own 10-year quest for the White House. “The American people have spoken, and spoken clearly,” McCain told disappointed supporters in Arizona.

However, his speech could not stop the tears of his supporters who started crying.

“I am crying because my son was the first navy sailor to be killed in Iraq. I believe it is the best to fight terrorism; he fought in Vietnam and knows what the nation needs. Obama does not have the experience and has also associations with terrorist,” Debbie lee said to Yemen Times. Erin Nurss, Miss Arizona for 2008, said she was disappointed that McCain lost the race. “It is disappointing that he did win; he has done much for Arizona, while another Republican female fan said the Americans were stupid when they voted for Obama. She said her son is in the navy and will be commanded by inexperienced president.

As word of Obama's victory spread, spontaneous celebrations erupted all over the United States..

In his first speech as victor, in Chicago, 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.”

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.”

Katie Charland, a 25-year old American woman of Irish background, said she voted for Barack Obama, 47, for he had a clear education policy. She told Yemen Times reporter that the economic problems had topped the concerns of the US voters.

“I voted for Obama as his education policy is much better and due to his support for women's rights in general and his position on the war in Iraq,” she said.

She added that the current economic crisis would affect her way of celebrating Christmas.

“We have to change our way of celebrating Christmas. We will not be able to offer gifts as everybody will not be able to afford that. I am also driving to Chicago for 26 hours as I can not afford paying $600 for flight ticket,” she said.

She said that she supported Obama's diplomacy in dealing the enemies of the US.

“I do not find any problems in sitting and talking with Iran and ven al-Qaeda. This is the best way to know how your enemy thinks,” she added.

According to national surveys, first-time voters were key to Obama's strategy, and they were voting for him by a 3-1 margin. Young voters tend to favor Democrats, but not in such high numbers. Four years ago, Kerry won 53 percent of their votes.

Analysts said Obama approach to the internet was successful in capturing the support of young voters. “Obama was able to inspire us. He is such a humble and an inspiring person,” said a young female voter.

Supporters of the Republican John McCain, 72, demonstrated various reasons for voting to McCain.

Trina Parrott, a banker, said she voted for McCain because of his tax policy.

“I voted for McCain because he will reduce taxes on small business as my father runs a small business,”

But, Shelley VanBibber, a Beltmore Church worker, voiced concerns over moral conservative issues in the reign of Obama.

“McCain believes in the values I believe in like abortion , gay marriage and national security and this is why I voted for him,” she said.

“I am concerned that religious conservative values may be demolished if Obama wins. I do not like also his past associations,” VanBibber added.