Tonight, citizens of these United States voiced themselves in record numbers. Tonight, an idea expressed by some has been embraced by many. Tonight, the winds of change have swept in from the windy city through a mighty nation. Tonight, a country has been called to begin anew, to begin together, to begin with courage, to begin.
This young nation, just 221 years old, a nation that has been divided over issues of slavery and segregation, elected its first African-American President. I’m so proud to have been part of this. I’m so proud of these United States.
And I’m inspired.
In John McCain’s speech congratulating Barack Obama’s victory, I saw the John McCain that caught the attention of so many in 1999 and 2000. I thought it was his best speech of the campaign, not because he was conceding defeat but because he spoke of unity and hope.
And in his speech tonight, President-Elect Barack Obama spoke to a nation that has been brought down by financial crisis. He spoke to a nation that has become crippled by the politics of fear. He spoke to a nation that has too long been focused on its differences. He spoke to a nation that had been brought to its knees and called us to get on our feet.
He called all Americans to look forward at the work to be done rather than at the victory won in this relative short-term. He called us to remember that a nation that is truly led by its people must depend on the work of its people. And to that end, its people must work. Its people must sacrifice. Its people must sweat. Its people must rise to every challenge, must rise above the mire, must rise as the shining beacon that has not been – nor will it be – extinguished by these past years of darkness.
So, let us all – of every race, every creed, every sexual identity, every political affiliation – work together toward the betterment of this great nation.
Yes we can. Yes we can.