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twenty dollars to this 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; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; 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 this Earth. This is your victory.”
After months of grueling primaries from coast to coast, the so-called neophyte out-organized, out-fundraised, and out-messaged the grande dame of Democratic politics, forcing Clinton to concede in June that he had the requisite number of delegates to move on to the general election match against McCain. Although there must have been a number of moments when he wished she had conceded earlier, perhaps Clinton did him an enormous favor. The extended primary season allowed Obama to hone both his campaigning skills and his message, almost like a boot camp to beat the Republican nominee.
Tonight, Clinton issued the following statement, “Tonight, we are celebrating an historic victory for the American people. This was a long and hard fought campaign but the result was well worth the wait. …For too long, middle class families in this country have felt invisible, struggling alone as wages stagnate, jobs disappear, and the costs of daily life climb upward. In quiet, solitary acts of citizenship, American voters gave voice to their hopes and their values, voted for change, and refused to be invisible any longer.
Change trumped experience and now hope has trumped culture. Once Wall Street collapsed and McCain made the fatal error of proclaiming the nation’s economy fundamentally sound, voters who never thought they’d vote for a Democrat much less a black man, put their personal issues aside and chose the candidate who offered the strongest economic prescriptions.
Already the nation’s president-elect appears to understand the enormity of the tasks that await him. “The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even 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 that 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 join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it’s been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years -– block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand,” he told the crowd.
“Certainly Obama’s victory is historic and transformational, a