Throngs of supporters descended upon Grant Park in Chicago to hear Sen. Barack Obama, the 44th president of the U.S. deliver his acceptance speech. It was a surreal moment. Even civil rights activist and former presidential contender Jesse Jackson, who was once embroiled in controversy surrounding comments about the senator, was seen shedding tears. Of course, one of Obama’s most ardent supporters (aside from Michelle Obama), talk show host Oprah Winfrey stood among the thousands of supporters.
“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,” Obama said.
The audience continued to roar as Obama saluted his opponent, Sen. John McCain. “He fought long and hard in this campaign, and heâ€™s fought even longer and harder for the country he loves,” Obama said. “I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nationâ€™s promise in the months ahead.”
McCain also acknowledged Obama in his concession speech. “These are difficult times for our country. I pledge to [Obama] tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face.” He was met my a crowd of boos after congratulating the Illinois senator.
But it would be impossible to stop Obama’s stride. Though cliche’, the saying rings true: many only dreamed of the day an African American would make it to the highest office in the nation. A true underdog, the junior senator emerged victorious among some of Capital Hill’s most savvy and astute players including Sen. Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton. During a race that at times turned down right nasty, Obama remained confident and driven. Showing true leadership and critical yet judgement, he surrounded himself with a creative and smart team. Tonight’s speech was the culmination of a campaign well run and one sure to change the future landscape of campaigning. From traditional grassroots door-to-door methods, to an unprecedented web-based push, Obama brought change to the campaign process.
Renita Burns is the editorial assistant at BlackEnterprise.com