April 16, 2014

Full Text: President-Elect Barack Obama, Victory Speech, Grant Park, Chicago | November 4, 2008

Click Here if You Are Looking for President Obama’s Inaugural Address.

Otherwise … enjoy the victory speech:

(Source: Fox News)

PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA: 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.

Its 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 very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

Its the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled – Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

Its the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of 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.

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

I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and hes fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nations 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 that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nations next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy thats coming with us to the White House. And while shes no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics – you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what youve sacrificed to get it done.

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

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didnt 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 five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generations 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.

I know you didnt do this just to win an election and I know you didnt 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 their children fall asleep and wonder how theyll make the mortgage, or pay their doctors bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.

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 wont agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government cant 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 its been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years – block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not 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 cannot happen without you.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and 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, its 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 us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us 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, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values 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, 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 our world – our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down – we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security – we support you. And to all those who have wondered if Americas beacon still burns as bright – tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our 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.

For that is the true genius of America – that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have 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 thats on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. Shes 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 couldnt vote for two reasons – because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that shes seen throughout her century in America – the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we cant, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when womens 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 and 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 doubt, and those who tell us that we cant, 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.

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Comments

  1. Cheryl (netherlands) says:

    Finally a sane person as your leader! NOW there is hope for the USA. We here in NL were wondering where it went wrong in the US when bush got elected for the second term??

    Obama is a true American, he is about unity, and believe in the accomplishment of ideals. That’s what makes him such a strong personality.

    Congrats Mr. Obama, you are the first person in this WORLD who can stand up and be the voice of many who were not heard or understood for a long time. Because I truly believe that you, unlike other leaders, know and understand what’s going on today. You are needed to be the new Ghandi, Mandela, King, JFK in one. You are believed in.

    Congrats US citizens, God has given you (american, regardless of race) a genuine leader.

  2. mateo says:

    “We deceive ourselves if we believe that the people want to be governed by majorities. No, you do not know the people. This people does not wish to lose itself in “majorities.” It does not wish to be involved in great plans. It wants a leadership in which it can believe, nothing more.” – Hitler’s words(sound Familiar?) in the 1920′s all Germany needed was a government that they could believe in. It is a scary time for America.

    • Dr. Oluoch says:

      Mateo, people like you are the likes who took time to understand while in class during yo years in school..took no heed to hazards at play..took no precautional measures while at work..moreso DO NOT RESPOND TO MEDICATION whether Traditional or otherwise. learn how to be meek..understand as u listen..rejoice when u encounter the right choice in life.
      His excellency Obama has no equals to the previous American leaders Love him or hate him..bitter or sweet to hear.. its a fact

      • Rose says:

        Dr. Oulouch, His excellency Obama who has no equals to the previous American leaders has just fallen off his throne and I believe he’s bumped his head because he isn’t thinking very clearly and is pushing unconstitutional and illegal laws and about to skyrocket our electricity; regulate our homes so we can’t sell them without his consent; and has been a disaster on the BP oil spill; and has skyrocketed our taxes and pushed to pass his Obamacare that is financially unsustainable and will skyrocket the taxes beginning in 2011 for every U.S. citizen for services not rendered and may never be rendered and illegally will punish Americans for non-compliance while exempting Muslims – Excuse me, Dr. Olouch, but it is you, not Mateo, who needs to read history – beginning with the reign of Hitler -

  3. aliee says:

    well said!

  4. Abdul Wazed says:

    Obama appears as the symbol of hope and dream. He presents the “human face” of America. His fabulous victory provides a dream positive transition to l everyone regardless of where they leave. Hope begins: This planet will not be ruined… this will remain as the place where the mankind will be able to live. His regime will be a milestone of the political history of the world.

  5. Abdul Wazed says:

    Obama appears as the symbol of hope and dream. His fabulous victory provides a dream positive transition to l everyone regardless of where they leave. Hope begins: This planet will not be ruined… this will remain as the place where the mankind will be able to live. His regime will be a milestone of the political history of the world.

  6. Abdul Wazed says:

    Obama appears as the symbol of hope and dream. He presents the “human face” of America. His fabulous victory provides a dream of positive transition to everyone regardless of where they leave. Hope begins: This planet will not be ruined… this will remain as the place where the mankind will be able to live. His regime will be a milestone of the political history of the world.

  7. avatar says:

    OBAMA RUL3Z

  8. avatar says:

    woo who!!!!!

  9. avatar says:

    does obama like potatoes

  10. avatar says:

    i think he does

  11. Anonymous says:

    you are beautiful

  12. Jessie. says:

    lmfao, obama’s a huge looser!
    yes we can?
    pfh :P

  13. Jessie. says:

    i am a proud canadian .

  14. Jessie. says:

    :)

  15. sri says:

    wow…wow what a speech !!!, very inspiring and breaking old stigma between black n white, i don’t have any words to say, just Thanks God You have sent your man to this world, Obama we love u, yes we can

  16. shangs says:

    a leader who can!!!!!!!!! at last will. just what the world needed!
    an individual in his sane mind who still talks of Mitchel’s dressing and calls themselves ‘trapper’ is but a boot -licker.
    Oooooooooooooooooh! bama,know that Kenya is with you.
    God bless your leadership.

  17. Nirupama says:

    Obama your speech was indeed the best i could have ever heard . You are hope for many, you are inspiration for many ,you are a true leader .Sitting hear in India and watching you speak has connected me to America more than ever .You have won many hearts of people across globe .You are a True leader…

  18. immie nogama says:

    he’s good..definitely!!..but of course, the road to success of a certain country depends also on every single move we make..we serve as a support to someone who leads us..

  19. Andrew Yu-Jen Wang says:

    Speaking of Barack Obama:

    Barack Obama is a racial-minority individual, and in his heart and mind he inevitably does not endorse hate crimes committed by George W. Bush.

    George W. Bush committed hate crimes of epic proportions and with the stench of terrorism (indicated in my blog).

    George W. Bush did in fact commit innumerable hate crimes.

    And I do solemnly swear by Almighty God that George W. Bush committed other hate crimes of epic proportions and with the stench of terrorism which I am not at liberty to mention.

    Many people know what Bush did.

    And many people will know what Bush did—even to the end of the world.

    Bush was absolute evil.

    Bush is now like a fugitive from justice.

    Bush is a psychological prisoner.

    Bush has a lot to worry about.

    Bush can technically be prosecuted for hate crimes at any time.

    In any case, Bush will go down in history in infamy.

    Submitted by Andrew Yu-Jen Wang
    B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1996
    Messiah College, Grantham, PA
    Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA, 1993

    “GEORGE W. BUSH IS THE WORST PRESIDENT IN U.S. HISTORY” BLOG OF ANDREW YU-JEN WANG
    ______________________
    I am not sure where I had read it before, but anyway, it is a linguistically excellent statement, and it goes kind of like this: “If only it were possible to ban invention that bottled up memories so they never got stale and faded.” Oh wait—off the top of my head—I think the quotation came from my Lower Merion High School yearbook.

  20. princeteejay says:

    as a good politics follower i knew and belief that thids is a great strand that worth all commendation. piss to all our followers

  21. Shakir says:

    I am writing a course papers about Obama’s speech on Victory speech in Chicage , so how can help me to find good lingusitcal anlysis for this speech.

    send to thid email
    shakerali70@yahoo.com

  22. Chris Gill says:

    Obama rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. James Robinson says:

    Hey chris gill!!

  24. Chris gill says:

    i can tell you that Obama is the man to lead your country to victory!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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