Saturday, December 27, 2008

Barack Obama: Yes, He Could

Quite A Year, As Illinois Senator Claims Presidency

President-elect Barack Obama Accepting The Mantle
(AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

The Rise Of Barack Obama

In one of the most talked about Presidential campaigns in U.S. history, Barack Obama took the nation and the world by storm. Joel Brown reports on his meteoric rise to the White House.

In the first week of 2008, Barack Obama rocked the political world with a win in the Iowa caucuses. But the question remained: Could this black man with a rich personal history and sparse elective resume make it all the way to the presidency?

Yes, he could.

Obama took us along on a wild ride, smashing political and racial barriers as he was elected the nation's 44th president in an electoral landslide. His message of hope and change - and the viral YouTube mantra of "Yes, we can" - resonated with millions of voters after eight years of George W. Bush.

All election years are for the history books, but this one seemed especially historic: The racial angle. The high stakes. The fascinating personalities. The huge amount of money raised. The intense, sometimes over-the-top interest in this campaign.

"It's 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," Obama told his supporters gathered in Chicago's Grant Park on election night, and multitudes more in a restive nation.

It was quite a year.

Iowa is 95 percent white and 2.5 percent black, hardly hospitable numbers for a black candidate.

Yet, on Jan. 3, Obama glided to a win in the leadoff Iowa caucuses, a victory that signaled the strength of his campaign organization and the candidate's appeal beyond racial lines. It was Obama's oratory - delivered by memory - at the state's Jefferson-Jackson dinner months earlier that got Democrats thinking about the Illinois senator as their nominee.

"I never expected to be here. I always knew this journey was improbable. I've never been on a journey that wasn't," Obama told the Iowa audience.

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Visit the NEW Obama Leadership Store!

Visit the NEW Obama Leadership Store!