Barack Obama election victory speech, 2008

Barack Obama election victory speech, 2008

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Following his victory in the United States presidential election, 2008
United States presidential election, 2008
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365...

, President-elect
President-elect of the United States
President-elect of the United States is the title used for an incoming President of the United States in the period between the general election on Election Day in November and noon eastern standard time on Inauguration Day, January 20, during which he is not in office yet...

 Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 gave his victory speech at Grant Park
Grant Park (Chicago)
Grant Park, with between the downtown Chicago Loop and Lake Michigan, offers many different attractions in its large open space. The park is generally flat. It is also crossed by large boulevards and even a bed of sunken railroad tracks...

 in his home city of Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, on November 5, 2008, before an estimated crowd of 240,000. Considered one of the most widely-watched and repeated political addresses in history, Obama's speech focused on the major issues facing the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and the world, all echoed through his campaign slogan of change. He also mentioned his grandmother, who had died two nights earlier.

Issues


Obama spoke of the core issues facing the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 today, among them the economy, the Iraq War and the onset of global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

.

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 the children fall asleep and wonder how they'll make the mortgage or pay their doctors' bills or save enough for their child's college education.




On the economic crisis:

Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers.




A message to America's enemies and friends:

To those — to those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from 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.



Significance


In his speech, Obama reflected on the hard times of the campaign and the "challenges that America
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 would face ahead." TV coverage of the speech showed Jesse Jackson
Jesse Jackson
Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr. is an African-American civil rights activist and Baptist minister. He was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988 and served as shadow senator for the District of Columbia from 1991 to 1997. He was the founder of both entities that merged to...

 and Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer and philanthropist. Winfrey is best known for her self-titled, multi-award-winning talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011...

 weeping in the crowd. Obama's speech also marked the first time a President-elect
President-elect of the United States
President-elect of the United States is the title used for an incoming President of the United States in the period between the general election on Election Day in November and noon eastern standard time on Inauguration Day, January 20, during which he is not in office yet...

 referred positively to gay
Gay
Gay is a word that refers to a homosexual person, especially a homosexual male. For homosexual women the specific term is "lesbian"....

 Americans in an acceptance speech. Sam Perry experienced a brief moment of fame when Oprah Winfrey leaned on him while crying on his shoulder.

Grant Park was the location of many protests of the 1968 Democratic National Convention
1968 Democratic National Convention
The 1968 Democratic National Convention of the U.S. Democratic Party was held at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago, Illinois, from August 26 to August 29, 1968. Because Democratic President Lyndon Johnson had announced he would not seek a second term, the purpose of the convention was to...

, which were significant for ending in violence, riots and police brutality
Police brutality
Police brutality is the intentional use of excessive force, usually physical, but potentially also in the form of verbal attacks and psychological intimidation, by a police officer....

. CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

 declared, "History gave Grant Park another chance Tuesday as the scene of a peaceful and jubilant celebration of Barack Obama's presidential victory." Obama's speech has been praised as having "...the rare ability to cultivate the things that are common to all human beings, regardless of artificial and arbitrary distinctions."

Ann Nixon Cooper


One of the primary references within Obama's speech was to Ann Nixon Cooper
Ann Nixon Cooper
Ann Louise Nixon Cooper was a centenarian mentioned in United States President-elect Barack Obama's November 2008 election speech as a representative of the change in status African Americans had undergone during the past century and more in America...

, a 106-year-old resident of Atlanta, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

.

Obama also made reference to his popular campaign chant, "Yes We Can
Yes We Can
"Yes We Can" is the first single from Change Is Now: Renewing America's Promise, a compilation album organised and produced by Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.I.Am...

":

Security


Due to the high security threat involved, Obama delivered the speech protected by two pieces of bulletproof glass
Bulletproof glass
Bulletproof glass is a type of strong but optically transparent material that is particularly resistant to being penetrated when struck by bullets, but is not completely impenetrable. It is usually made from a combination of two or more types of glass, one hard and one soft...

 (2 inches (5.1 cm) thick, 10 feet (3 m) high, 15 feet (4.6 m) long) to each side of the lectern to deflect any shots from the skyscrapers overlooking Grant Park. There was no glass shield in front of the lectern. A no-fly zone was also imposed over the area, with only police helicopters allowed in the air. The gathering involved the deployment of thousands of police
Police
The police is a personification of the state designated to put in practice the enforced law, protect property and reduce civil disorder in civilian matters. Their powers include the legitimized use of force...

, Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 and Secret Service
United States Secret Service
The United States Secret Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency that is part of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The sworn members are divided among the Special Agents and the Uniformed Division. Until March 1, 2003, the Service was part of the United States...

 personnel. The event cost the Obama campaign an estimated $2 million.
Even with the large threat at hand, no arrests were made related to the event.

Music


Prior to Obama's emergence onto the stage, "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours
Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours
"Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" is a soul single by American musician Stevie Wonder, recorded for Motown's Tamla label. Released in June 1970, the song spent six weeks at number one on the U.S. R&B chart and peaked at number three on the U.S. Pop chart...

" by Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder
Stevland Hardaway Morris , better known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and activist...

, "Only in America
Only in America (song)
"Only in America" is the title of a song recorded by the American country music duo Brooks & Dunn on their 2001 album Steers & Stripes. Kix Brooks, one-half of the duo, co-wrote the song with Don Cook and Ronnie Rogers, although it features Ronnie Dunn on lead vocals...

" by Brooks & Dunn
Brooks & Dunn
Brooks & Dunn was an American country music duo consisting of Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn, who were both vocalists and songwriters. They were paired by record producer Tim DuBois in 1990. Before the duo's foundation, both members of the duo were solo recording artists...

, and "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher
(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher
" Higher and Higher" is a hit R&B song originally performed by Jackie Wilson in 1967. The song was notably recorded by Rita Coolidge in 1977.-Overview:...

" by Jackie Wilson
Jackie Wilson
Jack Leroy "Jackie" Wilson, Jr. was an American singer and performer. Known as "Mr. Excitement", Wilson was important in the transition of rhythm and blues into soul. He was known as a master showman, and as one of the most dynamic singers and performers in R&B and rock history...

 were played. When Obama, Joe Biden
Joe Biden
Joseph Robinette "Joe" Biden, Jr. is the 47th and current Vice President of the United States, serving under President Barack Obama...

, and their families appeared onstage following the speech, music from the films Remember the Titans
Remember the Titans
Remember the Titans is a 2000 American sports film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Boaz Yakin. Inspired by real events, the plot was conceived from a screenplay written by Gregory Allen Howard. The film starts as a new coach of the Titans, a football team previously coached by the...

, composed by Trevor Rabin
Trevor Rabin
Trevor Charles Rabin is a South African born musician, best known as a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for the British progressive rock band Yes from 1983–1994, and since then, as a film composer.- Early years :...

, and The Patriot
The Patriot (2000 film)
The Patriot is a 2000 historical war film directed by Roland Emmerich, written by Robert Rodat, and starring Mel Gibson, Chris Cooper, and Heath Ledger. It was produced by the Mutual Film Company and Centropolis Entertainment and was distributed by Columbia Pictures...

, composed by John Williams
John Williams
John Towner Williams is an American composer, conductor, and pianist. In a career spanning almost six decades, he has composed some of the most recognizable film scores in the history of motion pictures, including the Star Wars saga, Jaws, Superman, the Indiana Jones films, E.T...

, was played. "The Rising" by Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen , nicknamed "The Boss," is an American singer-songwriter who records and tours with the E Street Band...

 was also played following the speech (Springsteen had endorsed Obama).

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