A great night. I have to confess that I lasted only until about 2.30 am. But it seemed clear enough by then and I was finding the capacity of David Dimbleby and the BBC to make even this seem stodgy more than I could stay awake for.
So Blogstead Episcopi woke up to a changed world. And of course those of us old enough to be rooted in Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ can’t help seeing this as the fulfilment of that dream. But I find myself just as glad to see a sensitive thinker and a world class wordsmith – whatever his colour – at the centre of government.
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 America’s 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.
I found myself feeling great admiration for John McCain in his speech – utterly free of self-pity and rancour. If he had fought the election with the same grace and strength, he would have been formidable indeed
Senator Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and for his country. I applaud him for it, and offer him my sincere sympathy that his beloved grandmother did not live to see this day. Though our faith assures us she is at rest in the presence of her creator and so very proud of the good man she helped raise.
Senator Obama and I have had and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt many of those differences remain.
These are difficult times for our country. And I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face.
I urge all Americans … I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.