From the beginning, as Obama stood on the steps of the Illinois capital in Springfield, this race for him has been all about change.
America answered: we want it!
Obama was declared the victor in Indiana, Virginia, Ohio, Nevada and Colorado - all states that went to George W. Bush in 2004.
Then, there is the obvious historical nature of this election in its outcome. The nation has chosen its first African American president. Emotion ran high not only among a populous of African Americans, but of faces across a great racial divide. As the cameras spanned the scene at Grant Park, each segment of not only America's photo album was represented, but the world's as well.
It is a testament to his service to America, including those torturous years in a Vietnamese prison camp, that McCain remained competiive throughout.
His concession speech in Phoenix November 4 was emblematic of his career and fortitude. McCain was even, virtuous and stoic. This was a man that came within inches of his dream – the presidency – and was ever so gracefully handing over that dream to a person almost half his age and with a background much different than McCain's.
The Senator from Arizona's adoration from the American public is reflected in how he made this a competitive race in a year that should have been a blowout. When the economy began to crumble, it became clear that the issue that would decide the election was the economy. When the party that has held power for eight years is widely perceived as the source of some of those economic ills, the new face of that party will bear the brunt.
Only McCain, never the poster child for the Republican Party, triumphed in his role as the underdog and for a period in late summer, early September, the American hero had the lead in the presidential polls.
It was only through the three debates that Obama excelled and the economy free-falling did McCain's grasp on the presidency slip.
Next...the crowds, Obama's speech and how he will govern
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