Election 2008: Barack Obama, First African-American President of the U.S.

Nov 4, 2008–Barack Obama was elected the nation's first black president Tuesday night in a historic triumph that overcame racial barriers.

The son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas, the Democratic senator from Illinois sealed his victory by defeating Republican Senator John McCain in a string of wins in hard-fought battleground states, Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Iowa.

A huge crowd in Grant Park in Chicago erupted in jubilation at the news of Obama's victory. .

McCain called to concede defeat, and the end of his own 10-year quest for the White House.

Obama and his running mate, Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware, will take their oaths of office as president and vice president on January 20, 2009.

As the 44th president, Obama will move into the Oval Office as leader of a country that's in recession, and fighting two long wars, one in Iraq, the other in Afghanistan.

The popular vote was close, but not the count in the Electoral College, where it mattered most.
Obama's audacious decision to contest McCain in states that hadn't gone Democratic in years paid richly.

Obama has said his first order of presidential business will be to tackle the economy. He has also pledged to withdraw most U.S. combat troops from Iraq within 16 months.

Fellow Democrats rode his coattails to larger majorities in both houses of Congress. They defeated incumbent Republicans and won open seats by turn.