Letting go of the past: Obama vows victory will bring change
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) ” A victorious Barack Obama portrayed his decisive first-place finish in the Iowa Democratic caucuses as a “defining moment” that he said would lead the way to change in Washington and an end to the war in Iraq.
The first-term senator from Illinois promised “a nation less divided and more united” and told those at a victory rally they could some day “look back and say this is the moment where it all began.”
Obama, 46, is bidding to become the first black president. He garnered about 38 percent of the vote, comfortably ahead of former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former first lady.
“They said this day would never come. They said our sights were set too high. … But on this January night, on this defining moment in history, you have done what the cynics said we couldn’t do. You did what the state of New Hampshire can do in five days,” Obama said.
If elected, Obama vowed, “I’ll be a president that ends this war in Iraq and finally brings our troops home, who restores our moral standing, who understands that 9-11 is not a way a way to scare up votes but a challenge that should unite America and the world against the common threats of the 21st Century.”
“Hope is the bedrock of this nation, the belief that our destiny will not be written for us but by us, by all those men and woman who are not content to settle for the world as it is but who have the courage to remake the world as it should be,” he said. “That is what we started here in Iowa and that is the message we can now carry to New Hampshire and beyond.”
He appeared at the rally with his wife, Michelle, whom he called “the love of my life.”
As he came to the podium, he repeated “thank you” over and over to a crowd of supporters. Then, he added: “Thank you, Iowa.”
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