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President-elect Barack Obama embraces his daughter, after he claims victory. (Source: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

What Just Happened?

by Ashley Grashaw
Nov 5, 2008

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I still haven't fully registered the events of last night. Perhaps it's because I worked our elections special until the wee hours of the morning, and my head is still fuzzy. But more likely, it's because America just elected its first black president — and not barely, not by some fluke, but resoundingly. This is HUGE. Historic-significance- of-epic-proportions HUGE. Americans turned out in record numbers to make a statement: change is possible. This, from President-elect Barack Obama:

[...] 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. For that is the true genius of America - that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

Here in DC, Obama supporters came together in the streets to celebrate. There were tears of joy, hugs among strangers, and, of course, the chant — "Yes, we can!"

Tomorrow on TOTN, we'll discuss reactions from across the world. But, today, NPR political editor Ken Rudin and pollster Andy Kohut join us to talk about congressional races, ballot initiatives, and the most important issues on voters' minds.

So tell us, what was your reaction to last night's events? And, if this is a new beginning, what begins? And what ends?

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