US President George W Bush telephoned his apparent successor, Democrat Barack Obama, to congratulate him on his “awesome night,” according to White House spokeswoman Dana Perino.
“Mr President-elect, congratulations to you. What an awesome night for you, your family and your supporters. Laura and I called to congratulate you and your good bride,” she quoted Bush as telling Obama.
“I promise to make this a smooth transition. You are about to go on one of the great journeys of life. Congratulations and go enjoy yourself,” Bush told Obama late on Tuesday night, she said.
The President also invited Obama and his family “to visit the White House soon, at their convenience,” Perino said.
Bush was also to reach out to Obama’s defeated rival, Republican John McCain, who conceded the fight shortly after 11:00 pm (0930 IST).
TERM OVER: Bush at a graduation ceremony for FBI Agents in Quantico, Va.
Even before one vote was counted, this result was clear: The US presidential race was a verdict on George W Bush.
Both Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain positioned themselves as agents of change—that is, change from Bush.
The US President’s approval ratings have hovered near historically low levels—it was just 26 percent in an AP-GfK poll conducted a couple of weeks before Election Day—and he was a factor in voters’ decision-making no matter how much he tried to keep out of the race.
Obama seized on Bush’s standing to make him a political liability for McCain, who in turn separated himself aggressively from the face of his own party as the campaign closed.
The President’s face has been such a fixture in anti-McCain ads that it was up to Laura Bush to add a touch of lightness to her husband’s woes.
“I’m really looking forward to Election Day,” she said at a Republican campaign event in Kentucky on Monday, “partly because it seems like George has been on the ticket this entire year.”
The quietest place in Washington on Tuesday may have been the White House itself.
The President voted absentee several days ago, so there was no video of him at his precinct, no statements to reporters, no public appearance whatsoever.
Bush planned to spend his evening in the White House residence, watching TV coverage of election results and hosting a small dinner with his wife, Laura.
There was sure to be at least some celebrating—Tuesday is the first lady’s birthday. Otherwise, it was a day when the White House purposely went dark.
“He realises this election is not about him,” White House press secretary Dana Perino said heading into voting day.
Tuesday marked the first time in 14 years—a period when Bush twice won the Texas governorship and the presidency—that he was not on the ballot.
Many pundits had no doubt about Tuesday’s outcome. Among them: Karl Rove, once of Bush’s closest aides and the architect of his two successful presidential runs. On election eve, Rove distributed his last analysis of the electoral map. It predicted Obama winning easily, with 338 electoral votes. It takes 270 to win.
The title of Rove’s e-mail: “The End.” He was referring to the election, but there was also a feeling of finality at the White House.
Outside, the post-Bush transition was starting. Construction workers churned away on Inauguration Day grandstands along Pennsylvania Avenue.
HISTORY MADE: Democrat Barack Obama has been elected president of the United States.
Democrat Barack Obama wrote his name indelibly into the pages of American history on Wednesday, engineering a social and political upheaval to become the country’s first black president-elect in a runaway victory over Republican John McCain.
The 72-year-old Arizona senator quickly called his opponent to concede defeat and congratulate his rival in the longest and most costly presidential campaign in American history.
The 47-year-old Illinois senator, son of a white mother from Kansas and an African father from Kenya, mined a deep vein of national discontent, promising Americans hope and change throughout a nearly flawless 21-month campaign for the White House.
Obama stepped through a door opened 145 years ago when Abraham Lincoln, a fellow Illinois politician, issued the Emancipation Proclamation that freed African-Americans from enslavement in the rebellious South in the midst of a wrenching civil war.
The powerful orator lays claim to the White House on Jan. 20, only 43 years after the country enacted a law that banned the disenfranchisement of blacks in many Southern states where poll taxes and literacy tests were common at the time.
With victories in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and other battleground states, Obama built a commanding lead over McCain after surging in the polls in the midst of a national financial crisis. He and his fellow Democrats sought to link McCain to the unpopular George W. Bush.
Obama soared into the national spotlight with his electrifying speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, when he was making his first run for the Senate and polishing his message of unity in a country that was mired in partisan anger.
Democrats also were expanding their majorities in both chambers of Congress.
The poll says that a growing number of voters said that they were comfortable with the Democrat’s values, background and ability to serve as commander-in-chief.
It’s the largest lead in the Journal/NBC poll so far, and represents a steady climb for Senator Obama since early September, when the political conventions concluded with the candidates in a statistical tie.
“Voters have reached a comfort level with Barack Obama,” said Peter D Hart, a Democratic pollster who conducts the poll with Republican Neil Newhouse.Though most voters polled said that McCain is better prepared for the White House than the first-term Obama, there are increasing concerns about the readiness of McCain’s running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the poll showed.
The race, the Journal said, has rested largely on the question of whether voters could get comfortable with Obama, the first African-American to run on a major party ticket, and one who has been on the national political scene for just a few years.
McCain has worked to stoke concerns about Obama’s past and his qualifications, raising questions about his rival’s character and his association with 1960s-era radical William Ayers. The new poll suggests that these attacks haven’t worked. The poll found that Obama now holds a 12-percentage-point advantage with independents, a group both sides have fiercely sought. Two weeks ago, Obama led this group by just four percentage points. In mid-September, independents favoured McCain by 13 points.
Obama leads suburban voters by 12 percentage points, up from two points two weeks ago. He leads among older voters, those over 65-years-old, by nine points, erasing a one-point McCain advantage from the last poll. And in the Midwest, home
to a swath of battleground states, he is now favoured by 25 points, up from a one-point advantage.
Some daily tracking polls, the journal said, have found a tighter race between McCain and Obama in recent days.
Real Clear Politics, a Web site that averages major polls, shows Obama up by 7.2 percentage points.
Others have found a larger spread, such as one released Tuesday by the Pew Research Centre for the People and the Press, a nonpartisan research group. That poll found a 14-point advantage for Obama among registered voters.
Many polls also show McCain lagging in key battleground states, which hold the electoral votes that could decide the race.
Obama, the paper said, has also eaten into traditional Republican advantages, notably on taxes, despite McCain’s attempts to make the issue a central economic theme of the campaign’s closing days.
In the mid-September Journal poll, McCain was favoured 41 per cent to 37 per cent when voters were asked which candidate would be “better on taxes.” This week’s poll found Obama leading on the issue by 48 per cent to 34 per cent.
That, the Journal says, may be partly due to Obama’s argument that McCain would raise taxes on health-insurance benefits. While McCain’s health plan does raise some taxes, the plan overall represents a net tax cut, the paper said, citing independent estimates.
With 67 per cent Americans not wishing to see another debate between Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain, both the White House hopefuls have hit the stretch in the battleground and critical states hoping to put behind “Joe The Plumber” and “Joe The Six Pack”.
The polls of the last few days may have shown Senator Obama in the lead of at least eight points; but the latest CNN Gallup showed the race was really tightening and even close to about a two-point spread between the candidates in favour of the Illinois Democrat.
At the heart of the candidates’ struggle is the political mid-west like Ohio and Pennsylvania that the candidates have started hitting very intently; but some of the focus is also on states like New Hampshire that Senator Obama slipped in the primaries to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.
“Three debates, and over 20 months, John McCain still has not explained a single thing he would do differently from George W Bush when it comes to the most important economic issues we face today. Not one. Here’s the truth, New Hampshire, John McCain voted with George Bush 90 per cent of the time. That has not change. It is more of the same,” Obama said in New Hampshire.
“He wants to keep giving tax cuts to corporations that ship our jobs overseas. I want to give tax breaks to companies that create jobs right here in the US. He wants to give more tax cuts to CEOs. I want to give 95 per cent of working families the tax relief that they deserve. He wants to double down on health care policies that will only work for the healthy and the wealthy. I want to cut costs and expand coverage for all Americans,” Obama said in a rhetoric that is all too well known on the political trail.
- Top IT skills that can get you a better job
- Madurai’s traffic cops to get booths with ACs
- Facebook opens office in Hyderabad, India
- Kill IE6 says Industry, No says Microsoft!!!
- Infosys looking at overseas acquisitions
- Satyam Computers is now Mahindra Satyam
- Microsoft To Launch Free Anti-virus Named ‘Morro’ Soon
- Sourav Ganguly promises Rs 60 lakh for Cyclone Aila victims
- How Does Google Store All of its Data?
- Infosys Layoff – The IT giant Infosys Technologies fires 2100 employees
- Happy Rahman thanks mother, God at Oscars gala
- AR Rahman gets 2 Oscars for Slumdog’s music