Barack Obama Wins, We Win! Acceptance Speech Video and Transcript


(Note: the screenshot above is from this morning. Since then, the Obama margin has increased. See The New York Times interactive election map and Big Board for the latest. You can toggle the map to any of the past four presidential elections. There are also links to speeches, polls, and more.)

My hope in USA is restored; we are not scared anymore. Fear, bullying and “me, me, me” loses. Courage, cooperation, and “we, we, we” wins. Thank you is all I can say. Thank you, Barack Obama. Thank you, world! Be the change!

Video of Obama’s acceptance speech:

Did it bring tears to your eyes the way it did mine?
Yes, we can! That message is global; it’s for all of us.

Here is my uncut reaction video and below is the transcript of Obama’s speech. Here is how Washington DC votedUpdate: Fast forward to my January 2009 blog post: Gearing up for Obama-Rama-Palooza in DC.

Update: See the comments at the bottom of this post.  So far…

…I added two from my best and oldest friend and wedding best man (Max) and my best and oldest neighbor friend (Marcey), who I lived in the same co-op with for 10 years in Adams Morgan, Washington, DC. Ok, that building has a bunch of my other best friends, such as Marc (Marcey’s husband) and Alan (and his wife Amy, who is in Mississippi).

Max and Marcey’s comments are their first-hand accounts of last night on the streets of Washington, DC.  It contrasts to our experience on those same streets exactly four years ago, when literally an army of the biggest, meanest, most armored, armed, black-riot-gear, helmets, baseball-type bats, and all, arrived in buses, police cars, and helicopters, threatening us in the middle of the exact same street that Max talks about in his comment.

That event four years ago is part of what inspired me to start protesting again (first protest was at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC on July 4th, 1984), taking a more active role, taking it to the streets, creating and distributing t-shirts and posters, and actually start blogging and learning more about the web, which eventually lead me to BuzzPal – The World Is Your Party!

Yes, we can change the world.  One person at a time! Awesome!

Text Barack Obama’s acceptance speech:
Chicago, Ill.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It’s the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.

I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and he’s fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last 16 years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nation’s next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House. And while she’s no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics, you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you’ve sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to, it belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn’t start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington, it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.

It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation’s apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.

I know you didn’t do this just to win an election and I know you didn’t do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime, two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they’ll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor’s bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you, we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can’t solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it’s been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years, block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek; it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers, in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends, though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.” And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn; I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down, we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security, we support you. And 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.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing; Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons; because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America ¿ the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that “We Shall Overcome.” Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves, if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

Yes We Can. Thank you.

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13 thoughts on “Barack Obama Wins, We Win! Acceptance Speech Video and Transcript

  1. THIS IS THE EMAIL THREAD WITH MAX:

    On 11/5/2008 Max wrote:

    Post away, pass on the good news. Phil was in Harlem and said everyone poured out into the streets for a few hours of dancing there, cheering and horn honkin!!!

    DC voted 93% Obama!!! Suprisingly welcome chant in the streets was USA! The times they are a changing!!!

    Cheers + Skol !!!

    Max

    On 11/5/08, Chris wrote:

    Oh man, thanks a lot Max for that recap. Totally awesome. I wish we were there. I was so excited all day and then we went to a local pub where expats were meeting and then came home and watched TV with Birgitta and Roy and then went to bed like a kid the night before Christmas… I woke up early and checked my new iPod Touch, which I had in bed and which has wifi Internet access… I saw Obama won and I woke Susanne up and ran to the computer to get details… I could not go back to sleep… I have been going a mile a minute all day long… and still right now… I watched his speech, which put tears in my eyes, went to the gym to burn some energy, came back home, tried to get work done but keep going “WOW!” and just “WOW!” So I started looking at pics and video and seeing people partying in the streets in DC, which made me feel like I should be there, we should be there, back in DC. We may move back sooner than later, as early if this spring, which might mean a Colorado ski trip instead of Alps? Or??? Wow, I also recorded a video blog “reaction” as I flipped through some pictures http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hv-pldzJ-lI Did you see that? I dunno, it was just spontaneous, no retakes, no editing, just what I thought as I saw those pictures. When I mentioned four years ago it choked me up, almost brought me to tears again. Wow again. Do you mind if I post your account on my blog?

    On 11/5/2008 Max wrote:

    Hey Chris, Susanne, Family and Friends in Sweden,

    Yesterday into today in DC was one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever lived in this city. Partying in the streets in the most radient way imaginable. 14th and U was a huge block party, totally shut off from traffic with drums and dancing, cheering and chanting, hugs and high 5s for hours on end. Funny how difficult I found it to believe this would be the reality of our future, however it is so clear now and we are all so happily relieved. So many happy diverse people all over the streets. Funny I ended up recruting my Equadorian friend Maribel and a new friend from France to check out the street scene. The dozen others from the TV viewing party turned in early. The scene around the white house was similar in level of dance and positive energy. Funny the lights were out and it looked like nobody was home. There was so much positive energy we stayed out until the wee hours, knowing we each had work today, turning in a little after 4.

    Just thought you might dig a little 1st hand recap, I hope you found celebration in Sweden as well!!! This is truly a revolutionary moment in time where America spoke for change, one some, including me, thought America was not yet ready to embrace and what a refreshing reality.

    Obama yes we can,

    Max

  2. If I was back in DC I feel like I would go to Lincoln Memorial right now. Don’t know of an event or the weather, but I bet people are also feeling the pull of that historic place. Last time I was drawn there was 9 August 1995 http://is.gd/6qmK when Jerry died. Today has the same power, but a birth, not a death. The wheel is turning. Here’s the complete post: https://chrisco.wordpress.com/2005/08/13/brokedown-palace/.

    The wheel is turning and you can’t slow down,
    You can’t let go and you can’t hold on,
    You can’t go back and you can’t stand still,
    If the thunder don’t get you then the lightning will.

    Won’t you try just a little bit harder,
    Couldn’t you try just a little bit more?
    Won’t you try just a little bit harder,
    Couldn’t you try just a little bit more?

    Round, round robin run round, got to get back to where you belong,
    Little bit harder, just a little bit more,
    A little bit further than you gone before.

    The wheel is turning and you can’t slow down,
    You can’t let go and you can’t hold on,
    You can’t go back and you can’t stand still,
    If the thunder don’t get you then the lightning will.

    Small wheel turn by the fire and rod,
    Big wheel turn by the grace of God,
    Every time that wheel turn ’round,
    Bound to cover just a little more ground.

    The wheel is turning and you can’t slow down,
    You can’t let go and you can’t hold on,
    You can’t go back and you can’t stand still,
    If the thunder don’t get you then the lightning will.

    Won’t you try just a little bit harder,
    Couldn’t you try just a little bit more?
    Won’t you try just a little bit harder,
    Couldn’t you try just a little bit more?

  3. THIS IS THE EMAIL FROM MARCEY:

    On 11/5/2008 Marcey wrote:

    Here is some post-election coverage update from our beloved neighborhood of Adams Morgan. ‘Round 11:00 Marc and I decided to go out. Gotta admit, until very late in the evening, I was holding onto my cynicism and the mindset that “anything could happen.” But slowly that changed. We had to get out there; there was just too much energy out in the streets [I have to post this Bruce footage from his July 4th 2008 concert here in Gothenburg that Susanne and I were at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXvk24EFByc viewed 17,000 times, but this is the best moment of that show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RA_SMTBHxJA maybe ever], people heading down to the bars cheering and honking their car horns. In the distance, fireworks BAMMED! Kind of like New Year’s Eve, the Fourth of July, Adam’s Morgan Day and your birthday–all rolled into one. I was sticking my head out the window yelling “wooo hooo” and people were cheering right back. “YEAA!!!” (Poor Mike Azar upstairs. I hope I was not too loud.)

    As we walked down to 18th and Columbia, cop car sirens were blaring pretty continuously. It started to become a bit scary. “Did something HAPPEN?” we wondered. Anything could happen. In the middle of the block in front of Millie & Al’s two DC cops were parked, lights flashing, sirens blaring. As we got closer our fear turned into this amazing feeling of JOY. Several cops were leaning on their cars, arms crossed, smiling. Around them was the greatest party I’ve ever seen. People laughing, crying, cheering, jumping, dancing, beating drums, hips shaking, butts rocking, hugging, kissing. Black, Latino, Asian, white, straight or not, drunk or not, tears or none. Fat, thin, bald, hairy, young and old. One guy up on a truck in front of Madam’s Organ waving a huge American flag. “USA! USA!” people cheered. For the first time in a while, it felt good to be in this big throng of AMERICANS! In fact, it felt really good! The cop cars started heading slowly up to Columbia Road and they were kind of like the center of this big parade. Kind of like they were working “for the people” as they had the biggest noise-making capacity. And used it to send up this big cry of JOY!!!!

    Amazing opening of the heart. Marc and I got into Millie & Al’s to watch Obama’s acceptance speech as President of the UNITED States of America, cheering every moment we had a chance. A good night to have a voice. A good night to have a soul. And, on the way home we saw Chuck and Kevin just heading out to start their evening’s festivities.

  4. EXCERPT FROM EMAIL WITH MY COUSIN, LARRY:

    On 11/5/2008 Chris wrote:

    I am with you 100%! It’s like a sadness has lifted been replaced with a new hope… it’s just amazing in so many ways. I used to feel apologetic for us (America) but now I feel restored (or on the road to restoration, at least). We used to be a country and people that others looked to, then it faded and reversed under Bush. Now I can feel it being reborn. People are calling and emailing to send wishes, on Twitter. My friend Auvi from Bangladesh (now on scholarship in Michigan called and we talked for an hour). I am tuned into to a bunch of people all over here and it’s just amazing, I think much of the world feels the same way we do (in the sense of hope and optimism). We still have to get through the recession and get back on the upswing, but Obama is the one who we will dig down deep for, power through whatever must be done. Just… wow. It’s history. I’m speechless. If I was in DC I think I would go to the Lincoln Memorial right now, as I assume (maybe) hundreds of people are.

    On 11/5/2008 Larry wrote:

    Hi Chris,
    Quite a remarkable night last night. History was made. And yes his speech brought tears to my eyes. I just felt choked up with emotion – the HUGH step America has just taken – unbelievable.
    Larry

  5. Pictures from the Washington Post:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/interactives/campaign08/photos/?hpid=topnews

    Also from the Washington Post:
    “U.S. Again Hailed as ‘Country of Dreams'”
    Around the World, Obama’s Victory Is Seen as a Renewal of American Ideals and Aspirations

    LONDON, Nov. 5 — Through tears and whoops of joy, in celebrations that spilled onto the streets, people around the globe called Barack Obama’s election Tuesday a victory for the world and a renewal of America’s ability to inspire.

    From Paris to New Delhi to the beaches of Brazil, revelers said that his victory made them feel more connected to America and that America seemed suddenly more connected to the rest of the world.

  6. From Nouriel Roubini’s blog:
    http://www.rgemonitor.com/roubini-monitor/254277/barack_obama_the_44th_president_of_the_united_states

    2008-11-5:

    The 2008 U.S. Presidential election was historic itself owing to the candidates’ profile. But the timing of the elections as the U.S. and global economy are in the midst of the worst financial crisis and recession in decades reminds us of the Great Depression era and the 1980s recession when incoming Presidents Roosevelt and Reagan faced immense challenges to cure the economy’s woes.

    By the time Obama takes his oath in January 2009, he will face an economy which is still in a middle of a severe and prolonged recession where households will continue to face unaffordable mortgage and other debt, declining value of homes (that financed their consumption all these years), risk of debt default or foreclosure, tight access to credit with stringent borrowing conditions, erosion of their retirement savings amid the bearish stock market, over a million lay-offs taking the unemployment rate to 7-8% and critical foreign policy challenges.

    Therefore, immediate challenges for Obama will include cushioning the consumers (who account for over two thirds of GDP) from the economic slowdown by means of a large fiscal stimulus package and acting on a government guaranteed mortgage modificationprogram. In fact, he has already called for fiscal stimulus in the form of grants for state and local governments, infrastructure spending to create jobs, scrap tax on unemployment insurance, tax cuts for lower income-groups and small businesses, tax credits for firms that create jobs and government aid for the ailing auto industry. Some of the tax cuts would be financed by taxing the windfall profits of oil companies. Part of his program would allow households to draw up to $10,000 from retirement funds during 2008-09 without any tax penalty. Obama also called for a ninety-day moratorium on foreclosures, modification of bankruptcy laws, a $10 bn foreclosure-prevention fund and 10% mortgage tax credit for the middle-class. But more importantly he has emphasized preventing taxpayer funded bailout of banks and giving golden parachutes to CEOs of failing institutions. He has also strongly endorsed greater financial sector oversight, control and reporting with the creation of a financial market oversight commission to oversee liquidity, capital and disclosure requirements and plans to streamlining regulatory agencies to prevent overlap and assign greater role to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to prevent market manipulation and to the Federal Reserve to carry out regulation.

    The Democratic Congress will also influence on asset markets, business sentiment and financial sector regulation, as well as on the country’s energy policy and oil sector, health insurance and pharma sector, tax incidence on high income-groups and corporate sector, pre-conditions under trade talks and role of labor unions.

    Tax Policy and Fiscal Deficit

    Obama will face a swelling fiscal deficit which might be pushed over $1trillion in the next few years. Mounting fiscal costs of the housing and financial sector bailout and fiscal stimulus measures to sustain aggregate demand will impact the budget while the downturn puts a dent in tax revenues. Ballooning Medicare and Social Security bills will only add to his challenges.

    A redistribution-oriented tax policy which gives larger tax cuts to a greater number of low and middle-income groups while raising taxes on the high-income group is at the center of Obama’s proposals. When Bush’s tax cuts expire in 2011, Obama plans to raise the federal individual income tax rate from the current 33% and 35% to 36% and 39.6% for the over $200,000 and $250,000 income-groups respectively. Tax cuts would be kept at the current rate for the rest of the income groups. However, the total tax incidence might be higher when combined with the State and other taxes. The new administration also plans to remove various exemptions and deductions for the high-income groups while extending several tax breaks and credits for the low and middle-income groups, retirees, homeowners, and students.

    For the corporate sector, the plan is to cut the tax rate to below 35% and act stringently to broaden the corporate tax base and reduce loopholes, crack down on international tax havens and tax distortions and have a shareholder vote on CEO pay. The plan also includes tax breaks for firms that keep headquarters in the U.S. Capital gains and dividend tax rates are expected to go up to 20% for the above $250,000 income group. Moreover, carried interest of private equity and hedge-funds will be taxed as ordinary income (at a higher rate) rather than as capital gains.

    In order to finance the Social Security shortfall from the oncoming fiscal burden of baby boomers, the new president plans to raise the earnings cap on payroll taxes from the current $102,000 income cap to the over-$250,000 income-group. The Social Security plan will also include a job-portable and tax-deferred Retirement Fund.

    While Obama has pledged to follow the pay-as-you-go rule to contain the fiscal deficit, his proposals to increase spending on lower and middle income groups, infrastructure, research and technology would nevertheless raise the national debt with possible impact on Treasury yields and sources of debt financing.

    A Democratic Congress might strengthen the stance to raise taxes especially amid criticism that recent tax cuts dented the fiscal deficit, created investment distortions, and raised income and wealth inequality. But the economic slowdown might limit or delay the administration’s ability to raise taxes. Moreover, there have been concerns about possible impact of these policies on U.S. competitiveness and impact on investment and small businesses.

    Health Care Reform

    In a country with around 47 million uninsured and the middle-class battling with rising health insurance premiums and job-immobile coverage, Obama will face an immense challenge to undertake the impending health care reform and ensure quality healthcare – that presently fails to match with even other developed countries. The President has endorsed a universal health insurance coverage which will have mandates only for children. The plan includes the creation of a regulated National Health Insurance Exchange where individual insurance can be purchased. Low and middle-income households will benefit of subsidized premiums. Firms that do not offer insurance to their employees will face a tax penalty. The improvement in the insurance coverage, in the next few years, might come with a high price tag.

    Trade Policy

    Regarding trade, Obama has pressed on including on labor and environmental standards in trade agreements. He has also proposed to raise duties on Chinese imports to offset the undervalued Yuan and dumping of goods and also take measures against their violation of intellectual property rights. Part of the plan also includes greater scrutiny of investments by Sovereign Wealth Funds.

    Even as the global recession is increasing risk of slowdown in global trade and possible rise in protectionism, this might be exacerbated by a Democratic Congress that favors conditional trade agreements. The current financial crisis and rising significance of Sovereign Wealth Funds might also increase Congress’ aversion to financial globalization and inward foreign investment. But aversion to trade might be overrated as they realize the risk of unilaterally withdrawing from global trade.

    While fair trade might be the way for survival ahead, U.S. insistence on non-tariff barriers to protect some sectors and jobs from import competition might isolate it from trade deals and possible gains from multilateral trade talks.

    Labor and Middle-Class

    However, the most important and significant challenge that Obama will face is alleviating the American middle-class woes due to the recession but also due to the impact of globalization on workers in the recent years. While the lower and middle-income groups have benefited from trade via cheaper imports, the net benefits from globalization are still being heavily debated.. In the most recent years, real wages have remained stagnant for the middle-class in spite of rising cost of living.

    In this respect, Obama has offered to raise the minimum wage adjusted for inflation and introduce laws to make organizing unions easier. He has proposed to reform the Trade Adjustment Assistance, wage insurance and worker retraining programs.

    Foreign Policy

    While economic policy issues make take the fore and constrain foreign policy, many global leaders will be watching the new foreign policy team for clues of the new administration’s priorities. No shortage of challenges await – a resurgent Russia resenting NATO’s involvement in its near abroad, an Iran that remains dedicated to nuclear proliferation despite sanctions etc. Obama’s foreign policy vision has centered around multilateralism and revived diplomacy – something for which European allies have been longing – to further US interests at a time when the U.S. military is engaged in two wars. Iraq and Afghanistan will likely consume much of the administration’s focus – Obama has pledged to withdraw troops from Iraq within 16 months of taking office and counter resurgent Qaeda and Taliban forces in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, economic and not political ties may continue to define the U.S. relationship with key Asian economies, including China, its largest creditor.

    But finding common ground with China, the second largest consumer and importer of oil, may be required to meet energy policy and anti-climate change goals. Obama has stressed conservation and use of alternative fuels to meet America’s energy needs in order to reduce US oil imports and its trade deficit. However, the lower price of oil and worsening economic outlook expenditures may reduce some of the political will around cap and trade policies as well as reducing pressure to begin offshore drilling.

  7. Sorry to have to post this here, but see this video:
    YouTube: “G20 2009: Police Attack Students at University of Pittsburgh”

    A similar thing happened in my hood in DC (Adams Morgan) on Bush’s re-election night in ’04.

    Nobody was doing anything, yet they threatened everybody they saw with baseball-bat size clubs, cans of Mace, and guns.

    It was like a massive home invasion and the invaders where our own government, Orwell’s jack-booted thugs come to life. They are real and they are here (the video shows, they are still here).

    The thugs come dressed in black, full body armor, carrying all manner of weapon and itching to use them all. They are anonymous (can’t see their faces) and they love to crack skulls.

    Our thugs arrived in unmarked buses (like Greyhounds). Why? Helicopters overhead. Why? There were not even any protesters present.

    Thought it was a bad dream, but it was just Bush’s America.

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