Random Links 300 “Yes, We Can” Edition


Text of Obama’s victory speech in Chicago

Reading the text was a good as hearing it . below are some of the lines which stood out for me.

. 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 the 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 to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it’s been done in America for 221 years – block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

. 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.

. So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of 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’s resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.

. 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


Text of McCain’s concession speech

We can find graciousness and gems even in the lows, and this speech has a few too.  The “Booing” from the audience was less gracious . but then .

. In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving.

This is an historic election, and I recognise the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight.

I’ve always believed that America offers opportunities to all who have the industry and will to seize it. Senator Obama believes that, too.

But we both recognise that, though we have come a long way from the old injustices that once stained our nation’s reputation and denied some Americans the full blessings of American citizenship, the memory of them still had the power to wound.

. Senator Obama and I have had and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt many of those differences remain.

These are difficult times for our country. And I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face.

I urge all Americans … I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.

Leaders elated over Obama’s election

Malaysian leaders join in the excitement .

. “The Americans have voted in a president based on character and the principles of rule of law, equality, human rights, justice and democracy, rather than colour of skin,” he said.

Lim saw this as a broadside attack on many governments that practise racism and discrimination.

He also noted that many in the international community had scorned US ‘arrogance, hegemony and racism’, although they also admired the Americans for being enterprising, energetic and highly skilled.

lim guan engLim expressed hope that Obama will take steps to revive the ailing American economy, as this will help stimulate the global market as well.


. In Kuala Lumpur, Foreign Affairs Minister Rais Yatim said that Obama’s victory is meaningful not just for Americans but also for everyone in the world.

Rais said Barack’s victory could mean less use of American force in resolving world conflicts, and more respect for smaller nations.

rais yatim 03"Malaysia… hopes Obama’s government will be more sensitive to the sovereignty of smaller nations and will not use force in resolving global conflicts," he said in a statement.

"Obama’s victory is seen as bringing change and hope to the world."

. Meanwhile Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim said that Obama’s decisive victory signals a new chapter in the history of America.

"His call for unity and his promise to forge a new direction in the relationship between the US and the rest of the world is welcomed by Malaysians.

anwar ibrahim"The support that president-elect Obama draws from across racial, religious and generational lines parallels the sentiments felt by Malaysians from all walks of life who earlier this year cast votes in vehement opposition to the failed policies of an incumbent regime," he said in a statement.

Anwar added that nations which have been at odds with the US may now find opportunities to cooperate on issues of foreign policy, sustainable development and the environment.

"His administration also brings renewed prospects for engagement between the United States and Muslim countries.

Obama Wins! Democrats in Tulsa

Tricia does a mini wrap up for us . and yet promising more to come. She’s been a wonderful on the ground guide to the whole process in the USA thus far from a Malaysian perspective.  So far it’s been more narrative with some analysis, looks like more analysis is to come.  And lessons for Malaysia too?

Essay: Of Kennedys and Kings – and Lincolns, too

History has been on my mind too . how Obama brings it into his victory speech has much to teach us ahistorical people.

.Beyond the content, there was the delivery. In cadence and meter, Obama sounded more like a preacher than he has in months. His words contained history’s weight and ballast. The measured, disciplined oratory of the fall campaign yielded, in his hands, to sheer energy and enthusiasm – because he allowed it to.

Many among us decry our age as ahistorical and say we do not understand our own past. But if Obama’s victory speech is any indication, the tone of the presidency may, for the first time in a while, present an antidote.

. Ours is a visual age. We travel through a landscape of images and music and quick-cut video, see American history through a glass, darkly, if we see it at all. The genius of Obama’s speech was that it transcended the historical platitudes so common to political oratory and made yesterday fresh – and relevant to tomorrow.

“America, we have come so far. We have seen so much,” Obama said. “But there is so much more to do.”

The language was about what lies ahead, as it must be from the candidate of change. Still, it was difficult to miss the message from the man whom Americans chose to lead them through uncertain waters: In America, where nostalgia sometimes seems to replace history, one forgets the past at his own peril.

About Sivin Kit

man of one wife, father of four kids
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