Barack Obama wins!
He shocked the nation when he defeated a field of establishment Democrats ten months ago in Iowa and he has run one of the best political campaigns in history. The community organizer has triumphed. In an era marked by the ultimate-insider administration of George W Bush and in the face of Clinton Democratic Party power, Obama drew strength from the national community of citizens and transformed U.S. electoral politics in the process, giving over his campaign in large part to volunteers, transforming campaign finance by relying overwhelmingly on small donors and using the internet to connect with his supporters -- and, more significantly, to connect his supporters to one another. He ran on a message of hope and change and, even as his campaign evidenced every sign of effective and bold leadership, his critics and opponents called into question his experience as a leader.
Obama inherits a wrecked economy, failing U.S. industry, wars on two continents, a dysfunctional healthcare system, degraded respect for the Constitution, an all-time low in America's reputation around the world, a long-standing energy crisis and enormous neglected environmental challenges, just to list a few of the larger issues he must face.
But he has also, in the time of this candidacy, raised hope around the country and across the globe. His victory tonight signals an end and a beginning. He has suggested through his more interactive campaign the way citizens can work together to influence the government he plans to run.
It has been an amazing race in almost every way. OffTheBus has depended on you to report it and we're depending on you to send us your comments tonight. Let us know what you think about our new President Elect.
Happy Election Day!