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In Obama, global leaders see light of hope


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In Obama, global leaders see light of hope



November 6th 2008


Let the global honeymoon begin.




President-elect Barack Obama leaves his

house in the Hyde Park neighborhood with

his motorcade in Chicago Wednesday.

[/float]His historic win in hand, President-elect Barack Obama turned Wednesday to the task of building a new administration, as the nation - and the globe - celebrated his election as the new leader of the free world.


"We went from 'Yes, we can' to 'Yes, we did,'" said an exultant Cheryl Stephenson in Detroit, echoing the sentiments of the 63 million Americans who voted for the 47-year-old Obama.


It was a cheer heard around the planet, as presidents and prime ministers, kings and queens, friends old and new offered their hearty congratulations to the first African-American President in U.S. history.


Prime Minister Gordon Brown called Obama "a true friend of Britain;" the prime minister of Pakistan hailed his "dynamic leadership;" China's president spoke of "the new historic era;" while the Vatican sent its prayers, to name just a few of the well-wishers.


"Mazal tov, Obama," added the Jerusalem Post, while one British tabloid reached back 39 years and up into space to find the right note - "One Giant Leap for Mankind," read the banner headline.


Perhaps not since Neil Armstrong uttered those words upon taking the first steps on the moon, or John F. Kennedy ushered in that earlier age of hope, had the world offered up such kudos to these United States.


One U.S. correspondent overseas even reported getting an unsolicited peck on the cheek from an Austrian woman, who just happened to overhear him speaking American-accented English.


"The message was clear," wrote The Associated Press' William Kole. "Today, we are all Americans."


For a nation on the outs in many foreign quarters, it was a sign that, perhaps, some measure of Obama's vaunted change had already taken hold, even though the Bush presidency has more than two months left.


"I think I speak for most Americans when I say, 'Anybody mind if he starts a little early?' David Letterman joked on CBS last night.


President Bush, standing in the White House Rose Garden that Obama's young daughters will soon rule, called Obama's victory a "triumph of the American story" and pledged his "complete cooperation" during the transition.


"All Americans can be proud of the history that was made yesterday," Bush said, glossing over the role his own, profound unpopularity played in Obama's rise. "They showed a watching world the vitality of America's democracy and strides we have made toward a more perfect union."


Full story: nydailynews_logo.gif icon_offsite.png - November 6, 2008

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