Yes, Barack Obama promised his children a new puppy. The president elect also thanked his supporters and praised opponent John McCain as someone who has "endured sacrifices for America most of us could not begin to imagine." But he also seized upon his historic moment to highlight the changes that have swept America over more than two centuries, and to call, in a moment that recalled both the pageantry and message of John F. Kennedy before him, for a spirit of unified sacrifice in the populace.
As much as it was a crystallization of a historic moment, Obama's speech was also a chance to get his presidency off to a running start. There was a dramatic bit of global statecraft — "to those who would tear the world down, we will defeat you" — but mainly a look inward and across the political aisle. He called for Americans to resolve to "pitch in and work harder."
To McCain supporters, some of whom were loudly disappointed at their candidate's defeat tonight: "I may not have won your vote tonight but i hear your voices. I need your help and I will be your president too."
To the nation more broadly: "We rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let's resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisan ship."
"There is new energy to harness... the road ahead will be long, our climb will be steep..... but I have never been more hopeful that we will get there. We, as a people, will get there."