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John McCain Concedes Defeat in U.S. Presidential Election
    2008-11-05 12:19:32     Xinhua

Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain speaks during his election night rally with his wife Cindy and vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin in Phoenix, November 4, 2008. [Photo: Reuters]

Republican candidate John McCain conceded defeat in the U.S. presidential election Tuesday night, clearing the way for Barack Obama to become the first African-American president in U.S. history.

McCain told a crowd of supporters that "American people have spoken and they have spoken clearly."

He congratulated Obama for his victory which is "a great thing" for himself and the country.

"Senator Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and for his country," McCain said.

Flanked by wife Cindy and running-mate Sarah Palin, McCain spoke to supporters outside the Arizona Biltmore Hotel shortly after election results showed that he failed the election by a big margin.

"It's natural tonight to feel some disappointment. Though we fell short, the failure is mine, not yours," he told his supporters.

He voiced respect for Obama for his success "in a contest as long and as difficult as this campaign has been".

"His success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance," McCain noted.

He said Obama managed to inspire 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.

This was something "I deeply admire and commend him for achieving," McCain added.

Speaking of his decision to run for the presidency, he said he would not "spend a moment in the future regretting what might have been."

"I don't know what more we could have done to win this election, " McCain said.

This year's campaign was his second try for the White House, following his defeat in the battle for the GOP nomination in 2000.

McCain Congratulates Obama on Projected Victory, Pledges Help

U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain on Tuesday night congratulated his Democratic rival Barack Obama on the latter's projected victory in the presidential election.

According to ABC News, Obama, a first-term senator from Illinois, is projected to have won 338 electoral votes, far exceeding the 270 minimum votes needed to win the presidency.

In a speech after conceding defeat, McCain urged all Americans to join him in congratulating Obama on his projected victory in the presidential election.

"I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face," McCain said before his supporters in Phoenix, Arizona.

McCain's running mate, Governor Sarah Palin, was standing beside him, with tears in her eyes.

With his projected victory, Obama will become the country's 44th president.

Tuesday also marked the end of the longest presidential campaign season in U.S. history -- 21 months.

Noting that Obama has "achieved a great thing for his country," McCain also urged all Americans to solve the many challenges that the country faces.
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