MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) - Failing to parlay his win in last week's Iowa caucuses to a victory in the New Hampshire primary, Sen. Barack Obama said he was "still fired up and ready to go."
The junior senator from Illinois congratulated Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York for her win and praised "all the candidates in this race" as "patriots who serve this country honorably."
"But the reason our campaign has always been different, the reason we began this improbable journey almost a year ago, is because it's not just about what I will do as president," he said. "It is also about what you, the people who love this country, the citizens of the United States of America, can do to change it. That's what this election is all about."
CNN projected Clinton to win with 72 percent of precincts counted, basing it on reported results, exit polls and other statistical models.
As she had most of the night, Clinton held a 39 percent to 37 percent lead over Obama with 81 percent of the precincts in.
But Obama assailed critics who he said doubted his campaign and said that the record numbers of voters in Iowa and New Hampshire showed that "there is something happening in America."
"You, all of you who are here tonight, all of you who put so much heart and soul and work into this campaign, you can be the new majority who can lead this nation out of a long political darkness," he said. "Democrats, independents and Republicans who are tired of the division and distraction that has clouded Washington."
"For most of this campaign, we were far behind," he said. "We always knew our climb would be steep. But in record numbers, you came out and you spoke up for change."
Obama pledged to end tax breaks for the rich, to "end the outrage of unaffordable and unavailable healthcare" and "end this war in Iraq and bring our troops home."
"We will finish the job against al Qaeda in Afghanistan. We will care for our veterans. We will restore our moral standing in the world, and we will never use 9/11 to scare up votes. 9/11 is not a tactic to win votes, but a challenge to unite America."
Obama also responded to critics who he said cautioned his campaign against offer "false hope."
"In the unlikely story that is America," he said, "there has never been anything false about hope."
And, he said, his response to those naysayers is "one simple creed - yes, we can."
"Yes, we can heal this nation. Yes, we can repair this world. Yes, we can, and so tomorrow as we take the campaign south and west ... we will remember that there is something happening in America, that we are not as divided as our politics suggest, that we are one people and one nation and together we will begin the next great chapter in the story with three words that ring from sea to shining sea - yes, we can."
A second place finish is not what I was hoping for. At the risk of sounding like a sour grapes- sore loser, for the life of me I cannot imagine how anyone could in good conscience vote for Hillary. And I'm a college educated profesional single mother with two children! I'm theoretically part of her base!
Talk about flip flopping positions- she flip flops peronas like a schizophrenic! First she's the attack dog, then shes the victim, then shes running on 35 years of proven experience.....then she sends her philanderining hsuband out to do her dirty work. Does anyone mind telling me specifically what that 35 years of experience has amounted to? As far as I can tell she failed at Nationalized Healthcare the first time around........and back then she was against mandates which is the very issue she tries to stick Obama on. What the hell is she talking about? She seems to me devisive, egomaniacal, and the worlds leading opportunist. I'd sooner vote for the devil himself...really. If she is the party nominee, I'd sooner sit this one out – NO MORE dynastic politics for me. A Bush by any other name is still a Bush.
I think what happened in New Hampshire was that the indipendant voter felt that Obama was up 10%...'so let's vote in the Republican primary'. I would if my candidate was a "SURE THING" and I could influence both sides. I think that a lot of voters voted for McCain instead of Obama because they thought Obama was a sure thing as presented by the press.
Barack Obama, YOU will be the next president of the United States!!!
You are a gifted, inspirational and movtivational speaker who will lead this country out of an evil, dark era in America's history. WE need you! The whole world needs you to restore our democracy and faith in the beautfiul ideals we ONCE STOOD for.
Keep up your powerful determination to lead all of us in a new direction. Help heal this nation. We will work behind you. Clinton has been a dishonest opportunist politically, while you have remained honest, truthful and insightful (especially about Iraq & Iran).
God knows we need CHANGE in the White House. But it is a HUGE challenge to turn around the atrosities committed by the Bush/Cheny Regime. But YOU can do it. We have faith in your abilities to inspire fresh thinking and leading the way BACK to a country we can all be proud of once again.
Love and best wishes,
From your supporters in Southern Oregon!!!
Keep going Obama. We have had a Bush or Clinton in office for ages.
It's funny because as Americans we tout that we are "the free world" and look down upon countries with Kings and dictators. Folks, the same two families have been office for almost 20+ years.
Wake up! (sigh)
A call for change without a clear message for how to accomplish that change sounds very hollow and empty to those who are really trying to study the issues. I believe we have good candidates to pick from but clear ideas need to be articulated by all. We as deliberate-minded thinking individuals are not going to blindly follow anyone – we need a strong leader with concrete ideals and plans to implement changes.
This is what I love about Obama, he promises us hope, and talks about being the candidate of change, the he tells us how we are going to change the country:
"It is also about what you, the people who love this country, the citizens of the United States of America, can do to change it. That's what this election is all about."
Now, that sounds like a candidate that is ready to show me his record of change and who is going to take on some responsibility for change when he takes office.
No thanks – CLINTON 08!!!!!!
Yes We Can...make this "fairy tale" come true! South Carolina and Nevada, it's your turn!
I am a citizen of the republic of Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. a lady of 37 yrs old, i have always been facinated with American politics and American Elections has always interested me. if i was an American i would have been a democrate, and to see a great man as senator Oboma now, i think Americans should now cease this opportunity, vote for him and let this change that the Americans wanted for some time. I think he is the one man now that Americans need to leed them. I hope that he will be the next president of the United States.
I get chills hearing him speak. How can you not be so inspired by him?
This is incredible.
Little over a year ago, hardly anybody knew who Barack Obama was and now he won Iowa last week and came in a close second in N.H today.
Winning of hillary is a warning.are we going to nominate a candidate who is like Hillary in republican?McCain has no difference with her they are all pro choice,they support abortion..Romney the same,Giuliani the same.The only way to win over Hillary is to nominate Huckaboom who will defend our party in social issues.I know we will make a mistake and am sure Bill will be back in white house in Jan 2009.No one can beat this woman but huckaboom
obama all the way to the white house, you have us FIRED UP AND READY TO GO!!! He will make a strong prsident, apparently hircs fake tears worked, what a sad day for our democracy!!!
I think Hillary's turn around can be attributed to a perfectly timed and canned sniffle which, no offense, played perfectly to a female base. It also astounds me that in a country that limits itself to two parties we are looking to limit ourselves to two families, 28 years of Bushes and Clintons, 32 years if she wins. That is appalling to me. Don't get me wrong I think Bill was a great president but change this year needs to be about more that the D or R behind your name.
Clinton boasts a ready to go, day one experience. I'm sorry Miss but Bill Richardson has a better resume than you do. I don't think a resume equal’s leadership, what really matters is the ability to inspire, to challenge and to instill confidence that we, "WE" can be more. Great leadership is what inspires greatness. Obama eloquently summed up the American Spirit as "Yes WE Can", all I hear from Hillary is I, I, I. Obama is truthfully the first Presidential candidate I have ever been inspired by. America – now is the time for change, now is the time for true uniting leadership, now is the time to believe that America can look forward with anticipation not back with reminisce.
I've been watching media coverage on Obama and have noticed that the LIVE rally in New Hampshire was cut off in the middle, AND how come there is not a single video clip on Obama congratuting Hillary???
I thought I was the only one that knew she was crying for votes. What a shame.
his speech was excellent. in fact, the contrast between his and hillary's was staggering – if someone with no knowledge of the results watched their speeches, one would think he had won instead of her. his crowd got fired up at the right spots and they were much more enthusiastic (in my opinion). her crowd started cheering when she mentioned college students who can't afford to pay their bills – it was a very odd moment to start cheering.
i think obama should be happy to have made it a competitive race. he was trailing her by double digits for most of the year. she was SUPPOSED to win NH all along. this isn't too much of a victory – especially since good ol' President Bill is very popular in NH.
she also copied obama in that she had a bunch of young people behind her instead of the old guard like she did in iowa. for some reason that annoyed me. it seemed very staged.
She put herself downs so low, to actually fake an emotional outburst to gain sympathy votes. She disgusts me. If she becomes the democratic nominee, I will vote Republican!
I pray that people will open their eyes and vote for Obama!
Yes, WE CAN! What a breath of fresh air Obama brings to politics...please help keep Hillary out and give this new voice a chance!
I feel like I was punched in the gut, but thats ok, There is a new demographic of young people that have come to the fold and will not be denied. The old and status quo won tonight but ,the the young, and middle age voters will scrub themselves off and continue the fight. Obama without a doubt is still the winner and its far from over!!!!!
Congratulations to the Obama camp. Saying "Yes, you can" and I add to it..."you will. It's time for a change and fair politics, turth, honesty, and hope. Move over 'the old boys club."
Obama will bounce back. But his campaign will have to understand HYPING his way to change isnt going to cut the mustard without hard facts.
Clinton has altered her campaign and has hard evidence against him (finally)
44% of New Hampshire was INDEPENDENT . Something right up Obama's alley.
He LOST . Clinton can now claim with hard evidence that an Independent dominated voters DO NOT consider Obama the 'Zen change master'.
It will be pretty tough to SPIN that back now with this hard evidence.
We need Obama to unite us as one nation, undivided. I'm tired of the extremists on both sides of the aisle having the loudest political megaphone. Time to put them out in the cold where they belong. Obama, America needs you. Don't give up.
You go, Obama!!
We're just waiting for you down here in SC!
I can't wait to vote for you!!
Signed, 55-year-old white female in SC
WOO! fired up. Obama is still strong. He will make the word comeback seem silly.
I guess the crying did it for Hillary and I agree she is fake and greedy. I am a big Obama person and I am also fired up and ready to go.