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."
Obama's speech was truly inspirational. Even though he lost, by a narrow margin, I believe we will see a resergence of 'HOPE' amongst the American voter. He hearkened the spirits of JFK and MLK and the energy was magical. He wass down in this contest be we now truly have a contest on our hands. I support Obama because he has a vision and the ability to move people. Clinton has been in office a long time 35 years, and nothing has been outstanding about her record ,but we will see Obama in the White House. The African American vote will be crucial, and it will propel Obama to the top.
Obama will win in the end.
GO HILLARY GO, GO HILLARY GO. TELL THE "JUNIOR" SENATOR TO GO POUND SAND.... MAYBE MICHELLE CAN WIPE HIS NOSE TONIGHT.
Wow! I am a woman and now can say tears worked!!! And all those poor women in NH agreed. Do they not understand that they have pulled women one step back and not forward. Men has always said that we can get anything if we but cry. And Hillary has proved them right.
I still want someone to tell me what Hillary's 35 years of experience is all about? I must repeat being a wife of a governor and then the first lady does not count as experience.
Such a sad they for women!!
Keep fighting Barack.
Your love for this country and the hope your speech has given to the dregs of united States of America couple with your faith "Yes we can" shall take you to the white house come January 2009, I can see you raising up your hand and you are being sworn in as the president of United State of America. Fire on it would not be long, you will soon be there.
He's still fired up but he is not a good choice for America. The next four years are going to bring lots of trouble for the world. What if Iran attacks Isreal. what will the inexperienced junior senator Mr. Obama do? Will he stand up with Isreal and help them or will he sit back and do nothing. I suspect he would follow his Muslim roots of his father and leave our friend Isreal to fend for themselves. Wake up America, I agree that we need change in Washington but Barack Obama has no experience in world afairs. He's the canidate of Hollywood and we all know that hollywood is the land of makeblieve This canidate fits hollywoods image of a good President but in the real world he needs to gain more wisdom and experience.
I think all this hype that Hillary "won" is unnecessary. They both received the exact same number of delegates, except Obama has one more 'superdelegate' (whatever that means). Basically, they tied. And considering the Hillary placed third before when Obama placed first, he is definitely still in the lead!
African Americans have supported the democratic party for years!! If our best and brightest is not good enough, then blacks should not support this party!! After what the Clintons pulled with all the subliminal racist tactics, I am soooooooo through with them...As a black man i will never vote for a Clinton again.
obama will get them in sc
OBAMA YOU ARE A WINNER! This race was too close for a supposedly "inevitable" Hillary to claim victory over Obama. That is pure spin.
Hillary is probably still crying as they both have the same amount of delegates, Obama and all of his supporters are still the true winners of this one in NH.
The main deviating factor I saw, besides women voters, were there were more Independents voting on the Republican side for McCain. He has a strong standing in NH but I don't think that will be a factor in SC. Again, congrat still to Obama on this one. A 2% difference between him in Clinton in NH and she calls it a comeback. Wow. :-)
Maybe Obama should cry a little tear in South Carolina and Nevada! Come on, it's just started. Fire up the guns and get out there and gets your platform across. Give us some meat. Show you really want it. Nothing is given to you on a silver plater, you have to fight for the nomination. Oh, watch out you don't shoot yourself in the foot!
YES, WE CAN, BARACK OBAMA, 2008, CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN-HOPE WE HAVE FAITH IN.
Where is Bill Clinton he is such a baffoon, we should not be paying attention to him. He committed the ultimate wrong as a leader and President and that is to Blatantly Lie about what he did under oath. Now it is so funny that he and Hillary supported the WAR in Iraq and now using it as a political strategy. The Problem is for too too long Politicians like the Clintons, the Bushes and the Mccains have use Americans voters like cheap paws in a Pawn shop. Today we say it is time for something better, a better and brighter tomorrow and Yes, WE CAN-Hope we can believe in.
Hillary is gonna steal OBAMA slogan, just wait and see; "YES WE CAN-OBAMA 2008!
AND WE WILL ONTO VICTORY, TIME TO UNITE THE UNION AND THE PLACE TO MAKE IT HAPPEN IS IN THE SOUTH!
hillerys fans bood oboma when he was on T.V. Show that all her fans are hippies.
Why are Hilary supporters always so negative. Is this a reflection of Hilary herself.
Come on C.Lo...stop the hate! lol There is nothing fake or greedy about her. Hillary 2008!
Let's put this in perspective: a black "kid" with supposedly "no experience" and "still wet behind the ears" almost defeats (and practically ties) the 35 year experienced entrenched political institution known as the Clinton machine in a predominantly white conservative northeastern state and she's declared the "winner?" More voters voted for Obama, Edwards and the other Democratic candidates than for Clinton by 60%. That is not a victory!
Obama will thoroughly trounce her in South Carolina, Nevada and Michigan. She will have to conjure up another "poor me" pity session to even try to keep up with him. Obama is not a campaign. It is a movement! He received an equal number of delegates as Clinton in NH.
YES WE CAN! YES WE WILL!
KEEP HOPE ALIVE!
I'm confused and perhaps someone can set me straight-
Hillary was supposed to be the inevitable candidate.
She loses in Iowa. And cries. Cry in private, Hillary. In. Private. I'm with John Edwards on this one- you think RUNNING for president is hard? Try BEING president. Unless the tears were orchestrated in which case...
Comes to NH and barely squeaks out a win, and, from what I can tell (and again, I may not be reading CNN correctly, so please correct me if I'm wrong) the win is so narrow that she and Obama receive the same amount of delegates from NH. So basically the "Inevitable" candidate has now lost and barely won (and really, tied) and somehow it's this huge victory for her. That what- she didn't lose? She's not exactly meeting her previous expectations. She's not exactly blowing the doors off the joint.
That said, I personally think journalists should be barred from adjectives. No "staggering victory" or "stunning loss" please. Just give us numbers and stop telling us how to react, think and feel. Knock it off.
My fellow Obama supporters, I understand your frustration and disappointment at the recent news from NH but I think ALL OF US need to stay positive. PLEASE do not fall into the selfish trap of becoming negative against other candidates.
The whole point of Obama's campaign is to erase the hate in politics and to bring the best out of everyone. This goes for the Hilary and Edwards supporters too.
Remember, whoever wins the nomination, lets all support them and not make the same mistake the current administration has made. Let's bury the hatchet with the republicans and work together to improve our economy, save the environment, increase the opportunities for the needy and make the world a better place, with less hatred.
Tired of Barack's chanting like he's preaching a religious service. It's growing old.
All talk-no promising ideas. Just a lot of group hugs and dancing around saying "We can"......we can what? Let's hear exactly "what".
Inspiring and eloquent even in defeat. Keep up the good work Obama.
It is this reason that I hold hope in my heart for this great country. Even in the face of an unexpected defeat, Obama is well spoken, eloquent and passionate about his message. Obama is aware that this movement is not for him, it is for the people, and with all of the humility of a friar, he reminds us that he remembers that, even in his moments of victory. "I know you didn't do this for me." He says with a proud but worn voice last Thursday night. Obama does not seem to be seeking personal glory or success, he seems to be genuinely dedicated to making this country a better place to live in. Call me naive, but that's something I can believe in, even hope for.
Robert J. Sutton
"It's about time, we tackle the good ol boys, and clean out thewaste in our contry
It's about time for someone like Obama to tell us what people with real problems, the cost of insurace, plus medicatios in Plan d $4000, sinc I take much meds.
Did the Clinto n capaign bring busloads of mental health clients to the pollig place, *I know they are told how to vote and lobby.
Continue keep on keeping on ..I can not afford your dinners, perhaps a small sum wiould, Isn't about time?
So because a few people may have booed that makes all her "fans" hippies. Well seeing as I am a fan I can guarantee you that I am not a hippie. So obviously that statement does not describe all her fans. But uh, thanks for caring.
there is definitely something happening in America! As a nation we are waking up to the fact that we must unite. That the present administration has brought this country to its knees, big corporations taking in record profits at the cost of nations citizens, has to Change! Its time to take back our country, and take care of its people !