November 5th, 2008
05:58 AM ET
11 years ago

U.S. Troops react to election news

Troops stationed abroad watch as election results came in.

Troops stationed abroad watch as election results came in.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) - Thousands of miles removed from their hometown polling stations, American soldiers in Iraq watched a historic U.S. presidential election unfold Tuesday evening.

Tuning in at a forward operating base in southern Baghdad, soldiers watched on big screen televisions as Democrat Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States and the first African-American to hold the nation's highest office.

"Amazing", said U.S. Army Sgt. Melissa Quereau. "I'm shaking I'm so excited. History right there. History being made right now."

Strict military rules that keep partisan debates private could not hide many soldiers' intense interest in Tuesday's election.

Watch: U.S. troops following election

"It is a critical election", U.S. Marine Corps spokesman Cameron Renner said in Baghdad. "The changing parties can dramatically affect the events that happen to us out here in this combat zone".

Obama, who was opposed to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, has called for a withdrawal of all combat soldiers from Iraq within 16 months.

"Iraq is not the central front in the war on terrorism, and it never has been," he wrote in a New York Times op-ed piece in July.

During his victory speech at Chicago's Grant Park, Obama acknowledged tough foreign policy issues he now inherits.

"Even as we stand here tonight", he said, "we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us."

But back home, Iraq was not America's biggest concern. Sixty-two percent of voters polled Tuesday said the economy was their top election issue, according to early national exit polling.

It was far ahead of the Iraq war, which only 10 percent of polled voters named their top issue.

A majority of those voters voted for Sen. Barack Obama in all but two states, according to early exit polling results.

Meanwhile, in a Shiite neighborhood in southeast Baghdad, seven people were killed and 20 others wounded when a bomb hidden underneath a vegetable cart exploded in a bus station, an official with the Iraqi Interior Ministry told CNN.

The seven were among 19 people killed in violence across Iraq Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Iraqi government spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh, said he welcomed an Obama presidency.

"The Iraqi government has a true desire to work and cooperate with the elected president in order to achieve the joint interest of the two countries, preserve the security and stability of Iraq, insure Iraq's full sovereignty and protect the interests of its people," he said.

- CNN's Phil Black and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report


Filed under: Race to '08
soundoff (118 Responses)
  1. mike

    I am from NC. When will this state decide who won?

    November 5, 2008 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  2. Obama saves the world

    I chose the name Obama saves the World because i knew a Obama win would bring the hope of peace around the world, and i was right just look at the commemts from the world 's leaders. I live in St.Maarten a tiny island in the caribbean, we depend on the US economy a lot, and the majority of us were backing Obama . Go USA GO

    November 5, 2008 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  3. pam Eugene OR

    Our children can come home now or at the very least get out of Iran and fight where the real war is.
    God bless Obama

    November 5, 2008 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  4. Repub 4 Obama

    Lets start bringing them Home , job well done

    November 5, 2008 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  5. Tree-Hugger

    I'm sure they'll all be happy to be back coming home when Pres. Obama orders the retreat, as he promised, come January.

    November 5, 2008 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  6. republicans hate america

    Time to bring you home to your families. Hold strong we are coming to get you.

    November 5, 2008 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  7. the beginning

    God bless all our troops, TODAY YOUR JOURNEY WILL HAVE NEW MEANING, UNITED WE STAND.

    November 5, 2008 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  8. Ty Schildwachter

    Honestly it's a very sad day for America. Others bought his way into the White House and time will tell if he can do what he said he'd do. That's the real point. Talk is cheap in this era. I do believe that the Iraq situation is way out of hand and we those troops should be brought home immediately. Obama needs to bring focus completely on the United States from here on out. We are a very sickly country right now and ALL his focus should be directed to the U.S. citizens. However I am ready to get a check from the rich folks now that Obama is in. I do support him on that.
    '

    November 5, 2008 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  9. JohnSerge

    It is indeed a joyous day for the world. This is a revolution not only for Americans, but for the entire humanity. Mr. Barack Obama, symbolizes every single facet of the cultures and people of the world, so in effect it has been the world that has produced this change in America.
    Life has heard our prayers and supplications, that there must be a new dawn for everyone.
    No longer shall the false, the mundane, the trivial and the essentially dark forces rule over the "Truth", which unfortunately is what Mr. G W. Bush represented and defended with so much arrogance, vigor and ferocity.
    The truth eventually will always triumph and it has done so today in the USA.

    November 5, 2008 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  10. blkkbbeauty

    Lets bring our troops home ! GOD BLESS THEM THEY ARE COMING HOME !

    November 5, 2008 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  11. J Wilkinson

    Obama saves the world??? You have got to be kidding. You know very little about this man and his plans. Despite the dreams of outsiders, true Americans will fight a new world order to their last breath. He HAS no real plans, just big talk and alot of very big donors with their OWN agendas.

    November 5, 2008 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  12. Valentine

    An Obama Victory just confirms that "the mind is everything, what you think you become" The World can now use an Obama victory,wise words and memoirs to transform their nations,to make the world habitable for ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 5, 2008 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  13. America Loves Peace

    > Time to bring you home to your families. Hold strong we are coming to get you.

    Thankfully, the troops have done such a great job that there's not a high likelihood of terrorist stowaways in their luggage like there would have been if the Democratic congress had it's way!

    Thanks to all the troops for your service.

    November 5, 2008 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  14. Debbie in Missouri

    God bless our troops !

    Let's bring our brave soldiers home !

    November 5, 2008 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  15. Dan

    I have to eat a lifetime of cynical words and feeling unrepresented, they sure taste good! Let's help the fools and bigots find there real selves. I know a few, they're worth helping.

    November 5, 2008 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  16. sue

    I'm ready for my checks to start. Can't wait.

    November 5, 2008 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  17. Lisa

    Obama is an eloquent speaker and talks a big talk. Now we will have to wait and see if he can deliver. He will get the experience he lacks very quickly and I hope he can achieve what he has promised to all American's.

    November 5, 2008 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  18. MBFLA

    Bring our troops home to their families! There never was a reason to be in Iraq and there is no reason anymore to be in Afghanistan. It's been 6 years in March folks! We lost enough Americans and killed far too many civilians and for what? For what? Bring them home if you really support them.

    November 5, 2008 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  19. nicola

    Congratulations America!! You have renewed hope in all international communities, to know that you voted across party lines, racial lines and all other prejudices! i am indeed proud of the change in the right direction you have taken.

    I am from Jamaica (home of Usain Bolt, fastest man in the world), an island in the Caribbean, we were all carrying Obama not because he is black BUT because he seems to be a real game changer, when he speaks i get chills!

    America you got it right! the World is watching and you have proven that you are indeed a GREAT nation!

    God Bless you All

    Nicola from Jamaica

    November 5, 2008 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  20. Former Desert Storm Spouse

    To all of our military troops....This Vote was for you.

    Thank you for your commentment to this sometime selfish country. We appreciate your strength, your indurance and your sacrifices. There were two subjects on my mind at 6am yesterday our troops and our economy....we won.

    Hold on we have not forgot about you. We are coming for you.

    November 5, 2008 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  21. jbrown98

    So much hate,,,why? Republicans are not evil...nor are democrats. As for Iraq, why can't anyone on the left admit that we have seen some great successes in the past 2 years. Let us (yes I am serving in the Armed Forces and no I did not vote for Senator (now President-Elect) Obama) finish the job, safely finish handing over control to the Iraqis and avoid disaster. That is the only way to honor the many sacrifices made over there. If we rush out without finishing the job and allow that nation to crumble, all the lives lost will be in vain. I pray our new President finally admits the successes we have seen and allows us to finish the job.

    This article does NOT reflect the majority opinion of U.S. Servicemen and woman.

    November 5, 2008 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  22. Ron

    Bring us home and let Al Queda plan another 9-11...great. Let's not finish what we started...

    November 5, 2008 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  23. Lody

    This compaign wasn't and shouldn't be totally about the color of a man's skin.
    It's about justice and the equal and fair treatment of all throughout the USA and world.
    This I feel is what Pres. elect Obama brings to the table the McCanin and his running mate wouldn't.

    November 5, 2008 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  24. Mike Dunford

    As polled, most military members do not support Obama's defeatist/concilatory policies. Obama does not and will not ever understand that some things are worth fighting for.
    And for those of you who keep saying "bring the troops home", just add "and get the police out of the streets, keep the firemen out of burning houses, get the Coast Guard out of the water, Doctors away from infectious people".

    There are two things that happen before a great civilization dies:

    1- Politicians vote/give the population large government entitlements.

    2- The military subculture is denegraded to extinction.

    We are almost there!

    November 5, 2008 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  25. republicans hate america

    J Wilkinson - you and your intolerant hateful ways are not wanted and your ideology will be defeated

    November 5, 2008 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
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