Sen. Barack Obama elected the 44th President of the United States - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Sen. Barack Obama elected the 44th President of the United States

Barack Obama has been elected president of the United States, becoming the first African-American elevated to the White House.

Obama has accepted John McCain's concession and has asked his Republican rival for help in leading the country. Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said McCain called Obama at 11 p.m. EST, moments after The Associated Press and television networks declared the Illinois senator the next president.

Gibbs said Obama thanked McCain for his graciousness and said he had waged a tough race. He also said the Arizona senator was consistently someone who has showed class and honor during this campaign as he has during his entire life in public service.

Gibbs quoted Obama as saying, "I need your help, you're a leader on so many important issues."

When McCain conceded - with wife Cindy on one side and running-mate Sarah Palin on the other - he urged his supporters to put aside partisan differences and work to get "the country moving again."

Speaking from outside the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, McCain told his supporters: "It's natural tonight to feel some disappointment. Though we fell short, the failure is mine, not yours."

Cathryn Khalil / ckhalil@kltv.com

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