New Delhi: Americans voted on Tuesday in a presidential election that capped the longest—and most expensive—campaign for the White House.
Either Democrat Barack Obama, 47, seeking to become the first African-American to be elected US president, or Republican John McCain, 72, will end George W. Bush’s tumultuous eight-year presidency.
Obama, who carried his lead in the opinion polls into election day, called it a “defining moment in history.” At his final campaign rally in Virginia, he told supporters: “I’m feeling kind of fired up. I’m feeling like I’m ready to go.” McCain was equally confident of victory, whatever the opinion polls may show. “This momentum, this enthusiasm convinces me we’re going to win tomorrow,” he said at a rally in Nevada.
The election took place against the backdrop of deepening concern over a recession-bound economy and job losses after the recent turmoil in the US financial industry that has devastated global markets. And concerns over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan also likely played a role in influencing the outcome of an election that follows a two-year campaign in which both candidates together spent $826 million (Rs4,014 crore).
1. Traditional Russian Matryoshka dolls with pictures of US Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama (left) and Republican nominee John McCain are displayed for sale near Red Square in central Moscow.
2. A Secret Service agent stands guard as Senator Obama (background left) autographs books backstage after a rally in Miami, Florida.
3. Obama (right) holds a basketball as he talks to his chief strategist David Axelrod, backstage, before an economic summit in Lake Worth, Florida.
4. Obama (left) talks with his wife Michelle at Jorge’s Sombrero Cantina and Restaurant in Pueblo, Colorado, where he stopped for a meal with his family.
5. Senator McCain hosts business and community leaders at lunch at a restaurant in Miami, Florida.
6. John McCain, his wife Cindy (left) and McCain’s political adviser John Weaver (centre) in McCain’s Washington office as they discuss the success of the passing of a compromise amendment to the McCain/Feingold finance reform Bill which sets limits on the hard money that campaigns are allowed to accept.
(Photographs by Reuters, AP, NYT)