As I look out my window at the channel, the waters peculiarly still while the tide wavers between rolling in and rolling out, I cannot help but think of the moment in history we occupy, as the anticipation and anxiety and hope of millions mingle silently in that brief transformational instant between the potential and the kinetic.
It is amazing to think that what began as an unexpected possibility in an Iowa caucus has become manifest -- that we are now taking the first steps into our nation's new future.
Roll up your sleeves, America: we have a lot of work to do.
And we cannot wait until the chapter closes on the Bush Administration. Now that the campaigns are over and the electorate has spoken, we have absolutely no time to waste, and no excuses to walk away from our obligations to this country and each other.
To do that, we must act in concert. Not without heated disagreement or clashing points of view, but at the very least with shared conviction to reclaim the city on the hill. I hope McCain's supporters will do as he urged them:
Senator Obama and I have had and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt many of those differences remain.
These are difficult times for our country. And I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face.
I urge all Americans ... I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.
Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans. And please believe me when I say no association has ever meant more to me than that.
This was not a call for blind faith or conversion. This was McCain reaching back to the man we knew him as in 2000, calling for Republicans and Democrats to move forward -- together -- for the good of the country.
A veteran and a senator with a strong record of service, but he was not the man for this job in this moment. And it seems the majority agrees with me. But he can and will be part of how we decide to forge ahead, and where we decide to go -- and so can you.
This requires an open mind, and a willingness to give our President-Elect the opportunity to prove himself to those who doubted him. I believe he will be far more conciliatory than conservative skeptics or extreme liberals think -- that he truly intends to be the President of the United States of America, and not just its voting majority.
Nearly 63 million Americans cast their ballot for Barack Obama, and despite the landslide in the popular vote and the overwhelming mandate of the Electoral College, the 55 million votes for McCain cannot simply be ignored. Those are voices that must be heard, and I know -- as surely as I know my own name -- that we have elected a president who is capable of listening.
But it's up to you to speak to him.