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Obama set for 'defining moment'

November 04, 2008 00:05 IST

With most polls showing Democrat Barack Obama as the favourite, the Illinois Senator has described Tuesday's US election as 'a defining moment' in American history, as he sought to become the first black American president of the nation.

Coverage: US Elections 2008

"This is a defining moment in our history," Obama said as he appealed to the voters to 'give this country the change we need'.

"If you give me your vote, we won't just win this election -- together, we will change this country and change the world," said Obama, as polls suggested he holds a lead in his quest to become the first black American president.

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Forty seven-year-old Obama promised to a give a 'new direction' to the nation struggling with 'the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression'.

'America needs a new direction. That's why I'm running for president of the United States. You can give this country the change we need,' he wrote in The Wall Street Journal.

'We face the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression -- 760,000 workers have lost their jobs this year,' he reminded the voters as he continued the focus on the financial woes afflicting the US, as grim new figures showed the world's largest economy is moving towards recession.

The US government said the economy had shrunk by 0.3 per cent in the third quarter through September, its worst contraction since 2001.

On issues of national security, Obama promised 'to end the Iraq war responsibly' as he expressed his determination to 'finally finish the fight against bin Laden and the Al Qaeda terrorists'.

'And when it comes to keeping this country safe, I will end the Iraq war responsibly so we stop spending $10 billion a month in Iraq while it sits on a huge surplus. For the sake of our economy, our military and the long-term stability of Iraq, it is time for the Iraqis to step up,' he wrote in the Journal.

Obama underlined the need to 'build new partnerships' to defeat the threats of the 21st century, and restore the 'moral standing' of America.

"I will finally finish the fight against bin Laden and the Al Qaeda terrorists, who attacked us on 9/11, build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century, and restore our moral standing so that America remains the last, best hope of Earth,' he wrote in the US newspaper.

Even as he indicated there were no early solutions to these problems, he believed it could be done. 'None of this will be easy. It won't happen overnight. But I believe we can do this because I believe in America,' the Democrat stressed.

'I ask you to write our nation's next great chapter. I ask you to believe -- not just in my ability to bring about change, but in yours,' he underlined.

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