Well Obama did it. Truly amazing. Truly historic.
His acceptance speech drew greatly on Abraham Lincoln's speeches, and Martin Luther King's Mountain Top Speech. In that speech MLK said the following:
"Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!".
Obama in his speech tonight said:
"The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America – I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you – we as a people will get there."
It's not surprising that Obama did reference MLK's speech - for a black man of his generation that speech and the "I have a dream" one would be ingrained in his consciousness. He would be able to recite whole passages of both by heart, I would think.
His speech tonight was very, very good. Presidential, not partisan. The tone is difficult at such time, and he got it right I think - at times it is almost religious like, especially when the crowd repeats "Yes we can" after he does.
I wouldn't be surprised if in 40 years time another young President draws on it in his/her acceptance speech, having memorized whole passages by heart as a child.
Can't wait for his inauguration in January.
It must also be said that John McCain was also very gracious in his concession speech.