History was made today when an African-American clinched the most important job on earth.

Barack Obama will be the 44th President of the United States.

He took the election when he accumulated the required 271 electoral college votes after he won California and Washington state.

He is expected to win more than 300 overall.

Earlier he took Pennsylvania and Ohio, states that voted Republican in 2004, and swept up other states of electoral and historic significance.

President-elect Obama took New Mexico, next to his Republican rival Senator John McCain’s home state of Arizona, and Iowa, a state that is more than 95% white.

Veteran Senator Joe Biden will be the next Vice President.

President-elect Obama will take office on January 20th when he is inaugurated in Washington.

He inherits a struggling economy that has slid into recession and the hopes of a people demoralised by two foreign wars and a general malaise about the country’s future.

At 47, he is one of the youngest men ever to become President and a strong supporter of gay rights.

His biracial heritage has inspired hope across the world and he is a palpable symbol of a new America.

He ran on the audacity of hope, and the next four years will fly or fail on his ability to sustain that positive message.