Obama victory sparks praise at home and abroad
? Sen. Barack Obama began his first full day as president-elect of the United States with the simple act of having breakfast with his daughters.
Now, Obama must begin compiling names for various key positions in his administration as he prepares to take office in January. Democratic officials say Illinois Rep. RahmEmanuel has been offered the job of chief of staff in the administration, but it is not known whether he has accepted.
In addition to filling key posts, Obama will begin receiving highly-classified CIA briefings on a daily basis starting on Thursday. These briefings will contain sensitive information that Obama?s never had access to, even as a senator.
"Through expanded access, greater than what he had in his briefings as a candidate or as a senator, he will see the full range of capabilities we deploy for the United States," said CIA Director Mike Hayden in a message sent to agency employees.
The historic victory in the presidential race is resonating around the world on the day after Election Day.
Nelson Mandela, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and world leaders praised Obama for his determination and U.S. voters for their decision Wednesday.
Mandela, South Africa?s first black president, sent Obama a letter of congratulations on his victory. He says the win shows that anyone in the world can ?dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place.?
The election was closely monitored by countries around the world. In a letter to Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy wrote, ?At a time when we have to confront immense challenges together, your election raises great hopes in France, in Europe andin the rest of the world.?
France?s junior minister for human rights, Rama Yade, called Obama?s victory ?the fall of the Berlin Wall times 10.? He also added ?on this morning, we all want to be American.?
One of the many challenges Obama must confront when he is sworn into office is the frayed relations between the U.S. and Russia, relations that were badly damaged during the Russia-Georgia conflict that took place over the summer. However, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said he hopes the incoming administration will take steps to ease tensions between the two countries.
Closer to home, President George Bush offered congratulatory remarks to Obama in a Rose Garden speech.
"It will be a stirring sight to see President Obama, his wife, Michelle, and their beautiful girls step through the doors of the White House," the president said. "I know millions of Americans will be overcome with pride at this inspiring moment that so many have waited so long."
Bush also promised complete cooperation with Obama during his transition into the presidency. The president said he?ll keep the senator informed of all decisions the White House makes between now and Jan. 20.
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