Updated 12:45 a.m.
By Shailagh Murray
DES MOINES -- Obama walked on stage with his wife Michelle and two daughters to roaring cheers. He was a triumphant, if hoarse, giant slayer. He waved to the crowd and declared his victory "a defining moment in history."
"They said this day would never come," he said. "They said our sights were set too high. They said this country was too divided -- too disillusioned to ever come together around a common purpose." He continued, "We are one nation. We are one people. And our time for change has come." One day, he said, the American people will look back on the 2008 Iowa caucuses and say, "this is the moment when it all began."
But Obama asked Iowa for more, even as supporters filed into the downtown arena to celebrate victory. They were handed slips of paper reading "great work in Iowa," then announcing that three Obama offices around the state would remain open through Feb, 5, for volunteers to work phone banks for primaries in other states.
Earlier, a local marching band rocked the crowd at the Obama rally, while Clinton spoke on the screen in the background, her words drowned out by the roll of drums. Obama's campaign also reached out to supporters before he spoke, sending an e-mail that read:
We just won Iowa, and I'm about to head down to talk to everyone.
Democrats turned out in record numbers tonight, and independents and even some Republicans joined our party to stand together for change.
Thank you for everything you've done to make this possible.
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