"We can build a more hopeful America," Obama said this morning. "And that is why, in the shadow of the Old State Capitol, where Lincoln once called on a divided house to stand together, where common hopes and common dreams still live, I stand before you today to announce my candidacy for president of the United States."
Obama said he recognized it requires "a certain presumptuousness" and "a certain audacity" to announce a presidential run after such a short tenure in the U.S. Senate. "I know I haven't spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington," he said, "but I've been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change."
In words that evoked Kennedy as much as Lincoln, Obama said: "Each and every time, a new generation has risen up and done what's needed to be done," he said. "Today we are called once more -- and it is time for our generation to answer that call."