From The Associated Press:
Barack Obama is borrowing a page from history even as he sets a new marker for America, boarding a train in sunny, icy Philadelphia for a ride to the city of presidents along the same route Abraham Lincoln took nearly 150 years ago.
Obama and his wife, Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha, were the center of attention Saturday morning amid plans for his talk to citizens and the kickoff of a six-city whistle-stop tour originating at Philadelphia's historic 30th Street train station.
Quotes From Obama's 1st Stop:
"We are here today not simply to pay tribute to our first patriots but to take up the work that they began. The trials we face are very different now, but severe in their own right. Only a handful of times in our history has a generation been confronted with challenges so vast. An economy that is faltering. Two wars, one that needs to be ended responsibly, one that needs to be waged wisely. A planet that is warming from our unsustainable dependence on oil.
And yet while our problems may be new, what is required to overcome them is not. What is required is the same perseverance and idealism that our founders displayed. What is required is a new declaration of independence, not just in our nation, but in our own lives - from ideology and small thinking, prejudice and bigotry - an appeal not to our easy instincts but to our better angels.
That is the reason I launched my campaign for the presidency nearly two years ago. I did so in the belief that the most fundamental American ideal, that a better life is in store for all those willing to work for it, was slipping out of reach. That Washington was serving the interests of the few, not the many. And that our politics had grown too small for the scale of the challenges we faced.
"Hallelujah, we did it!" read one poster held up by a supporter, while another declared "Hail to the Chief" as Obama's trundling train did a "slow roll" through the town of Claymont between Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware.
12:23 P.M. Wilmington, DE ... Obama arrives in Wilmington...
WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President-elect Barack Obama is promising that he and Vice President-elect Joe Biden "will fight for you every day we're in Washington" as the pair visited Delaware en route by train to the capital.
Obama paid tribute to Biden, who has commuted by Amtrak from Delaware to Congress for several years. He told a cheering crowd that getting things right for the country is the reason he asked Biden "to take one more ride to Washington."
1:55 P.M. ObamaXpress leaves Wilmington...
3:00 P.M. Edgewood, MD
In Edgewood, in Harford County, where the whistle-stop train did "slow-roll" through just before 3 p.m., and Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden waved from the caboose, the historic "Georgia 300" car. The crowd was ebullient, and many ran with the train from one side of the station to the other.
There were about 600 people at the Edgewood stop just before Obama and Biden were scheduled to pass through, and the inaugural committee handed out small American flags. A small combo played jazz tunes.
Imari Hawkins, 7, of Abington and her sister held Obama signs.
"He's cute on TV," Imari said of Obama, "but he's even cuter in person."
4:15 P.M. Baltimore, MD
Tens of thousands of people in Baltimore gathered today as President-elect Barack Obama shared his vision for the country's future and thanked them for their support.
"You proved once more that people who love this country can change it," he told the crowd gathered at War Memorial Plaza near City Hall. Obama noted Baltimore's role in the American Revolution and once interrupted his prepared remarks to say "I love you back" to a fan.
Spectators, including several generations of families, had waited for much of the day to see him speak as part of his a "whistle-stop" train tour that began earlier this morning in Philadelphia and would end in Washington.
The crowd had listened to gospel music this afternoon and did calisthenics to keep warm as they waited for Obama.
5:55 P.M. Obama Express pulls into Washington's Union Station....Next Stop, The White House