Rice congratulates Obama on victory

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says that as an African-American she is "especially proud" that Democrat Barack Obama has been elected the first black U.S. president.

Rice told reporters Wednesday that Obama was "inspirational" and Republican John McCain was "gracious" in defeat.

Rice says the State Department will do everything it can to make the transition to a new president smooth.

Obama easily defeated McCain in a triumph that reflected Americans' weariness with eight years of President Bush's administration.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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