Page last updated at 15:19 GMT, Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Voters' Views: Antoine Delaforterie

Barack Obama has been elected the first black president of the United States.

Here Republican and Democratic voters from across the US reflect on the results and look to the future.

Antoine Delaforterie Car designer | Republican

In a year Obama will prove to be either a Truman or a Carter

Antoine Delaforterie
Age: 47
Lives: Troy, Michigan
Occupation: Automotive designer
Last election voted:
In 10 words or fewer: Political misanthrope wishes humanity the best but tempered by reality

"Fifty years ago, the only place an African American would be in the White House was in the kitchen.

On Tuesday night, the oft recited dictum to our children that anyone can become president came true. From the genesis of the civil rights movement, it has taken the black man 60 years to walk from the kitchen to the oval office. Congratulations Mr Obama.

The head of the Michigan Republican Party, Saul Anuzis acknowledged that our loss stemmed from having lost our way politically. We have lost of balance between the pillars of social and fiscal conservatism.

Mr Anuzis promised to rebuild the party and to reconnect with the roots that had made us so successful in the past. We have a year to prepare for the midterm elections. A year to find our message, and to show the faithful that we mean business.

Over the next year Obama will be tested not only by the Republicans, but by speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and senate majority leader Harry Reid. In a year he'll prove to be either a Truman or a Carter. If it's the latter, we should be able to regain lost ground.

In my view, the Republicans need more than a message. Our loss was compounded by our inability to present more than general outlines of our solutions for the problems we face.

To be effective, we need an effective riposte to Democratic attacks. We need a message, a plan and effective rebuttal. This morning's mail included a letter from the Michigan Republicans inviting the faithful to help define the party's future. I will gladly take up the mantle and assist the party in that endeavour."

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The readers' panel has been selected from as wide a cross-section of people as possible and may not be representative of wider US public opinion.

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