"We are all Americans and please believe me when I say no association has ever met more to me than that," McCain said in a speech that recognized Barack Obama's historic candidacy and the special meaning it has among African Americans. He also asked his supporters to "come together" for the nation.
"Although we fell short the failure is mine, not yours," McCain told those gathered with him at the Biltmore Hotel.
His wife Cindy, and Governor Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd stood with McCain on stage. McCain called Palin "one of the best campaigners I have ever seen" and a impressive figure in the Republican Party. He applauded the Palin family for the "courage and grace" they showed through the tumultous campaign.
Palin did not speak.