Obama: Re-elected President 2012

WASHINGTON — Barack Obama defeated his Republican challenger despite a  bitterly contested election that had the U.S. president’s supporters fearful he  was doomed to the indignity of a single term.

Victory was declared after several gut-wrenching hours that saw Obama and  Mitt Romney spend election night much as they did the presidential campaign — in  a neck-and-neck, topsy-turvy horse race.

His supporters in Chicago — and around the world — erupted in jubilation as  soon as Obama was declared the winner. At Romney’s headquarters in Boston,  meantime, the mood was grim following an election believed to be well in the  Republican’s grasp.

Yet his success this year was in stark contrast to his historic triumph in  2008, when he became the country’s first African-American president and won the  White House on an inspiring message of hope and change.

In 2012, Obama’s rhetoric was decidedly less soaring.

Little wonder — Americans are still struggling to recover from a devastating  economic recession that took unrelenting hold of the country soon after the  president took office.

Obama was no longer promising to dramatically change the toxic political  culture in the U.S. capital, for example — instead, he was vowing to finish the  work he’d started and urged Americans not to give up on him.

And even though he eked out victory, the election exposed bitter partisan  fault lines that threaten to endure for years to come.

Although he handily won the votes of women, African-Americans, young  Americans and Hispanics, Romney won older Americans and white men.

Indeed, in Pennsylvania, the high turnout of African-American voters — reportedly even higher than it was in 2008 — was thought to have played a  critical role in the president’s victory there.

His triumph was the long-awaited culmination of one of the hardest-fought  presidential campaigns in recent U.S. history, even though Romney appeared to  still be ahead in the popular vote late Tuesday.

Under the American system, presidential candidates compete not for popular  vote, but for the electoral college votes up for grabs stateside. Those votes  are assigned based on a state’s population and representation in Congress.

Seven states, representing 89 electoral college votes, were considered  battlegrounds: Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, Virginia, Florida and New  Hampshire.

Nevada and North Carolina were also in play for both the president and  Romney.

Romney insisted the president had failed miserably to deliver on his heady  promises of 2008, assailing him in particular for his handling of America’s  enduring economic woes. He asserted that his own business experience would make  him a better choice for Americans.

Election day dawned following a $2.6 billion election campaign.

Romney, the 65-year-old former Massachusetts governor, fought until the  bitter end, making last-minute campaign appearances Tuesday in Ohio and  Pennsylvania even as millions of Americans were casting their ballots.

“This is a big day for big change,” Romney said in Richmond Heights, Ohio,  alongside his running mate, Paul Ryan.

“The country’s been going in the wrong direction for the last few years;  we’re going to steer it back onto a course that’s going to help the American  people have a brighter future.”

Obama, meantime, officially ended his final political campaign with an  emotional appearance with his wife, Michelle, on Monday night in Iowa, where he  won his first primary season contest in 2008.

The 51-year-old president spent election night in Chicago, playing basketball  with longtime friends — former Chicago Bulls forward Scottie Pippen was on his  team — before awaiting the results.

But earlier in the day, Obama stunned campaign workers in the Windy City when  he showed up unexpectedly to make calls to voters.

“Let’s get busy,” he told the campaign staffers around him as he prepared to  dial Wisconsin. “We’ve got to round up some votes.”

The president also conducted a series of TV interviews with stations in swing  states. In one of those chats, Obama recalled his victory in North Carolina in  2008, where he won by just 14,000 votes over Republican John McCain.

“Do not think that your vote will not make a difference,” Obama said as he  implored voters to get out to the polls.

“When we won North Carolina last time, we won it by an average of five votes  per precinct, which means that everybody who is listening right now, I know you  can find five people who didn’t vote, who have not yet voted.”

More than 45 million Americans had already cast their ballots in early voting  by the time Tuesday rolled around.

For those who trudged to the polls on election day, sporadic problems awaited  them at polling stations across the country, especially in the key battleground  states.

The race for the White House had been a dead heat, with polls showing Obama  and Romney tied nationally for weeks as they offered up competing visions for  the country.

The president, however, had pulled ahead nationally in a pair of polls  released this week. Obama has also had persistent, narrow leads in several of  the battleground states; he’s also reportedly had the edge in early voting.

Obama’s improved showing in a slew of recent surveys suggested his response  to mega-storm Sandy, which devastated New York and New Jersey last week, had won  him crucial support in those swing states.

Most of those surveyed have given the president high marks when asked about  his handling of federal relief efforts.

Sandy underscored one of the key themes of the election — the role of  government in the lives of citizens. Romney once suggested federal funding for  disaster relief was “immoral.” The plight of the middle class was another  primary topic of disagreement.

Obama has been vilified by Republicans for a tepid economic recovery  following the financial meltdown that took stubborn hold of the United States  just as he won the White House in 2008.

They’ve also accused him of being a socialist, saying he’s expanding  government and creating a welfare state while raising taxes and running up the  national debt to monstrous levels.

In fact, Obama has cut taxes and shrunk government during his four years in  office, slashing more than half a million federal jobs since 2009.

His predecessor, George W. Bush, ran up the debt to unprecedented levels  while financing two overseas wars. The billions Obama has spent in corporate  bailouts and economic stimulus measures are credited by many economists with  putting the brakes on what might have been a full-fledged depression.

Democrats, meantime, warned Americans that the wealthy Romney and his running  mate, Ryan, will slash cherished entitlement programs, including Medicare, and  push through 1950s-era social policies on abortion and contraception.

They also said he’d roll back Obama’s Wall Street regulations to the  relatively lawless state of affairs that allowed the financial meltdown to  happen in the first place.

Team Obama also mocked Romney’s proposals to cut taxes across the board,  increase defence spending and dramatically reduce the national debt as  mathematically impossible, insisting the middle class will ultimately pay the  price under a Republican presidency.

And yet Tuesday night’s congressional winners and losers were every bit as  important as the ultimate White House victor. Congress, after all, is more  powerful than the executive branch in terms of bringing to life — or snuffing  out — a president’s legislative hopes and dreams.

The makeup of Congress remained relatively unchanged, with Republicans  maintaining control of the House of Representatives and Democrats dominating the  Senate.

That means he’ll face a Republican House that’s no warmer to his agenda than  it has been for the past two fractious years.

Categories: World News | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Obama: Re-elected President 2012

  1. electrode2004

    Your bg is amazing but the MJ part sucks for me :p

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