NEW YORK (TIP): President Obama won a second term November 6 night and became the 14th US President to win a second term. He promised his thrilled supporters at the victory celebrations in Chicago that for the United States of America “the best is yet to come.” He congratulated his opponent Mitt Romney and said, “In the weeks ahead I am looking forward to sitting down with Gov. Romney to discuss how we can move this country forward.”
In a victory speech studded with the soaring rhetoric that first drew voters to him in 2008, Obama reminded the electorate what was still on his agenda — immigration reform, climate change and job creation.
“Tonight, you voted for action not politics as usual.” he told supporters in Chicago. “You elected us to focus on your job, not ours.”
Obama told Romney supporters that “I have listened to you… you have made me a better president.” He added, “I return to the White House more determined, more inspired than ever.
The election is a validation, if not an overwhelming mandate, in support of the president’s policies of the last four years, which included a major overhaul of the healthcare system and a drawdown of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Top Republican lawmaker John Boehner said on Thursday he would not make it his mission to repeal the Obama administration’s healthcare reform law following the re-election of President Barack Obama.
“The election changes that,” Boehner, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, told ABC news anchor Diane Sawyer when asked if repealing the law was “still your mission.”
“It’s pretty clear that the president was re-elected,” Boehner added. “Obamacare is the law of the land.”
Obama built a coalition of young people, minorities, and college educated women and won by turning out supporters with a carefully calibrated ground operation to get out the vote in crucial states like Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin.
He thanked those who voted “whether you voted for very first time, or waited in line for a very long time — by the way we have to fix that,” he joked.
He thanked Vice President Joe Biden, whom he called “America’s best happy warrior” and first lady Michele Obama.
“Sasha and Malia,” he said addressing his two daughters. “You’re growing up to be two strong, smart, beautiful young women…I’m so proud of you. But I will say for now, one dog is probably enough,” he said riffing on his promise of a puppy four years ago.
Prior to the president’s speech, Mitt Romney conceded gracefully in Boston.
“I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes….but the nation chose another leader,” Romney told heart broken supporters at his Boston headquarters.
“I pray the president will be successful in guiding our nation,” Romney said before running mate Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and their families joined Romney on the podium.
Obama’s lease on the White House was renewed with a crucial victory in Ohio.
Celebrations erupted in Obama’s home town of Chicago, in New York’s Time Square and outside the White House, while Romney’s Boston headquarters went mournfully quiet.
“We’re all in this together. That’s how we campaigned, and that’s who we are. Thank you,” Obama tweeted even before formally announcing his victory.
After a campaign for the White House and both houses of Congress that cost more than $6 billion, the make up of all three branches remains very much the same as it was before the election. Obama remains in the White House, Democrats retain control of the Senate and Republicans continue to control the House.
The participants were themselves history making, the first black president running against the first Mormon presidential nominee to make it the general election. But for the most part the election turned not the politics of identity but of the economy.
The election took place against the backdrop of a slow economic recovery. From its outset, both campaigns knew the race would come down to the economy, and both tried to tailor their appeals to middle class families struggling with inflation and unemployment.
Obama routinely reminded voters he had inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression and pointed to policies he led, including the auto bailout, and signs of improvement including a drop in the unemployment rate.
Obama portrayed Romney as an out of touch millionaire intent on helping the rich at the expense of the middle class when they were hurting the most. That impression seemed to stick with voters who nationally said by 55 to 40 percent that they believed the economic system favors the wealthy rather than being fair to most people, according to exit polls.
The candidates also tangled over health care, abortion, and taxes, leading to a bevy of negative ads.
The campaign was the most expensive in history, with each candidate raising nearly $1 billion a piece.