OBAMA WINS RE-ELECTION
After a long, bitter and expensive campaign, the 51-year-old Obama began trying to bring Americans together in a victory speech before thousands of cheering supporters in Chicago. Accused by Romney throughout the campaign of taking a partisan tone, Obama vowed to reach out to Republicans in his new, four-year term.
“You voted for action, not politics as usual,” Obama said, calling for compromise and pledging to work with leaders of both parties to reduce the deficit, to reform the tax code and immigration laws, and to cut dependence on foreign oil.
The nationwide popular vote remained extremely close with Obama taking about 50 percent to 49 percent for Romney after a campaign in which the candidates and their party allies spent a combined $2 billion. But Obama comfortably won the electoral votes needed in the state-by-state system used to choose U.S. presidents.
Obama scored impressive victories across the country, so much so that the big build-up over Ohio, Virginia and Florida fizzled. Obama reached the 270 electoral votes needed for election even without those three states, rolling up wins in Democratic strongholds and carrying Nevada, Iowa and Colorado.
In the end, he also won Ohio and Virginia and was ahead in Florida, where votes were still being counted.
Romney, the multimillionaire former private equity executive, came back from a series of campaign stumbles to make it close after besting the president in the first of three presidential debates.
The 65-year-old former Massachusetts governor conceded in a gracious speech delivered to disappointed supporters at the Boston convention center.
“This is a time of great challenge for our nation,” Romney told the crowd. “I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation.”
He warned against partisan bickering and urged politicians on both sides to “put the people before the politics.”
Obama told his crowd he hoped to sit down with Romney in the weeks ahead and examine ways to meet the challenges ahead.
The same problems that dogged Obama in his first term are still there to confront him again. He faces a difficult task of tackling $1 trillion annual deficits, reducing a $16 trillion national debt, overhauling expensive social programs and dealing with a gridlocked Congress that kept the same partisan makeup.