Obama wins re-election - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Obama 'more inspired than ever' after historic election

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden hug after learning of their victory in the 2012 election. (Source: White House) President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden hug after learning of their victory in the 2012 election. (Source: White House)
President Barack Obama greeted thousands of supporters in Chicago after he was re-elected to a second term Tuesday. (Source: CNN) President Barack Obama greeted thousands of supporters in Chicago after he was re-elected to a second term Tuesday. (Source: CNN)
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney conceded the election to President Barack Obama on Tuesday. (Source: CNN) Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney conceded the election to President Barack Obama on Tuesday. (Source: CNN)
Barack Obama's official Twitter account sent out the photo of him embracing his wife, Michelle, along with the phrase "four more years." (Source: @BarackObama) Barack Obama's official Twitter account sent out the photo of him embracing his wife, Michelle, along with the phrase "four more years." (Source: @BarackObama)

CHICAGO (RNN) – Barack Obama told an electric crowd of thousands "the best is yet to come" in his first speech after being re-elected president.

"The task of perfecting our union moves forward," Obama said. "It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirm the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression."

He said he would return to the White House "more inspired than ever," and work with members of all parties to solve the issues facing the nation, namely jobs. But he called upon all citizens as well, telling them their duty did not end with their vote.

"America, I believe we can build on the progress we've made and continue to fight for new jobs, new opportunity and new security for the middle class," Obama said.

He credited Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his family for their service. Also, he said he looked forward to speaking with Romney about ways they could work together and improve the country.

Obama told everyone who had voted or participated in the campaign that they "made your voice heard, and you made a difference." And he expressed his appreciation to all of his supporters who made the night possible.

"Thank you for believing all the way," he said. "Through every hill, through every valley, you lifted me up the whole way with all the work you've done."

Michelle Obama and their daughters, Sasha and Malia, escorted him out to the stage and greeted him after, along with Vice President Joe Biden. Obama talked about how his daughters had grown "before our eyes" into smart beautiful women.

He talked about how he also watched as the country fell in love with the woman he loved.

"I wouldn't be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago," Obama said. "Michelle, I have never loved you more."

Romney conceded the election to Obama and offered a message of bipartisanship.

"This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray the president will be successful in guiding our nation," Romney said.

In a six-minute speech, he said the nation was at "a critical point" and asked members of both major parties to put people above politics. He also thanked his supporters, his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, and his wife, Ann.

"I believe in America," he said. "I believe in the people of America. I ran for office because I'm concerned about America. This election is over, but our principles endure."

A majority of voters across the U.S. picked Obama as their choice to move the country "Forward." The Associated Press reported Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney called Obama to concede the race shortly before making his speech.

Toss-up state Ohio and the election were called for the incumbent around 11:18 p.m. ET. On his official Twitter, the president's campaign sent out a tweet that said "four more years" with a picture of him embracing his wife, Michelle.

Initial reports out of the Romney camp stated he was not ready to concede, and Ohio results could be challenged to a recount. However, Obama then picked up apparent victories in swing states Colorado, Iowa, Nevada and Virginia, meaning he did not need the Buckeye State to win.

The AP has given him a projected total of 303 electoral votes, with Florida too close to call.

Crowds at the Obama victory party in Chicago and across the country began to celebrate after hearing the news. The count in the popular vote expanded for Obama to nearly 1 million after favoring Romney earlier in the night.

Several votes have not been counted, including those from the Democrat-heavy West Coast. Despite the lack of separation in the popular tally, Obama maintained nearly the same electoral map as the 2008 election.

The only states he did not win a second time were Indiana and North Carolina, with Florida pending.

Obama gained a relatively early victory in Pennsylvania, which some had still considered a swing state.

No Republican has ever lost Ohio and been elected president. The AP totals put the former Massachusetts governor at 206 electoral votes.

Democrats also declared victory in tight races for U.S. Senate seats. Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Missouri voters chose "blue," leaving a majority in the upper house of the legislature.

Republicans are expected to retain control of the House of Representatives.

Obama took on a variety of issues during his first term in the Oval Office, and he pledged to continue his plan of economic recovery in the next four years.

His campaign rode the theme of "Change" during the 2008 election and touted "Forward" as its motto for 2012. He said he would need a second term to finish guiding the country through the problems his administration was left with when he took over the executive branch.

Four years ago, Obama took office as the country's first black president in the midst of a recession. He vowed to cut deeply into unemployment, the deficit and reduce the country's involvement in the Iraq War.

There is a still split opinion on how much success Obama had during his first term. The work he accomplished included a comprehensive healthcare plan, a massive stimulus plan to kick-start the economy and an efficient, effective response to Superstorm Sandy.

However, the unemployment rate stood at 7.9 percent going into the election, the highest rate for a president successfully reelected since Franklin Roosevelt. Also, the country had a $1 trillion deficit for the fourth consecutive year, and he faces a Congress severely split along partisan lines.

His administration took a proactive step to prevent another financial crisis similar to the one in 2008 by passing the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The legislation put checks in place intended to prevent irresponsible business practices by banks and executives on Wall Street.

Obama also overhauled the national healthcare system in 2010 by signing the Affordable Care Act – more commonly known as Obamacare. He touted the healthcare law as a sweeping measure to reduce unnecessary costs, reduce costs by healthcare providers and ensure everyone had fair access to some type of health insurance.

Opponents of the law equated it to socialism, and Romney vowed to immediately repeal the law if elected.

In 2011, Obama ordered the killing of Osama bin Laden, after years of the terrorist eluding the U.S. government and its allies. The successful strike inside a Pakistani residential neighborhood meant the elimination of the person credited as the mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

He also joined other nations to enforce crippling sanctions in Iran, after concerns arose the country sought to build a nuclear weapon.

He took a stand on several human rights issues as well, most notably ones in support of gay and lesbian citizens. Obama defended same-sex marriage and influenced the repealing of the military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy.

Obama addressed women's rights with the Lilly Ledbetter Act, his first signed legislation of his presidency. The law allows women greater latitude in suing employers for equal pay.

Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, less than nine months after he took office.

He was the fourth current or former U.S. president to win the award, joining Theodore Roosevelt (1906), Woodrow Wilson (1919) and Jimmy Carter (2002). Obama received the nomination less than two weeks after he was in office and became the only president to win in his first term.

Some media outlets, most notably the New York Times, called the prize more of a condemnation on the former president, George W. Bush, than it was of Obama's accomplishments.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee defended granting Obama the prize, noting his willingness to work with other nations and his work to fight climate change and the spread of nuclear weapons. Obama donated the entire $1.4 million prize to various charities.

When he officially announced his candidacy in February 2007, Obama had served less than one term as the junior senator from Illinois. Despite his relative inexperience when compared to his fellow candidates, he secured the Democratic nomination and presidency through an unprecedented grassroots effort.

Obama's presidential campaigns displayed a talent for mining untapped portions of the population – youths, minorities and lower-income people – to donate, register and show up at the polls.

The campaign's use of social media provided it a boon that allowed Obama to effectively connect with hundreds of thousands of prospective voters. The strategy contributed to record-setting figures in fundraising by encouraging multiple small donations from people via the internet.

Prior to his 2005 election to the U.S. Senate, he represented the 13th District of Illinois in the state Senate from 1997 through 2004.

Barack Hussein Obama was born Aug. 4, 1961, in Honolulu, HI. His father, Barack Obama Sr., and mother, Ann Dunham, divorced in 1964 following a nearly three-year separation.

In 1965 Dunham married Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian graduate student at the University of Hawaii. Dunham and her son briefly followed Soetoro back to Indonesia's capital, Jakarta, but Obama moved back to Honolulu and lived with his grandparents until he graduated high school in 1979.

He began Occidental College in Los Angeles immediately after high school and transferred to Columbia University, graduating in 1983 with a degree in political science.

After school, a 23-year-old Obama helped set up a tenants' rights group and establish job training and college tutoring programs in areas of the South Side of Chicago.

He attended Harvard Law School and was selected as the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review. The notoriety for the achievement led to an advance for Dreams from My Father, a memoir published in 1995 that dealt with Obama's early struggle for identity as the son of a Kenyan father and white Midwestern mother.

Obama wrote another book, The Audacity of Hope, which was published in 2006. Both became No. 1 bestsellers.

Before seeking public office, he led a seven-month voter registration campaign in Chicago in 1992 to sign up more than one-third of the unregistered voters in Illinois. Obama successfully directed 10 staffers and hundreds of volunteers toward the success of that goal while also teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School.

He met his wife, formerly Michelle Robinson, in the summer of 1989 while the two were associates at the Chicago law firm Sidney Austin. They were married in 1992 and have two daughters, Malia and Natasha (Sasha).

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