Rappler Newscast | November 7, 2012
Today on Rappler.
- America re-elects Barack Obama as its 44th president.
- Obama promises America, things will be better in his second term in office.
- The pro-Aquino Black and White movement is disqualified from the party-list race
Story 1: OBAMA GETS A SECOND TERM
America’s young voters, minorities, women and moderates re-elect Barack Obama as its 44th president.
Overcoming the Republican party’s strong base of white voters, Obama defeats rival Mitt Romney in Democratic strongholds and key battleground states.
Obama gets 303 electoral votes to Romney’s 206, surpassing the decisive 270-vote threshold in the Electoral College.
He goes on to win the popular tally by at least 1.8 million votes.
Obama clinches the battleground states of Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada, Colorado, and Pennsylvania.
He also wins Democratic strongholds California, New York, and other heavily populated states such as Michigan.
Exit polls show Obama, the first American black president of the the United States, effectively harnessed the same demographics that voted him into office 4 years ago: women voters, African Americans, and strong backing from Hispanic voters.
Newsgroup Bloomberg says Obama’s support among whites is the lowest since 1992 for a Democratic presidential candidate.
Romney holds the advantage with white male voters.
Observers say Obama’s win is unprecedented-- no President has ever been re-elected when the economy is down.
His victory also comes in the heels of superstorm Sandy which could have cost Obama votes.
CNN says despite criticisms of rescue and rehabilitation efforts at the state level, the President is credited for being quote -- “engaged” during the crisis.
CNN reports exit polls says 60% of voters consider the economy the most important issue; 59% thought abortion should be legal; 50% wanted Obama's healthcare law repealed; while 43% wanted it to remain in place or be expanded.
Analysts say the Republicans have a demographics problem, noting the war has shifted from geographic influence to ethnic, sex and age groups.
They also say Republican appeal has shifted to the far right especially with the rise of the “Tea Party”, a vocal group of hardliners within the conservative party.
CNN projects Democrats will retain their majority in the Senate, while Republicans are projected to hold the majority in the House.
Both camps report a “strong” turnout, as lines of voters snake around polling stations across the United States.
Story 2: OBAMA: BEST IS YET TO COME
Despite a statistical tie with Romney in the final polls that reflects the political divide in the country, reelectionist president Obama prevails over his Republican rival.
In his victory party in Chicago, he thanks his supporters for giving him four more years promising “the best is yet to come.”
BARACK OBAMA, DEMOCRAT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come.
Obama reiterates his campaign promise of equal opportunity for all but says the path will not be easy.
He urges Americans to work together, regardless of party affiliations and individual ambitions.
OBAMA: That’s where we need to go — forward. Now, we will disagree, sometimes fiercely, about how to get there. As it has for more than two centuries, progress will come in fits and starts. It’s not always a straight line. It’s not always a smooth path...We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.
In a light moment that draws cheers from the crowd, Obama thanks his wife Michelle.
OBAMA: And I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago. Let me say this publicly: Michelle, I have never loved you more. I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you, too, as our nation’s first lady.
Obama also says he intends to sit down with Romney.
OBAMA: In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Gov. Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward.
In Boston, Romney thanks his supporters and concedes defeat hours after polls closed.
He also encourages Americans to support Obama.
MITT ROMNEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe in America. I believe in the people of America. And I ran for office because I'm concerned about America. This election is over, but our principles endure. I believe that the principles upon which this nation was founded are the only sure guide to a resurgent economy and to renewed greatness…I so wish — I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader…This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation.
Romney's speech come slightly later than expected.
His camp initially refuses to concede, hoping he could still win Ohio.
Obama’s win ends months of intense campaigning that casts him in the role of America’s savior -- the leader that prevented the slide into a second Great Depression.
He also claims credit for ending the war in Iraq and killing Osama bin Laden.
Romney sought to win over voters frustrated with the slow pace of economic recovery.
He says the president had ran out of ideas to solve the unemployment problem.
Story 3: OBAMA VS ROMNEY: WINNER TAKES ALL IN ELECTORAL COLLEGE
In an email blast before his victory speech, President Obama thanks his supporters.
Rappler’s Carmela Fonbuena reports from Ohio.
President Barack Obama stays another 4 years in the White House. In the end, Governor Mitt Romney's momentum was not enough. Before his speech in Chicago, President Obama sent an email to all his supporters. We received a copy of this because we've been covering his events in Ohio and we've been included in the email blast. He said in the email that this victory wasn't fate, it wasn't an accident. It was because of the support of American voters who chipped in $5, $10, to his campaign. He also said that there's a lot more work to do and that he's going to honor their support.
Major media organizations international and here in the US, we've prepared for an all-nighter and we didn't expect to go home this early, Romney put up a good fight, but in the end, winner takes all in the electoral college.
This is Carmela Fonbuena, Rappler, Columbus, Ohio.
Story 4: OBAMA'S FULL PLATE: SYRIA, IRAN, FISCAL CLIFF
As Obama secures a second term in the White House, he also faces a full plate of problems: America's looming "fiscal cliff," Iran's nuclear threat, and the problem of Syria.
Averting the potential economic disaster will be Obama's top priority, as voters express concerns about unemployment and a fragile economy.
Both Democrats and Republicans need to bridge differences while tackling the nation's deficit to meet the December 31 deadline.
If they fail, the government will be forced into automatic massive cuts -- some 109 billion dollars in spending next year.
The Congressional Budget Office says austerity measures could shrink the economy by 0.5% next year and push unemployment back up to 9.1%, from the current 7.8%.
Obama also faces the threat of an Iranian nuclear program.
Earlier he pledged not to allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pushing Washington and the international community to set clear "red lines" on Iran.
Obama also faces the Syria problem.
More than 36,000 people died in months of brutal fighting that has failed to dislodge autocratic President Bashar al-Assad.
The Obama administration is wary of dragging the US into another conflict, with US troops now out of Iraq and NATO-led combat forces leaving Afghanistan.
But with the Syrian conflict at a stalemate, there will be growing pressure for a more robust US response.
Story 5: RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA LEGALIZED IN WASHINGTON AND COLORADO
Voters in 4 states make history on two highly contentious issues.
Maine and Maryland approve same-sex marriage, the first states to do so by popular vote.
If you’re a twitter user, you may have seen the phrase “Weed Is Legal in Colorado” trend right after the US elections.
In Washington and Colorado, residents vote to legalize recreational use of marijuana.”
Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin also makes history as her state's first female senator and the country's first openly gay senator.
Story 6: FIL-AM CANDIDATES HAVE MIXED FORTUNES IN US ELECTIONS
About 30 Filipino-Americans vie for seats in the 2012 US Elections.
Will Sylianteng ran as a representative of the Montgomery County in Pennsylvania but lost to incumbent Representative Todd Stevens.
Former Hawaii Governor Ben Cayetano loses the race to become the mayor of Honolulu.
Chelsea Yagong who ran for a post in the 1st district of Hawaii County Council also lost.
In Hawaii, Greggor Ilagan, Don Guzman and Kymberly Marcos Pine win seats in the county council.
Other Filipino Americans elected into the Hawaii House of Representatives are Della Au Belatti, Rida Cabanilla-Arakawa, Ty Cullen, while Donovan dela Cruz is elected as the 22nd district’s state senator.
Story 7: 2012 US ELECTION MEMES: HEY MITT! YOU MAD BRO?
Meme makers have a field day with today’s top news, Obama's re-election.
Several memes show Obama looking smug over his victory, while others make fun of his rival governor Mitt Romney.
Of course, US election memes will not be complete without Big Bird, whom Romney said he would fire should he become president.
A popular meme also shows Obama dancing to a Beyonce hit “All the Single Ladies”, considered by some as a feminist anthem.
What’s your favorite meme?
Story 8: BLACK AND WHITE MOVEMENT DISQUALIFIED FROM PARTY-LIST RACE
The pro-Aquino Black and White Movement is disqualified from participating in the party-list race in May 2013.
The Commission on Elections says it is barring the group from running as a party-lists because it is packed with people identified with the Aquino administration.
In a decision signed October 29, the Comelec First Division says Black and White does not represent and seek to uplift the marginalized.
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr says the decision should erase doubts the poll agency is aligned with President Benigno Aquino.
SIXTO BRILLANTES, JR, COMELEC CHAIR: There are statements coming from everybody na, lumilinya raw kami sa yellow. Pink and linya ko e, Pink…Hindi, hindi papayagan, ang pangalan black and white…Kaya ko lang ina-advance announcement ito, we should not really be doing this. Pero sabi ko, para naman kaming masyadong nasisiraan.
Story 9: VITUG: FAMILIES OF CHINA'S LEADERS ENJOY WEALTH
Rappler’s editor at large Marites Vitug talks about the wealth enjoyed by families of China’s political elite as the country prepares for a leadership change.
Here’s her video blog.
Questions haunt China’s Communist Party as it meets to decide a once-in-a-decade transition of power on November 8.
Did two of their leaders—incoming president Xi Jinping and the current premier Wen Jiabao—know that members of their families accumulated tremendous wealth as they rose to power?
Did they have a part in this? Did they intervene, facilitate or simply close their eyes to their families’ business dealings?
A Chinese proverb says: When a man gets power, even his chickens and dogs rise to heaven.
In June this year, Bloomberg reported that Xi’s extended family members expanded their business interests to include stakes in mining, rare metals, real estate and mobile-phone equipment. Total investments amount to at least a billion dollars.
This was followed by a New York Times report last month. It detailed Wen’s relatives’ incredibly huge wealth reaching billions of dollars. For example:
-Wen’s son co-founded a major private equity firm.
-His daughter holds shares of a Chinese diamond company.
-His wife is a major player in China’s gem and jewelry trade.
China blocked access to Bloomberg and the New York Times Websites when these investigations were published. But could these have escaped China’s 300 million micro-bloggers?
Surely, there must be anger. But change does not come fast and easy in this opaque country.
Story 10: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 3, The UK will step up and take a bolder position in the Syrian crisis.
British foreign secretary William Hague will open talks with militant opposition groups in Syria.
The decision will be announced during a conference in Doha, Qatar as part of Hague's tour of the Middle East.
Prime MInister David Cameron is expected to publicly declare his support for the move.
At number 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin fires Defense Minister Anatoly Serjukov Tuesday following a corruption scandal that involves the sale of valuable military property way below its market value.
Serjukov is a long-time Putin ally, known for imposing structural change on the Russian Army that forced 40,000 officers into retirement.
His is one the most high-level corruption-related dismissals in Russian history.
At number 9, Social media plays an important role in the campaign leading up to the November 6 US Presidential elections.
And as Americans come out in full force to vote, they also took to social media to prove they voted.
Twitter users post photos of their "I voted" stickers, urging others to do the same.
Almost 23,000 photos were posted on mobile photo-sharing site Instagram using the hashtag #iVoted.
"Happy Election Day" trended nationwide on Twitter as did the hashtags #VoteObama and #GoVote.
And at number 10, Instagram rolls out public profile pages to users.
Since its launch in 2010, mobile photo-sharing service Instagram has only been accessible to mobile users.
Profile pages allow users to browse and comment on photos on the web.
Before, this was only possible through 3rd party services.
Instagram says the move will make it possible for users to discover Instagram content on the web.