Obama to America: 'Best is yet to come'
MANILA, Philippines - In his first address to the nation after he was re-elected as President of the United States, Barack Obama promised the country it would continue moving forward, and encouraged citizens to work together to solve the nation's problems.
On Wednesday, November 7 at 12:38 am CST, the 51-year-old Obama faced about 10,000 jubilant supporters in his hometown of Chicago after US media announced his victory over Republican candidate and Massachusetts Gov Mitt Romney.
"Tonight more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward," he said. "It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and repression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope... We are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people."
"Tonight in this election, 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, the best is yet to come," he added.
As of the time of Obama's victory speech, CNN gave Obama 303 electoral votes versus Romney's 206. A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to get to the White House.
With Obama was First Lady Michelle, and her daughters Sasha and Malia -- all of whom he thanked in his speech, along with the "best vice president" Joe Biden, and the volunteers and his campaign team who he referred to as "the best ever."
'A better President'
In his speech that lasted for about half an hour, Obama said he would reach out to Romney to see how they can work together to improve the country.
He also mentioned his achievements from his first term in office, but emphasized that there was much more to do.
"Our economy is recovering, a decade of war is ending, a long campaign is now over, and whether i earned your vote or not, I have listened to you. I have learned for you and you've made me a better president," he said.
"And with your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work that is left to do and the future that lies ahead."
Among the problems he said his administration has yet to address are tax breaks, the economy, dependency on foreign oil, and immigration reform.
Obama vowed to discuss options with Republicans to find the best solutions for these issues.
"Tonight, you voted for action not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs not ours. And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forwards to racing out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together," he said.
An energized and lively Obama focused on restoring faith in the American people -- emphasing their national values and qualities that he said made the country special.
He called for unity and illustrated the vision he had for an America that celebrated its diversity and its opportunities.
"I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you're willing to work hard, it doesn't matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like or where you love... you can make it here in American if you're willing to try," he said.
He also responded to pundits that criticized the division of America, and stirred nationalism in the closing of his speech.
"I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggest, we're not as cynical as the pundits believe, 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 the United States of America," he said.
"And together, with your help, and God's, we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on Earth."
Obama's address came after Romney conceded defeat, first calling Obama to congratulate him, then facing supporters in Boston, where the Republican party awaited results. Romney initially refused to concede victory, with his camp hanging on to the possibility of winning the all-important state of Ohio.
The mood at Obama's Chicago victory party was of jubilation as the first African American president, who was elected on a wave of hope and euphoria four years ago, booked another four years in the White House.
Earlier, the crowd alternately cheered "USA!" and "Obama!" while waiting for Obama to speak.
Romney's aides had predicted that a late Romney wave would sweep Obama from office after a single term haunted by a sluggish recovery from the worst economic crisis since the 1930s Great Depression and high unemployment.
But a huge cheer rang out at Obama headquarters when television networks projected Obama would retain Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes, and the party grew wilder as they called Wisconsin and Michigan.
Obama's historic victory made him only the second Democrat to win a second four-year White House term since World War II.- with reports from Agence France-Presse