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Thursday, November 8, 2012
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Hope Revived

Re-elected Obama vows the best yet to come

Reuters

Barack Obama has been re-elected president of the United States, overcoming powerful economic headwinds, a lock-step resistance to his agenda by Republicans in Congress and an unprecedented torrent of advertising as a divided nation voted to give him more time.

President Obama’s acceptance speech

Glowing with triumph, Obama revived his old theme of hope yesterday, telling Americans "the best is yet to come" after defying dark economic omens with a decisive re-election win.

“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,” Obama told a cheering crowd of supporters in his home town of Chicago.

“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.”

In defeating Mitt Romney, the president carried Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, Virginia and Wisconsin, a near sweep of the battleground states, and was holding a narrow advantage in Florida.

The path to victory for Romney narrowed as the night wore along, with Obama winning at least 303 electoral votes.

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.

He said he intends to sit down with Romney in the weeks ahead to talk about how the two can work together.

Obama's re-election extended his place in history, carrying the tenure of the nation's first black president into a second term.

The evening was not without the drama that has come to mark so many recent elections: For more than 90 minutes after the networks projected Obama as the winner, Romney held off calling him to concede. And as the president waited to declare victory in Chicago, Romney's aides were prepared to head to the airport, suitcases packed, potentially to contest several close results.

But as it became increasingly clear that no amount of contesting would bring him victory, he called Obama to concede shortly before 1:00am.

“I wish all of them well, but particularly the president, the first lady and their daughters,” Romney told his supporters in Boston. “This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation.”

Obama faces governing in a deeply divided country and a partisan-rich capital, where Republicans retained their majority in the House and Democrats kept their control of the Senate. His re-election offers him a second chance that will quickly be tested, given the rapidly escalating fiscal showdown.

For Obama, the result brings a ratification of his sweeping health care act, which Romney had vowed to repeal. The law will now continue on course toward nearly full implementation in 2014, promising to change significantly the way medical services are administrated nationwide.

But he will be venturing back into a Congressional environment similar to that of his first term, with the Senate under the control of Democrats and the House under the control of Republicans, whose leaders have hinted that they will be no less likely to challenge him than they were during the last four years.

The state-by-state pursuit of 270 electoral votes was being closely tracked by both campaigns, with Romney winning North Carolina and Indiana, which Obama carried four years ago. But Obama won Michigan, the state where Romney was born, and Minnesota, a pair of states that Republican groups had spent millions trying to make competitive.

Americans delivered a final judgment on a long and bitter campaign that drew so many people to the polls that several key states extended voting for hours. In Virginia and Florida, long lines stretched from polling places.

As he delivered his brief concession speech yesterday, Romney did not directly address the challenges facing Republicans. His advisers said his second failed quest for the White House would be his last, with his running mate, Representative Paul D Ryan of Wisconsin, standing as one of the leaders of the party.

“We have given our all to this campaign,” said Romney, stoic and gracious in his remarks. “I so wish that I had been able to fulfil your hopes to lead this country in a different direction.”

The results were more a matter of voters giving Obama more time than a second chance. Through most of the year slight majorities of voters had told pollsters that they believed his policies would improve the economy if they could stay in place into the future.

Compiled from reports of The New York Times, The Washington Post, AFP and Reuters; Infographics: NYT

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Democracy as practiced in the west is a great gift of modern times. How orderly and disciplined the electorate in the USA were, how skilled their conduct of the election mechanism, how restrained the contestants in their manners and skill in oratory, how responsible the media and so on and so forth. It is unbelievable that we have just witnessed an election in which more than a 100 million voters cast their ballot in perfect peace and without voter list ambiguity. There have been no allegations and counter allegations of vote rigging, no intimidation of voters or any bartering of money, no acrimony, and yet results were orderly announced and accepted by both the parties, victors being congratulated immediately by the vanquished. Almost the same scenario like the USA is discernible in most of the mature democracies. It is, however, a sad commentary that we have been practicing theoretically the same concept of democracy at least since 1937 but have miserably failed to imitate the west. On the contrary, its working has gone worse daily. It is so much so that 97 per cent of our parliamentarians are now engaged in negative activities and over 53 per cent directly engaged in criminal acts. The gradual spread of education and economic betterment of life have failed to stem the tide of moral decay. But why is it so? We thank the American public, and congratulate Barack Obama on his re-election for another term of four years.

: Iftikhar-ul-Awwal

Can we expect our top leaders here in Bangladesh to learn some things about the beauty of real democracy, behaviour with the opponent, graceful concede and mutual respect? Our National election is not far, people of the country will keenly observe your 'democratic' activities.

: dr islam

Comments

  • iftekhar chowdhury
    Thursday, November 8, 2012 08:26 AM GMT+06:00 (102 weeks ago)

    Congratulation Barack Obama reelected again president of U.S.A. Now democracy firmly believe the people of United States of America ,we have learn more from them ,they cast in right way, one example that Romney easily agree the result in the election, so we are looking forward our election in peaceful and real democracy way, and not muscles, not black money income.

  • Saleh Md. Shahriar
    Thursday, November 8, 2012 09:48 AM GMT+06:00 (102 weeks ago)

    Congratulations, dear president Obama. We hope you will play a significant role to make the world peaceful and stable. We are not in favour of military conflict and aggression. You will of course have to face a lot of challenges in future. Best wishes for you and your team.

  • Shekhar Dev
    Thursday, November 8, 2012 11:14 AM GMT+06:00 (102 weeks ago)

    We should learn this culture of democracy. After wining of Obama the comments of Romney really fine. Ours leaders should follow this culture.

  • Parvez Babul, journalist, Bangladesh
    Thursday, November 8, 2012 11:26 AM GMT+06:00 (102 weeks ago)

    I am very glad to sincerely congratulate President Barack Obama! I hope that President Obama will do better than before for the American people. I also hope that he will kindly work for peace in the whole world to prevent and avoid war.

  • Dev Saha
    Thursday, November 8, 2012 01:16 AM GMT+06:00 (102 weeks ago)

    This is what I call the true spirit of a democracy. It was a hotly contested election with two different ideologies. Should government be run as a cutthroat business or benevolent instrument to provide services to the people? For very good reason, the later found the traction with the people. Congratulations to Prez Obama!


 

 


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