'Best is yet to come'

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

Obama swept to an emphatic re-election win over Mitt Romney on Tuesday, making history by transcending a dragging economy and the stifling unemployment that haunted his first term.

The 44th US president and the first African American to claim the Oval Office was returned to power after a joyless election which appears to have deepened, rather than healed, his nation's political divides.

"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," Obama, 51, said at a victory party in Chicago.

"I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope," Obama said, striving for inspiration rarely shown in a campaign where the prophet of hope of 2008 became a conventional, brawling politician.

"I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.

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"We want to pass on a country that is safe and respected…a nation that is defended by the strongest military on earth and the best troops that the world has ever known. "We believe in a generous America, a compassionate America," said the Nobel laureate, who won the Peace Prize in 2009. This happened because of you. Thank you: Obama

With only Florida among the battleground states still to be declared, Obama had 303 electoral votes, well over the 270 needed to win the White House.
He had a slim lead in the national popular vote, leading Romney by 50% to 49%, after drawing more than 56 million votes. Turnout appeared strong, though official figures had yet to be released.

Republican nominee Romney, 65, deflated and exhausted, offered a classy tribute, as he consoled dejected supporters in Boston moments after phoning Obama to formally concede.

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

In a show of bipartisanship after a searing campaign, the president said he wanted to meet his vanquished foe to find common ground to move America forward. Obama's victory means that he will get the chance to embed his healthcare and Wall Street reforms deep into the fabric of American life -- Romney had pledged one of his first acts would be the repeal of Obamacare.

He may also get the chance to reshape the Supreme Court in his liberal image for a generation, a move that would shape policy on issues like abortion and gay rights.
The president will also look abroad as he builds his legacy, and will face an immediate challenge early in 2013 over whether to use military force to thwart Iran's nuclear program.

Obama's win on Tuesday bucked history, as it came with the unemployment rate pegged at 7.9%, the highest level for a re-elected president in more than 70 years.
Remarkably, his coalition of Hispanic, black, and young voters turned out in similar numbers to those of his heady change-fueled campaign in 2008, shocking Romney's team and presenting a new American face to the world.

But once the euphoria fades, the president will face a tough task enacting his second term agenda after Republicans, who thwarted him repeatedly in his first mandate, retained control of the House of Representatives.

Democrats kept the Senate but fell short of the 60-vote super majority needed to sidestep Republican blocking tactics. The president paved the way to victory with a staunch defense of Democratic bastions in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, at which Romney had taken a last-minute run when he saw more conventional paths to the White House blocked.

Questions to ponder:

1) With Obama's policies pivoting towards Asia, how would the results of the elections affect our region?

Sources: http://www.hindustantimes.com