Obama re-elected as US President

PTI Washington | Updated on March 12, 2018

A file photo of US President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama

Barack Obama today won a historic election to get a second term as US President, overcoming a stiff challenge from Republican Mitt Romney defying concerns over his handling of economy and anxiety over the future.

A votary of strong ties with India, 51-year-old Obama, the first black American to occupy the White House, scored what turned out to be a comfortable victory over Romney after a bitter and costly campaign running over months with his rivals attacking him on issues of unemployment and recession.

Disproving predictions of a narrow victory in a very tight race, the incumbent won the election in crucial battleground states after a neck-and-neck race in the initial stages, getting 303 electoral votes against 206 of Romney in a college of 535 votes.

Notwithstanding doubts over his ability to revive economy from the effects of the crisis, the worst after the Great Depression of 1930s, voters appeared to have chosen status quo leaving Democrats with control of the Senate and Republicans the House of Representatives.

What tilted the race in Obama’s favour was the massive swing he got from the victory in California, which has the largest number of 55 electoral votes, and Ohio with 18. Till California was called Romney had led over Obama.

Obama also walked away with wins in the swing states of Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Pollsters had even apprehended a tie after the Presidential debates and surveys, but in the ultimate analysis Obama got over 300 votes but not anywhere near his 2008 score of 349.

After the networks declared Obama the winner, 65-year-old Romney called him and congratulated him. “This is a time of great challenge for our nation. I pray the President will be successful in guiding our nation,” he told his supporters.

The President reciprocated his sentiments and congratulated him on a hard-fought campaign.

In his speech to his cheering supporters in his campaign headquarters in Chicago, Obama promised to work with the leaders of both the parties to face the challenges ahead in creating new jobs, reducing deficit and reforming taxes.

Earlier, Obama tweeted to his supporters after his victory: “This happened because of you. Thank you.”

Obama, born to a white American mother and Kenya-born Harvard-educated economist father on August 4,1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii, becomes only the second Democrat after Bill Clinton to secure two White House terms since the World War-II.

The President paved the way to victory defending Democratic bastions in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Obama, who romped to power four years ago as an agent of hope and change, secured his second term on the back of a fiercely negative campaign.

He branded former Massachusetts Governor Romney as elite and indifferent to the middle class after the businessman-turned politician surprisingly outperformed him in the first of the three high-stake presidential debates.

The President campaigned offering a “fair shot” to the middle class and to fulfil his pledge to end the war in Iraq.

Now, Obama will have to perform on the promise of his historic reforms of healthcare and Wall Street. He is also likely to look abroad, especially the issue of thwarting Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Obama may have also been helped at the last minute when superstorm Sandy devastated the US East Coast, bringing out his skills in tackling the aftermath.

Published on November 07, 2012

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