Photos by Gary Hunter
“Four More Years … Four More Years”
All over the country, President Obama’s supporters were rejoicing: horns blasting, people jumping in the air, hugging each other and celebrating as jubilant as four more years ago, chanting in unison, “Four more years.” It was a hard fought, bruising victory and the President got what he deserved: four more years.
Just before he went on the stage, he sent (e-blasted) out a thank-you to his millions of supporters stating, “I'm about to go speak to the crowd here in Chicago, but I wanted to thank you first. I want you to know that this wasn't fate, and it wasn't an accident. You made this happen. You organized yourselves block-by-block. You took ownership of this campaign five and ten dollars at a time. And when it wasn't easy, you pressed forward.
“I will spend the rest of my presidency honoring your support, and doing what I can to finish what we started. But I want you to take real pride, as I do, in how we got the chance in the first place. Today is the clearest proof yet that, against the odds, ordinary Americans can overcome powerful interests. There's a lot more work to do.
“But for right now: Thank you.”
This has been the costliest election in U.S. history and according to the results, the money seemed to have been well spent – the right man has been returned to the White House. At press time, the President had 303 electoral votes, and Gov. Mitt Romney had 206.
If one takes a long look into previous presidential campaigns and elections, the quality of the winner most times signals the right man for the time. In the past, there have been major shifts between campaign rhetoric and the subsequent administration’s reality.
However, President Barack Obama’s reality has stayed very close to his election promises, despite the adversity he has faced in his first four years. Now armed with a record of accomplishments, he can move forward and continue the work, as he explained, that he started four years ago.
Amidst a recalcitrant Congress, and a harsh, resistant environment, President Obama pushed through a massive healthcare reform bill (the Affordable Care Act), a feat that had eluded presidents since early in the 20th century, and simply said, “it was the right thing to do.”
Now, loosely called Obamacare, it has become his signature domestic policy achievement, as simply. For that and numerous other less high-profiled achievements, last Tuesday, the American electorate has given him four more years.
In his concession speech, Republican presidential hopeful Gov. Romney very graciously told his supporters that he would “pray for Barack Obama's success in leading the nation. We have given our all.”
In delivering his victory speech, President Obama said to the American people, “we have picked ourselves up and fought back during tough economic times, and the best is yet to come. We still have work to do.”
Some of the President’s accomplishments were echoed in the following statements:
“The Affordable Care Act is saving my daughter's life.” Stacey, Arizona
“Obama is for the vets. He helped us wind down in Iraq, he's improved mental health policy with VA benefits.” Joel, Minnesota
“Obama stuck his neck out for us, the auto industry. He wasn't going to let it just die, and I'm driving in this morning because of that, because of him.” Brian, Ohio
“Osama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive.” Vice President Joe Biden, Delaware
“Arithmetic.” Former President Bill Clinton, New York
“He cares for the 100 percent.” Shana, Texas
“When Obama came into office, he successfully renewed our country's place in the community of nations, making cooperation in tackling the world's challenges possible.” Willis, North Carolina
“The actions he has taken with respect to protecting us from terrorism have been very, very solid.” Former Secretary of State, General Colin Powell, Virginia
“For me, President Obama is our best choice because he has a vision of the United States as a place where we are all in this together.” Bruce Springsteen, New Jersey
“He has a real plan for rescuing the economy that passes the 'math' test.” Teresa, Virginia
“Having someone in office who understands how powerful our voice can be is very important.”
Jay Z, New York
“I am voting for Barack Obama and Joe Biden because I can trust them to care for the middle class and restore the American dream.” Steven, Florida
“I believe in the America he wants for my grandchildren.” Nancy, Michigan
“We need four more years of repair, of helping the middle class achieve a sustainable economy.”
James Taylor, North Carolina
“I've watched him fight for our country, stand by the middle class, the working class, the military, the education of our children, universal health care, women, the environment, and matters of national and domestic security.” Susan, Virginia
“I want our president to place scientific evidence and risk management above electoral politics.”
Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York