By Ali Imran
WASHINGTON, Nov 7 : Barack Hussein Obama, re-elected president of the United States for next four years, wants the U.S. to move beyond this time of war confidently and shape peace in the world on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being.
Speaking to a jubilant crowd after securing victory over Republican challenger Mitt Romney, the first African-American president of his nation said his administration wants to pass on a country to the next generation, which is safe and respected and lives up to its legacy as a global leader.
Obama carried the day with expected wins in traditional Democratic strongholds along both the East and West Coasts, with minorities, women, Hispanic populations and liberals voting overwhelmingly for him. Besides, Obama also carved out wins in Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, Virginia and Wisconsin in a near sweep of the battleground or swing states. He was also reportedly winning in Florida by Wednesday morning but the result in that state looked inconsequential.
Unofficial results by early Wednesday morning said Obama had secured at least 303 electoral votes. According to US laws, a party must claim at least 270 electoral votes out of a total of 538 (made up of 435 House, 100 Senate and 3 Washington D.C. electors) to pick it president and vice president.
“We want to pass on a country that’s safe and respected and admired around the world, a nation that is defended by the strongest military on earth and the best troops this – this world has ever known,” Obama said in his campaign headquarters in hometown Chicago.
“But also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war, to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being,” he added.
Under Obama, experts says, the US is expected to stay on course to ending the Afghan war by 2014, with pullout of combat troops from the landlocked country and transfer of full security responsibility to the Afghans.
“We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America, open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag,” he noted.
While Obama, to his credit, ended the deadly Iraq war in his first term, the US counterterrorism tactics including frequent use of drones against suspected al-Qaeda militant targets in Pakistan’s tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, have been subject of much controversy and criticism on grounds that such unilateral actions violate international laws and kill civilians. The American public has also grown increasingly weary of the Afghan war, 11 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Internally, Obama, whose Democratic party and rival Republicans engaged in fiercely fought sharply polarizing campaigns, acknowledged political divisions but said he would strive for progress on key domestic issues.
“But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future. We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers. A country, that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation, with all the good jobs and new businesses that follow.”
“ We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.”
With Republicans retaining their majority in the House and Democrats keeping their control of the Senate, Obama, 51, will again face a politically deeply divided Washington.
Political observers say Obama’s re-election offers him a second chance that will quickly be tested, given the rapidly escalating fiscal showdown.
His victory in Tuesday’s poll brings a ratification of his sweeping health care act, which Republicans had vowed to repeal. The law promises to change significantly the way medical services are administrated nationwide.
According to the U.S. media, Obama and his aides have hinted that he would try to address unrealized promises of his first campaign like the immigration overhaul that has eluded presidents of both parties for decades.
“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 New York Timescommented on domestic challenges facing the reelected leader.
In his speech Obama also recognized that the Democratic victory came in the backdrop of some stiff political challenges.
“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,” Obama told his supporters early Wednesday. “We know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come.”
Meanwhile, Mitt Romney, the Republican contender, wished Obama success in his concession speech.
“This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation,” a slightly hoarse Romney told his supporters in Boston.
Romney said he and his running mate, Representative Paul Ryan (Wisonsin.), had left “everything on the field,” adding: “I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes.”
Featured Image of Obama taking oath in 2009: Credit Wikpedia
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