President Obama has made history again, this time he is the first president to get re-elected during a tough economic time with a high rate of unemployment. Some political experts felt like the state of the economy alone made him an easily beatable candidate. The Republican Party found out that he was not as easy to beat as they thought. At 11:18 on November 6th, 2012, Barack H. Obama was officially declared the winner of the presidential election. The people of the United States granted this historically significant president a second term in the White House. People waited with bated breath for almost two hours to hear the president deliver what would be the final acceptance speech of his political career. The beleaguered president took the stage with his family and one could almost see the relief they had for the end of a hard fought campaign. The votes had long since been counted and the winner declared but President Obama, like the rest of us waited patiently for Mitt Romney to finally give his concession speech. The tradition is that the loser calls the winner to congratulate him first, after which he gives his speech where he will concede the election to the winner, then the winner makes an acceptance speech. Every news organization sat on the edge of their seats as the Romney campaign was “still analyzing the numbers” even though expert analysis had already declared that he lost the election. After what seemed like many hours, but in actuality was just one hour, Mitt Romney delivered his concession speech just after midnight.
We always pay a lot of attention to the top of the ticket, but there were also some other democratic victories and important referendums that night. Victories in the Senate allow the Democrats to retain control of the governing body, while Republicans retain control of the house. Dozens of state-wide ballot questions were posed to voters, and the result of the votes cast can have a resounding effect, even across state lines. Maine and Maryland have added themselves to the list of states that now allow same sex marriage. The struggle for the LBGTQ community to achieve marriage equality has made several more strides toward success. And in an unprecedented move, Colorado and Washington state voters have passed referendums legalizing marijuana for recreational use. The drug is still banned under federal law however. In Massachusetts, voters approved a law to allow marijuana for medicinal purposes, adding itself to the list of 17 other states that allow the use of medicinal marijuana.
After the euphoria of the re-election wears off, there is a lot of work to do. Before he is even sworn in to office for his second term, Obama has to deal with the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, which Republicans want to extend for the wealthiest Americans and Obama wants these tax cuts to only remain for those making less than $250,000 a year. Right after he does that, he has to meet with Congress about increasing the debt ceiling once more, something that proved perilous when he tried to confront it in 2011.
In his acceptance speech, Obama vowed that in his second term, he would continue to listen to people who do not always agree with him and to work together with Republicans and Democrats alike for the good of this nation. He said that he is “more determined and more inspired than ever” about the work that needs to get done for the country.
Written By: Kika Ramsay