President Obama wins four more years as America delivers decisive verdict
By Ewen MacAskillBarack Obama promised the American people that the 'the best is yet to come" as he accepted a second term in the White House after easily beating off the challenge from his Republican rival, Mitt Romney.
With a second chance to fulfil some of the expectations that greeted his election in 2008, Obama used his soaring victory speech at a rally in Chicago – by far his best of the entire campaign – to press for a bipartisan approach to politics and returned once again to his theme of hope.
Stepping up to the lectern to the upbeat strains of Stevie Wonder's Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours, Obama told the ecstatic crowd of supporters: "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. And we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come."
In a speech that lasted more than 25 minutes, after paying emotional tribute to his wife Michelle and his daughters Malia and Sasha – as well as to his vice-president, Joe Biden – Obama returned to the message that first brought him to national attention.
"We are not as divided as our politics suggests," he said. "We're not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and forever will be, the United States of America."