In little pomp or circumstance, the 2012 presidential election was called for the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. By roughly 11:00 pm eastern time, many of the major news stations determined that President Obama had secured a second term. Here’s how it all unfolded.
Within an hour of the majority of the polls closing on the east coast, most of the South was called for Governor Romney. He’d secured Texas through North Carolina and Kentucky to Louisiana but Florida was still tied. Virginia was still a tight race though Obama was closing in on an assumed Romney win in the state. Next, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire were called for the President. Then, the polls closed on the west coast. Arizona was called for Romney. California, not surprisingly, was called for Obama. And though Ohio, Florida, and Virginia were still in play, it was pretty obvious that Obama’s 251 to Romney’s 203 electoral votes would end the race as many had expected. Well, one after the other, Iowa and Ohio were called for the President securing his second term with 275 electoral votes. Now, here’s where things got a little silly.
It was previously noted by Romney himself that he had chosen not to write a concession speech in preparation for today’s spectacle. He chose, instead, to only prepare a victory speech. Well, after Ohio was called, pretty much sealing his fate, the Romney camp also chose not to concede the election until more precincts were tallied in Ohio. Simultaneously, Karl Rove, Republican strategist and major Romney super PAC leader, got into a public tissy on Fox News to contend with the declared victory. Even the extremely conservative info-tainment personalities on Fox News declared the election in favor of the President. But, this wasn’t enough to satiate Rove, a Fox News contributor himself.
Ostentatiously, instead of bowing out gracefully, a dejected Romney decided not to make the traditional concession phone call and speech until after Colorado and Washington were called for the President. Knowing he could not win the race without Ohio did little to bring Romney to call the President. And, it wasn’t until it became painfully obvious that President Obama had a lead in the popular vote, electoral college, swing states, and even Virginia and Florida, that Romney crept out of his decrepitude to call President Obama and make amends. It took over an hour for Romney’s motorcade to emerge. But, when they did, it seemed they wanted to make as little a spectacle of the event as possible. The concession speech Romney gave was concise and direct. It was one of the most earnest examples we’ve seen of Romney to date. So, though it took him a while to get up there, he ended his run in an honorable way.
Soon after, President Obama spoke to an uproarious crowd in Chicago. The First Family sauntered onto stage to Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” while the crowd chanted “Four more years! Four more years!” The President gave an emotional speech which harkened back to his “one America” speech at the 2004 DNC. He started by uniting the disparate factions of the country referring to voters as “one family.” He offered soaring rhetoric telling American voters to cherish their rights in this country. He cajoled citizens from both parties to embrace one another, poor inner-city child to immigrant, common man to president. He once again solidified his connection to the diverse American public. And, he also declared that the direction we all needed to go was “forward.” The speech was the oratory we’ve come to expect from the President. Luckily, he did not disappoint. It was a momentous speech for a momentous occasion.
With Virginia, Nevada, and Florida still out, but the President having a strong lead in all three, the only battleground state the President didn’t win was North Carolina. Virginia was later called for President Obama well after the speeches were given. But some other exciting developments happened around the country. In Colorado and Washington, small amounts of marijuana were legalized laying the groundwork for legalization on a national level. Another liberal agenda item emerged in Maryland and Maine where voters approved same sex marriages. Both of these policy changes lend credence to the speculation that America is no longer a “center-right” country.
In Congress, the Senate remained under Democratic control with two Democratic caucusing Independents elected. In record breaking fashion, 19 women were elected to the United States Senate. Not only is this exciting, it helps to assuage some of the issues prominent male politicians have had with women’s issues this election cycle. And, the House of Representatives remained under Republican control though the margin between the parties was narrowed. In all, the results seem to show a pendulum-like swing from the 2010 elections which resulted in predominantly Republican gains.
To say the least, it was an exciting election night. The “nail-biter” many promised may not have come to fruition but the event was energizing nonetheless. With both candidates emphasizing unity and togetherness in their speeches, let’s hope that the divisiveness of yesterday is over. Moving forward may be a difficult thing to do at first, but, just like anything else, it gets easier with practice. The President has a lot of important work to do over his last four years in office. And now, we’ve got no campaign to keep him from getting the job done.