The 2012 United States Presidential Elections, were held on November 6th 2012 and ended with Barack Obama being re-elected as President of the United States for a second presidential term, after easily beating off the challenge from his Republican rival, Mitt Romney. Turnout was reported to be at record levels in many states, reflecting the strength of feeling aroused by the long election campaign.
His cause was helped by a progressive coalition of women, minorities and young people, who came together to return America’s first black president to the White House. Polls showed the economy was the dominant issue among voters, with other economic issues being unemployment, rising prices, taxes and the housing market. The Re-elected president promised the American people that ‘the best is yet to come’ and has turned his attention to the future and now has a second chance to fulfil some of the expectations that greeted his election in 2008, Obama’s victory speech at a rally in Chicago was by far his best of the entire campaign.
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.” Obama made clear he had an agenda in mind for his second term, citing changes in the tax code, immigration reform and, as he put it, an America “that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.”
When he finished his speech, Obama was joined on stage by Biden, whom Obama called “America’s happy warrior”. In his remarks, he paid special tribute to his campaign team and his volunteers as the best “in the history of politics. The best. The best ever.” The address was the finale to one of the most closely fought and polarised campaigns in recent history, Obama held Ohio, Virginia, New Hampshire, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa and Wisconsin.that had begun with many of the swing states too close to call but ended with an overwhelming victory as Obama held seven of the nine battlegrounds upon which his presidency had been founded.
In a speech that saw a return to the kind of oratory he produced regularly on the campaign trail in 2008, he offered a practical example of the kind of bipartisanship he had in mind, saying he had offered to sit down with Romney in the coming weeks to see if they could work together. Obama now has the chance to build a real legacy – his victory on healthcare reform – but also to preside over a possible US economic recovery. Obama has also promised to make immigration reform a priority along with major investment in education. Obama now faces immediate challenges, not least the widespread disillusionment with the slow pace of economy recovery and a high unemployment level and he and Congress needs to negotiate a new fiscal plan to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff of massive cuts in defence and other domestic spending and sharp across-the-board tax increases.
Four out of 10 Americans are also saying the economy was getting better – more than in 2008. Forty-six per cent said the country was headed in the right direction, while 52% said it was on the wrong track. More than half of those surveyed blamed the economic mess on George W Bush. Obama’s decision to bail out the US automotive industry, was also approved by 59% of voters interviewed. Voters also endorsed his healthcare revolution – the Affordable Care Act – and the Dodd-Frank financial reforms that staved off a second depression.They also backed Obama’s vow not to renew the Bush tax cuts (that expire at the end of the year) and payroll and other business tax cuts. This was a vote for fairness and plain-dealing over self-interest and greed.
- The first important use of an elephant as a symbol for the United States Republican Party occurred on November 7th 1874 – after it was used in A cartoon by American caricaturist and editorial cartoonist Thomas Nast in the magazine Harper’s Weekly.
- Jeannette Rankin became the first woman elected to the United States Congress on November 7th 1916
- Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected for a record fourth term as President of the United States of America on November 7th 1944
- US President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the 1967 Public Broadcasting Act, on November 7th 1967, establishing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
- The U.S. Congress overrides President Richard M. Nixon’s veto of the War Powers Resolution On November 7th 1973, thus limiting presidential power to wage war without congressional approval.
- Hillary Clinton was elected to the United States Senate On November 7th 2000, becoming the first former First Lady to win public office in the United States, although actually she was still the First Lady.