Outlining the issues he plans to tackle — including debt, inequality and global warming — Obama told supporters: ‘I have never been more hopeful about America.’
After being re-elected President of the United States on Nov. 6, Barack Obama delivered a passionate victory speech at his Chicago, Ill., headquarters. His motorcade arrived just before 1:30 a.m., and was welcomed by a massive crowd of American flag-waving supporters, while Stevie Wonder‘s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” sounded triumphantly in the background.
“Thank you so much,” the president began. “Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its won destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward. It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression; the spirit that has lifted this country; the belief that, while each of us will pursue individual dreams, we are an American family.”
“I want to thank every American who participated in this election. Whether you voted for the very first time, or waited in line for a very long time — by the way, we have to fix that. Whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone, whether you held up an Obama sign or a Romney side, you made your voice heard. You made a difference.”
Speaking of Governor Mitt Romney, the president said, “We may have battle fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country so deeply, and feel so strongly about its future. The Romney family has chosen to give back to public service, and that’s a legacy we applaud tonight. In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting with Governor Romney to discuss how we can move this country forward.”
To Vice President Joe Biden, the president said, “I want to thank my friend and partner over the last four years, America’s happy warrior, the best vice president a man could hope for — Joe Biden.”
To wife Michelle Obama, he said, “I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago. Let me say this publicly, Michelle, ‘I have never loved you more.’ I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you too, as our nation’s first lady.”
To daughters Sasha and Malia: “Before our very eyes, you’re growing up to be two strong, smart, beautiful young women — just like your mom. I’m so proud of you guys, but I will say for now, one dog is probably enough.”
Lastly, he thanked his supporters for the victory, telling them, “I will always be grateful for everything you’ve done and all the hard work you put in.”
America’s hopes for the future:
“Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated,” President Obama admitted. “We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, it necessarily stirs passion, stirs up controversy. That won’t change after tonight, and it shouldn’t. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty. … But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future.”
He listed many of those hopes, most notably to eliminate debt, inequality, and “the destructive power of the warming planet.”
“Our economy is recovering, a decade of war is ending, this campaign is now over,” he said. “And whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you, and you have made me a better president. I return to the White House more inspired, and more determined, than ever.”
But it was the final part of the president’s speech that packed the greatest emotional punch:
“I believe we can build on the progress we’ve made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunity and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white, or Hispanic or Asian or Native American, or young or old, or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight — you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try!”
You can read a full transcript of President Obama’s speech here.
Mitt Romney’s parting words:
Just before midnight, Mitt delivered his concession speech in Boston, Mass., to a very disappointed crowd of supporters.
“Thank you, my friends,” he began. “Thank you so very much. I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory. His supporters and campaign also deserve congratulations. … This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation.”
Mitt thanked his vice-presidential running mate, Paul Ryan, saying, “Besides my wife, Anne, Paul was the best choice I ever made.”
He then turned the spotlight on Ann Romney: “I’d also like to thank Anne, the love of my life. She would have been a wonderful first lady.”
His sons were thanked “for their tireless work on behalf of the campaign,” and their wives and kids were thanked for putting up with their absences from home.
“Thank you, and God Bless America!” he ended, a final note met with thunderous applause.
Paul’s wife and children, as well as Mitt’s family — including his sons and their children — joined the presidential runner-up on stage for one last appearance.
HollywoodLifers, what was your favorite part of President Obama’s speech? The mention of issues like global warming and equality? The dubbing of Joe Biden as a “Happy Warrior?” Drop us a comment with your thoughts on this historic night!
— Andy Swift
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