Political Headlines January 4, 2013: Senate to Make President Barack Obama’s Re-election Official





Senate to Make Obama’s Re-election Official

Source: ABC News Radio, 1-4-13

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Americans thought they elected a president on Nov. 6, 2012, but those results were not official — until Friday.

The votes cast in November’s general election went to pick electors from each state — members of the Electoral College — who cast their ballots based on the preferences of their constituency for one candidate or another.  On Friday, Vice President Joe Biden will announce the results.

The Electoral College met and cast its ballots on Dec. 17.  Now, it’s time to officially count them….READ MORE

Political Headlines November 29, 2012: President Barack Obama & Mitt Romney Pledge to ‘Stay In Touch’ at White House Lunch





Obama, Romney Pledge to ‘Stay In Touch’ at White House Lunch

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-29-12

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Obama and former rival Mitt Romney “pledged to stay in touch” after their hour-long lunch at the White House on Thursday, their first face-to-face encounter since the election.

“The focus of their discussion was on America’s leadership in the world and the importance of maintaining that leadership position in the future,” according to the White House.

Romney also congratulated the president “for the success of his campaign and wished him well over the coming four years.”…READ MORE

Political Headlines November 14, 2012: As President Barack Obama Offers Olive Branch, Mitt Romney Accuses President of ‘Gifts’ to Minority Voters





As Obama Offers Olive Branch, Romney Dings President for ‘Gifts’ to Minority Voters

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-14-12

Melina Mara/The Washington Post

Read more about Romney’s donor call HERE.

President Obama Wednesday heaped praise on his defeated rival, GOP nominee Mitt Romney, saying the former governor’s record and ideas “could be very helpful” in shaping policy over the next four years.

“My hope is, before the end of the year… that we have a chance to sit down and talk,” Obama told reporters in his first post-election press conference.

But even as Obama extended something of an olive branch, Romney was reportedly accusing the president of doling out “gifts” to minority voters to curry their support for a second term.

“The President’s campaign focused on giving targeted groups a big gift—so he made a big effort on small things,” Romney told donors on a conference call, first reported by Maeve Reston of the Los Angeles Times.  “Those small things, by the way, add up to trillions of dollars.”…READ MORE

Election 2012 November 10, 2012: Four Days After Election, President Barack Obama Wins in Florida





Four Days After Election, Obama Wins in Florida

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-10-12

Kevin Winter/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Four days have passed since President Barack Obama took enough of the electoral college to secure a second term and Florida has still not quite counted 100 percent of its ballots. But with the last absentee votes from overseas trickling in and precincts firming up, Florida’s Secretary of State on Saturday finally announced Obama would walk away with its 29 electoral votes.

President Obama took the state by a paper-thin margin over challenger Mitt Romney at 50 percent to 49.1, or roughly 74,000 votes — barely over the half a percent margin that would have mandated a recount….READ MORE

Election 2012 November 9, 2012: Tearful President Barack Obama Thanks Staff for History-Making Campaign During Chicago speech





Tearful Obama Credits Staff for History-Making Campaign

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-9-12

Associated Press – In this still image from a BarackObama.com campaign video, President Barack Obama wipes away tears as he thanks members of his campaign staff and volunteers in Chicago, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. The short speech came a day after he won re-election. The president talks about his work as a community organizer in Chicago and tells staffers and volunteers that they will do “amazing things” in their lives

The morning after he won re-election, an emotional President Barack Obama credited his youthful staff of several hundred with running a campaign that will “go on in the annals of history.”

“What you guys have accomplished will go on in the annals of history and they will read about it and they’ll marvel about it,” Obama told his team Wednesday morning inside the Chicago campaign headquarters, tears streaming down his face.

“The most important thing you need to know is that your journey’s just beginning. You’re just starting. And whatever good we do over the next four years will pale in comparison to whatever you guys end up accomplishing in the years and years to come,” he said….READ MORE

Election 2012 November 7, 2012: 2012 Presidential Election Political Reactions





2012 Presidential Election: Political Reactions

Source: ABC News, 11-7-12

VIDEO: The president is projected to win Ohio and have four more years in office.


Mitt Romney

“I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory. His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations. I wish all of them well, but particularly the president, the first lady and their daughters.

Speaker of the House John Boehner

“The American people re-elected the president, and re-elected our majority in the House. If there is a mandate, it is a mandate for both parties to find common ground and take steps together to help our economy grow and create jobs, which is critical to solving our debt. I offer sincere congratulations to President and Mrs. Obama and to Vice President and Dr. Biden. I wish Mitt, Ann, Paul, Janna and their families well, and thank them for having carried the banner of our party and our principles with strength, grace, and courage.”

Sarah Palin

“I just cannot believe that the majority of Americans believe that incurring more debt is good for the economy, for our children’s future, for job creators. I just cannot believe that the majority of Americans believe that it’s OK to ignore the constitution and not have a budget.”

French President Francois Hollande

“Your re-election is a clear choice in favor of an America that is open, unified, completely engaged in the international scene and conscious of the challenges facing our planet: peace, the economy and the environment.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

“I extend my sincere congratulations to President Obama and Vice President Biden on their hard-fought victory, and I would like to thank Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan for running a great campaign based on concrete solutions to the tremendous economic challenges we continue to face.

“The American people did two things: they gave President Obama a second chance to fix the problems that even he admits he failed to solve during his first four years in office, and they preserved Republican control of the House of Representatives.

“The voters have not endorsed the failures or excesses of the president’s first term, they have simply given him more time to finish the job they asked him to do together with a Congress that restored balance to Washington after two years of one-party control.

“Now it’s time for the president to propose solutions that actually have a chance of passing the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and a closely-divided Senate, step up to the plate on the challenges of the moment, and deliver in a way that he did not in his first four years in office.

“To the extent he wants to move to the political center, which is where the work gets done in a divided government, we’ll be there to meet him half way.

“That begins by proposing a way for both parties to work together in avoiding the ‘fiscal cliff’ without harming a weak and fragile economy, and when that is behind us work with us to reform the tax code and our broken entitlement system. Republicans are eager to hear the president’s proposals on these and many other pressing issues going forward and to do the work the people sent us here to do.”

Prime Minister David Cameron

“I would like to congratulate Barack Obama on his re-election. I have really enjoyed working with him over the last few years and I look forward to working with him again over the next four years.

“There are so many things that we need to do: we need to kick start the world economy and I want to see an EU-US trade deal. Right here in Jordan I am hearing appalling stories about what has happened inside Syria so one of the first things I want to talk to Barack about is how we must do more to try and solve this crisis.

“Above all, congratulations to Barack. I’ve enjoyed working with him, I think he’s a very successful US president and I look forward to working with him in the future.”

Herman Cain

Cain tweeted, “Obama won on Popularity rather than substance. I predict higher unemp & higher taxes.”

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu

“The strategic alliance between Israel and the U.S. is stronger than ever. I will continue to work with President Obama in order to assure the interests that are vital to the security of the citizens of Israel.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin

“We hope that the positive beginnings that have taken hold in Russian-US relations on the world arena will grow in the interests of international security and stability.”

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak

“As a moderate Muslim nation, Malaysia stands ready to help the United States as it seeks to better engage with those of Islamic faith.”

Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley

“First, Michael and I want to offer our congratulations to Mitt and Ann Romney – two wonderful people filled with grace, strength and love of country, and two people we are proud to call our friends. They ran a campaign that offered a vision of America that is strong, prosperous and free, and inspired millions of Americans in the process. We all owe them a debt of gratitude for their service.

“Second, we congratulate President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on their hard-fought and hard-earned re-election. Since the day he was sworn into office back in 2009, we have hoped and prayed for President Obama’s success as, more than anything, we want to raise our children in an America that’s thriving and that offers our children the same blessings and opportunities it has offered the generations that preceded them. Those hopes and prayers continue today.

“Although South Carolina cast a majority of its votes in the other direction, our country has spoken. As Americans, we must respect this outcome, and, as governor, I will work together with President Obama wherever I can for the betterment of our state and country.”

Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski

“Americans want us to work together to solve the difficult problems facing our nation.”

“In his second term, I am hopeful that President Obama will see the value of pragmatism over partisanship,” she said. “Both parties created the challenges we face today, and the solutions can only be found through collaborative efforts — good ideas don’t come with a party label.

“I encourage President Obama and his administration to work with Congress, represent all of America and make a better tomorrow for our nation.”

Alaska Sen. Mark Begich

“I look forward to continuing to build on the important progress we have made not only on Arctic development, but on other critical Alaska issues like supporting our veterans, balancing the budget, permitting mines and improving education.”

“I am also happy to see that voters have sent common-sense moderates from across the country to join me in the Senate.”

“Not only do we share common ground on policies, but we have a like-minded approach of reaching across party lines, rolling up our sleeves, and looking for solutions.”

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell

“Tonight, I want to congratulate President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on winning re-election.

“This has been a spirited and tough campaign. The differences between the sides have been clear, widely discussed and vigorously debated. I strongly supported my friends Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. I believe they would have provided exceptional leadership for this nation. I cannot thank them enough for their dedication to the principles of our party, and their commitment to helping improve the lives of the people of this great nation. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are honest, decent and selfless. They had big ideas that would achieve good results for all people. I wish them the very best moving forward, and I know they will stay deeply involved in the public life of this nation. We need their positive, optimistic visions as we address the pressing issues facing our country.

“I have disagreed often with the President and Vice President. On many issues of policy we clearly do not see eye to eye. But the President and Vice President are good men who care deeply about this nation. And we are bound together by something far more important than politics and policy: we are Americans, and this is a great country. The campaign is now over. It is time for us to heal and face our tremendous challenges. We will only be able to surmount those challenges by working together. As Governor of Virginia, I will continue working with the President and Vice President to find common ground, identify responsible solutions to the pressing issues of our day, and improve the lives of our fellow Americans.”

Election 2012 November 6, 2012: President Barack Obama Wins Re-election and Promises ‘Best Is Yet to Come’





President Obama Wins Re-election and Promises ‘Best Is Yet to Come’

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-7-12

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

[READ the full transcript of President Obama’s victory speech]

President Obama won a second term Tuesday night, and he promised his thrilled supporters “that for the United States of America the best is yet to come.”

Obama appeared before thousands of cheering Democrats to the beat of Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” after securing a strong electoral lead, although he just eked out victories in key states.

He congratulated his opponent Mitt Romney and said, “In the weeks ahead I am looking forward to sitting down with Gov. Romney to discuss how we can move this country forward.”

In a victory speech studded with the soaring rhetoric that first drew voters to him in 2008, Obama reminded the electorate what was still on his agenda — immigration reform, climate change and job creation….READ MORE

Full Text Election 2012 November 7, 2012: Democrat President Barack Obama’s Victory Speech in McCormick Place, Chicago after Winning the Presidential Election over Republican Mitt Romney — Transcript





Text of Barack Obama’s speech after re-election

Source: AP, 11-7-12

President Barack Obama’s speech in Chicago after his re-election Tuesday night, as transcribed by Roll Call:———

Thank you so much.

Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own 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 from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people.

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.

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 an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference.

I just spoke with Gov. Romney and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a hard-fought campaign. We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we

love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future. From George to Lenore to their son Mitt, the Romney family has chosen to give back to America through public service and that is the legacy that we honor and applaud tonight. In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Gov. Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward.

I want to thank my friend and partner of the last four years, America’s happy warrior, the best vice president anybody could ever hope for, Joe Biden.

And 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. Sasha and Malia, before our very eyes you’re growing up to become two strong, smart beautiful young women, just like your mom. And I’m so proud of you guys. But I will say that for now one dog’s probably enough.

To the best campaign team and volunteers in the history of politics. The best. The best ever. Some of you were new this time around, and some of you have been at my side since the very beginning. But all of you are family. No matter what you do or where you go from here, you will carry the memory of the history we made together and you will have the lifelong appreciation of a grateful president. Thank you for believing all the way, through every hill, through every valley. You lifted me up the whole way and I will always be grateful for everything that you’ve done and all the incredible work that you put in.

I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly. And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics that tell us that politics is nothing more than a contest of egos or the domain of special interests. But if you ever get the chance to talk to folks who turned out at our rallies and crowded along a rope line in a high school gym, or saw folks working late in a campaign office in some tiny county far away from home, you’ll discover something else.

You’ll hear the determination in the voice of a young field organizer who’s working his way through college and wants to make sure every child has that same opportunity. You’ll hear the pride in the voice of a volunteer who’s going door to door because her brother was finally hired when the local auto plant added another shift. You’ll hear the deep patriotism in the voice of a military spouse who’s working the phones late at night to make sure that no one who fights for this country ever has to fight for a job or a roof over their head when they come home.

That’s why we do this. That’s what politics can be. That’s why elections matter. It’s not small, it’s big. It’s important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy.

That won’t change after tonight, and it shouldn’t. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty. We can never forget that as we speak people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.

But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future. We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers. A country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation, with all the good jobs and new businesses that follow.

We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet. We want to pass on a country that’s safe and respected and admired around the world, a nation that is defended by the strongest military on earth and the best troops this—this world has ever known. But also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war, to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being.

We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America, open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag. To the young boy on the south side of Chicago who sees a life beyond the nearest street corner. To the furniture worker’s child in North Carolina who wants to become a doctor or a scientist, an engineer or an entrepreneur, a diplomat or even a president—that’s the future we hope for. That’s the vision we share. That’s where we need to go—forward. That’s where we need to go.

Now, we will disagree, sometimes fiercely, about how to get there. As it has for more than two centuries, progress will come in fits and starts. It’s not always a straight line. It’s not always a smooth path. By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock or solve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward. But that common bond is where we must begin.

Our economy is recovering. A decade of war is ending. A long campaign is now over. And whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you, and you’ve made me a better president. And with your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do and the future that lies ahead.

Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together. Reducing our deficit. Reforming our tax code. Fixing our immigration system. Freeing ourselves from foreign oil. We’ve got more work to do.

But that doesn’t mean your work is done. The role of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government. That’s the principle we were founded on.

This country has more wealth than any nation, but that’s not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military in history, but that’s not what makes us strong. Our university, our culture are all the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores.

What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on earth. The belief that our destiny is shared; that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations. The freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights. And among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That’s what makes America great.

I am hopeful tonight because I’ve seen the spirit at work in America. I’ve seen it in the family business whose owners would rather cut their own pay than lay off their neighbors, and in the workers who would rather cut back their hours than see a friend lose a job. I’ve seen it in the soldiers who reenlist after losing a limb and in those SEALs who charged up the stairs into darkness and danger because they knew there was a buddy behind them watching their back.

I’ve seen it on the shores of New Jersey and New York, where leaders from every party and level of government have swept aside their differences to help a community rebuild from the wreckage of a terrible storm. And I saw just the other day, in Mentor, Ohio, where a father told the story of his 8-year-old daughter, whose long battle with leukemia nearly cost their family everything had it not been for health care reform passing just a few months before the insurance company was about to stop paying for her care.

I had an opportunity to not just talk to the father, but meet this incredible daughter of his. And when he spoke to the crowd listening to that father’s story, every parent in that room had tears in their eyes, because we knew that little girl could be our own. And I know that every American wants her future to be just as bright. That’s who we are. That’s the country I’m so proud to lead as your president.

And tonight, despite all the hardship we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I’ve never been more hopeful about our future. I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope. I’m not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. I’m not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight.

I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.

America, 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.

I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. 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.

And together with your help and God’s grace we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on Earth.

Thank you, America. God bless you. God bless these United States.

Full Text Election 2012 November 7, 2012: Republican Mitt Romney’s Concession Speech After Losing Presidential Election to Democrat Barack Obama — Transcript





Mitt Romney’s concession speech (Full transcript)

Source: WaPo, 11-7-12

Here’s the full transcript from Mitt Romney’s concession speech on Wednesday morning, Nov. 7, 2012.

ROMNEY: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, my friends. Thank you so very much.


Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory. His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations.

ROMNEY: His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations. I wish all of them well, but particularly the president, the first lady and their daughters.


This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation.


ROMNEY: I want to thank Paul Ryan for all that he has done for our campaign.


And for our country. Besides my wife, Ann, Paul is the best choice I’ve ever made.


And I trust that his intellect and his hard work and his commitment to principle will continue to contribute to the good of our nation.


I also want to thank Ann, the love of my life.


ROMNEY: She would have been a wonderful first lady. She’s — she has been that and more to me and to our family and to the many people that she has touched with her compassion and her care.

I thank my sons for their tireless work on behalf of the campaign, and thank their wives and children for taking up the slack as their husbands and dads have spent so many weeks away from home.


I want to thank Matt Rhoades and the dedicated campaign team he led.


They have made an extraordinary effort not just for me, but also for the country that we love.

And to you here tonight, and to the team across the country — the volunteers, the fundraisers, the donors, the surrogates — I don’t believe that there’s ever been an effort in our party that can compare with what you have done over these past years. Thank you so very much.

Thanks for all the hours of work, for the calls, for the speeches and appearances, for the resources and for the prayers. You gave deeply from yourselves and performed magnificently. And you inspired us and you humbled us. You’ve been the very best we could have imagined.

ROMNEY: The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work.

And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion. We look to our teachers and professors, we count on you not just to teach, but to inspire our children with a passion for learning and discovery.

We look to our pastors and priests and rabbis and counselors of all kinds to testify of the enduring principles upon which our society is built: honesty, charity, integrity and family.

We look to our parents, for in the final analysis everything depends on the success of our homes.

ROMNEY: We look to job creators of all kinds. We’re counting on you to invest, to hire, to step forward.

And we look to Democrats and Republicans in government at all levels to put the people before the politics.

I believe in America. I believe in the people of America.


And I ran for office because I’m concerned about America. This election is over, but our principles endure. I believe that the principles upon which this nation was founded are the only sure guide to a resurgent economy and to renewed greatness.

Like so many of you, Paul and I have left everything on the field. We have given our all to this campaign.


I so wish — I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader. And so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation.

Thank you, and God bless America. You guys are the best. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thanks, guys.


Election 2012 November 6, 2012: President Barack Obama the Projected Winner, Earns Second Term as President





President Barack Obama the Projected Winner, Earns Second Term

President Obama won a second term Tuesday night as ABC News projects he will be re-elected, emerging victorious in what had been a deadlocked race into the final hours of the campaign.

Obama’s lease on the White House was renewed with a crucial victory in Ohio.

Celebrations erupted in Obama’s home town of Chicago, while Romney’s Boston headquarters went mournfully quiet.

Election 2012 November 6, 2012: President Barack Obama Wins Election & Second Term — Networks project Obama re-elected as U.S. president





Networks project Obama re-elected as U.S. president

Source: Reuters, 11-6-12

Related Interactive

Presidential election results

U.S. President Barack Obama greets supporters on his last night of campaigning in downtown Des Moines, Iowa, November 5, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing

1 of 30. U.S. President Barack Obama greets supporters on his last night of campaigning in downtown Des Moines, Iowa, November 5, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

President Barack Obama won re-election to a second term in the White House on Tuesday, television networks projected, beating Republican challenger Mitt Romney after a long and bitter campaign.

Obama defeated Romney in a series of key swing states despite a weak economic recovery and persistent high unemployment as U.S. voters decided between two starkly different visions for the country.

Obama’s narrow wins in Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire – all states that Romney had contested – effectively ended Romney’s hopes of capturing the 270 electoral votes needed to clinch the White House….READ MORE

Election 2012 November 6, 2012: First Votes Are In and The Race for Electoral Votes Is On





First Votes Are In and The Race for Electoral Votes Is On

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-6-12

President Obama and Mitt Romney matched each other state for state in early returns as attention turned to a trio of swing states where polls had closed but results were so close a winner had yet to emerge.

The electoral votes of Ohio, Virginia and Florida are vital to each candidate’s success. In Virginia and Florida, lines stretched from some polling places even after they had officially closed.

In the initial flurry of early returns, there were no major surprises, as tensions and excitement rose in a race so close it remained a statistical tie in many places.

As expected Obama won his home state of Illinois and also won Romney’s home state of Massachusetts.

Early on Romney picked up much of the deep South and Oklahoma, while Obama picked up the New England states.

Obama also won New Jersey, the state most affected by last week’s superstorm Sandy, in which some affected voters cast paper ballots or voted via email.

The state projections give Obama 173 electoral votes while Romney has collected 174. The candidates are vying to reach the goal of 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.

Election 2012 November 6, 2012: Three reasons Obama will win; three reasons Romney will win





Three reasons Obama will win; three reasons Romney will win

Source: LAT, 11-6-12

Mitt Romney and President Obama

Republican nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama (Emmanuel Dunand and Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty Images)

The most expensive election in U.S. history is almost over, and most public polls suggest President Obama has a small, but persistent, edge over his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.

But before the final vote counts, here are three reasons each candidate has to expect victory, and a key place to watch to see who is right….READ MORE

Election 2012 November 6, 2012: Barack Obama Congratulates Mitt Romney on ‘Spirited Campaign’





Obama Congratulates Romney on ‘Spirited Campaign’

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-6-12

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Obama on Tuesday congratulated GOP nominee Mitt Romney on a hard-fought race and expressed confidence he would have the votes to win a second term as he kicked off Election Day with a visit to his local campaign office.

“I also want to say to Gov. Romney, Congratulations on a spirited campaign,” the president told reporters after thanking volunteers at his local Hyde Park, Ill., field office.  “I know that his supporters are just as engaged and just as enthusiastic and working just as hard today.”

With polls open across the country, the president expressed confidence that “we have the votes to win.”…READ MORE

Election 2012 November 6, 2012: Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney: Live Blogging the 2012 Presidential Election





Headline Updates Throughout Election Day on Political Buzz

Live Coverage of Election Day

Source: NYT, 11-6-12

Americans went to the polls on Tuesday to decide whether to give President Obama a second term or to replace him with Mitt Romney after a long, hard-fought campaign that centered on who would heal the battered economy and what role government should play in the 21st century. New York Times reporters around the country will be providing live updates, analysis and results throughout the day….READ MORE


Election 2012 November 6, 2012: Election Day: Mitt Romney Still Campaigning, Barack Obama to Play Basketball





Election Day: Romney Still Campaigning, Obama to Play Basketball

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-6-12


The costliest election in United States history is also one of the closest, as polls open Tuesday and the country finally picks its president after a long and divisive campaign.

After spending nearly $1 billion apiece, President Obama and Mitt Romney are today in much the same place they were months ago at the campaign’s outset — the president leads his Republican challenger by so small a margin it is statistically insignificant in most places.

The tightness of the race was expressed at midnight, when the first town to open and close its polls — the tiny hamlet of Dixville Notch, N.H. — evenly split its vote five to five.

On Tuesday, Romney will campaign up to the last minute, holding rallies in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, and doing interviews with radio stations in Ohio and Virginia.

Obama, meanwhile, will remain in his home state of Illinois on Tuesday, doing some satellite television interviews and playing a game of basketball — an Election Day ritual….READ MORE

Campaign Headlines November 6, 2012: Tearful Barack Obama Ends Campaign in Iowa




Tearful Obama Ends Campaign in Iowa

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-6-12


At one point even feeling the need to wipe a tear from his eye, President Obama ended his presidential campaign Monday night with an emotional appeal to voters in the state that started it all, asking Iowans to help him finish what he started four years ago.

“We have made real progress over these last four years,” the president told an estimated crowd of 20,000 standing outside in the bitter cold.  “But Iowa we are here tonight because we have more work to do.  We are not done yet on this journey.  We have more road to travel.”

Just steps away from the campaign office set up for his victory in the 2008 Iowa Caucuses, a nostalgic Obama told Iowans they taught him “to bet on hope.”

“To all of you who have lived and breathed the hard work of change, I want to thank you.  You took this campaign and you made it your own,” he said as he wiped away a tear streaming from his left eye….READ MORE

Full Text Campaign Buzz November 5, 2012: President Barack Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama’s Speech at Final Presidential Campaign Rally in Des Moines, Iowa




Remarks by the First Lady and the President at Final Campaign Rally — Des Moines, IA

Source: WH, 11-6-12

Intersection of East 4th and East Locust Streets
Des Moines, Iowa

9:58 P.M. CST

MRS. OBAMA:  Thank you, guys.  Thanks so much.

AUDIENCE:  We love Michelle!  We love Michelle!

MRS. OBAMA:  (Laughter.)  And I love you.  I love you from the bottom of my heart.  And I am beyond thrilled to be here with all of you.

But we have to give some love up for Bruce Springsteen.  I mean, gosh.  (Applause.)  For months, I have heard his songs played at our rallies.  But I have to say, there’s nothing like seeing The Boss in person.  (Applause.)  Nothing like it.  He has just been tremendous.  He and his family and his team, they’ve just been amazing.  So we want to thank Bruce for everything that he’s done for us.

And more than anything else, I want to thank you all for being here tonight.  I mean, as you know this is a pretty emotional time for us, because this is the final event of my husband’s final campaign.  (Applause.)  So this is the last time that he and I will be onstage together at a campaign rally.  And that’s why we wanted to come here to Iowa tonight — (applause)  — because truly this is where it all began, right here.

And I have so many fond memories of this state — the house parties in Sioux City and Cedar Rapids; celebrating Malia’s birthday in Pella; and seeing my husband’s face carved in butter. (Applause.)  Believe me, we still talk about that at Christmas.  (Laughter.)

But I will never forget the kindness and warmth and love that you all showed me and my family, especially our girls.  That is truly what made the difference back in those early days when I wasn’t so sure about this whole process; back when I was still wondering what it would mean for our girls and our family if Barack got the chance to serve as President.

But the truth is while I had my worries and my fears, I also realized that this decision affected not only me as a wife and a mother, but as a voter, as an American.  And I started envisioning the kind of person that I wanted to lead our country. And I knew that I wanted a President with a steady character, with deep compassion and strong convictions.  I wanted a President who was smart.  (Applause.)  I wanted someone we could trust — (applause) — someone who would always, always tell us the truth even when it’s hard.  (Applause.)  And I wanted a President driven not by politics or which way the wind is blowing, but by the struggles, hopes and dreams of all Americans. (Applause.)

And the more I thought about it, the more I knew in my heart that I was describing Barack.  I knew he could be that President. And for four years, that’s exactly what he’s done.  He has stayed true to himself, and with your help, he’s worked day after day to make this country better, to move it forward.  He’s rescued our economy from the brink of collapse and saved the auto industry.  (Applause.)  He’s passed historic health reform — (applause) — ended the war in Iraq.  (Applause.)  He’s fought so women get equal pay and students can afford college.  (Applause.)  He’s fought for our seniors, so that they can retire with dignit;, and our veterans, so that they can give the benefits they earned and the respect they deserve.  (Applause.)

For four years, Barack has been fighting to give every single one of us a fair shot at that great American Dream, no matter what we look like or where we come from or who we love.  (Applause.)  And for four years, we have all seen what I’ve seen for the past 23 years.  We’ve seen a man of honor and integrity who knows what he believes and stays true to his values.  (Applause.)  I’m so proud of my husband.  We have seen an honest man who knows the facts and always gives it to us straight.  We’ve seen a man whose strength and resolve to build a better tomorrow has never wavered, never.

And that’s why I am so thrilled to be here in Iowa tonight  — (applause) — because long before most people even knew his name, you all saw what I saw.  So you did all this crazy stuff.  You showed up at campaign offices here in Des Moines and offices all over the state.  More importantly, you opened your homes.  You held caucus trainings.  You marched with us at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner.  (Applause.)  And then, on a cold January night, you stood up for Barack, because you knew that he would stand up for you.  (Applause.)

And over these past four years, our family has been truly blessed — truly blessed — by all of the love and support and prayers that we have received from every corner of this country. And Barack has been truly blessed to have all of you by his side as we have worked together to bring that change we can believe in.

It is an honor and a privilege to serve this nation — just know that.  And tomorrow, we get the chance to finish what we started here in Iowa.  (Applause.)  Tomorrow, all across this state, all across this country, we will line up and vote in libraries and community centers, in school gyms.  We’re going to knock on doors until our fingers are numb.  We’re going to make calls until our voices are hoarse.  (Applause.)  And we won’t stop until every voice and every last vote is counted.  (Applause.)

And we will do it.  We will do it, because while we have come so far, we know that there is so much more to do.  And what we really, truly know is that we cannot turn back now.  We need to keep moving this country forward.  (Applause.)

So that means that we need to reelect the man who has been fighting for us every single day — my husband, the love of my life — the President of the United States Barack Obama.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Iowa!  (Applause.)  Tomorrow.  Tomorrow, Iowa.  Tomorrow, from the granite of New Hampshire to the Rockies of Colorado, from the coastlines of Florida to Virginia’s rolling hills, from the valleys of Ohio to these Iowa fields — we will keep America moving forward.  (Applause.)

I’ve come back to Iowa one more time to ask for your vote.  (Applause.)  I came back to ask you to help us finish what we’ve started.  (Applause.) Because this is where our movement for change began.  (Applause.)  Right here.  Right here.

Right behind these bleachers is the building that was home to our Iowa headquarters in 2008.  (Applause.)  I was just inside, and it brought back a whole lot of memories.  This was where some of the first young people who joined our campaign set up shop, willing to work for little pay and less sleep because they believed that people who love their country can change it.

This was where so many of you who shared that belief came to help.  When the heat didn’t work for the first week or so — (laughter) — some of you brought hats and gloves for the staff. These poor kids, they weren’t prepared.  (Laughter.)  When the walls inside were bare, one of you painted a mural to lift everybody’s spirits.  When we had a Steak Fry to march to, when we had a J-J Dinner to fire up — (applause) — you brought your neighbors and you made homemade signs.  When we had calls to make, teachers and nurses showed up after work, already bone-tired, but staying anyway, late into the night.

And you welcomed me and Michelle into your homes.  And you picked us up when we needed a lift.  And your faces gave me new hope for this country’s future, and your stories filled me with resolve to fight for you every single day I set foot in the Oval Office.  (Applause.)

You inspired us.  And I want to take this opportunity to say one thing to all the young people and not-so-young people who’ve given so much to this campaign over the years — those of you who haven’t done this just for me, but for each other — for a laid-off family member, for a sick child, for a fallen friend — to all of you who’ve lived and breathed the hard work of change:  I want to thank you.

You took this campaign and you made it your own.  And you organized yourselves, block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, county by county, starting a movement that spread across the country — (applause) — a movement made up of young and old, and rich and poor, and black and white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, Democrats, Republicans, who believe we’ve all got something to contribute; that we all deserve a shot at our own American Dream.  (Applause.)

And when the cynics said we couldn’t, you said “Yes, we can.”

AUDIENCE:  Yes, we can!  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  You said, “Yes, we can” — and we did.  Against all odds, we did.  We didn’t know what challenges would come when we began this journey.  We didn’t know how deep the crisis would turn out.  But we knew we would get through those challenges the same way this nation always has — with that determined, unconquerable American spirit that says no matter how bad the storm gets, no matter how tough times are, we’re all in this together.  We rise or fall as one nation and as one people. (Applause.)

That’s the spirit that’s carried us through the trials and tribulations of the last four years.  In 2008, we were in the middle of two wars and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  And today, our businesses have created nearly five and a half million new jobs.  (Applause.)  The American auto industry is back.  Home values are on the rise.  We’re less dependent on foreign oil than any time in the last 20 years.  We’ve doubled the production of clean energy.  Because of the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform, the war in Iraq is over.  The war in Afghanistan is ending.  Al Qaeda is on the run.  Osama bin Laden is dead.  (Applause.)

We’ve made real progress these past four years.  But, Iowa, we’re here tonight because we’ve got more work to do.  We’re not done yet on this journey.  We’ve got more road to travel.  As long as there’s a single American who wants a job but can’t find one; as long as there are families working harder but still falling behind; as long as there’s a child anywhere in Des Moines, anywhere in Iowa, anywhere in this country languishing in poverty, barred from opportunity — our work isn’t done.  (Applause.)  Our fight for change goes on.

Because we know this nation cannot succeed without a growing, thriving middle class and sturdy ladders for everybody who is willing to work to get into that middle class.  (Applause.)  Our fight goes on because America has always done best when everybody has got a fair shot, and everybody is doing their fair share, and everybody plays by the same rules.  The people of Iowa understand that.  That’s what we believe.  That’s why you elected me in 2008.  And, Iowa, that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  Four more years!  Four more years!  Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, the choice you make tomorrow — and you understand this; Iowans, you guys pay attention — (laughter and applause) — the choice you make is not just between two candidates or parties.  It’s a choice between two different visions of America — who we are; what we believe; what we care about.  It’s a choice between going back to the top-down policies that caused the mess we’ve been fighting our way out of for four years — or moving forward to a future that’s built on a strong and growing middle class.

And, Iowa, you know me as well as anybody.  You’ve seen a lot of me these last six years.  (Laughter.)  And you know what, you may not agree with every decision I’ve made — Michelle doesn’t.  (Laughter.)  There may be times where you’ve been frustrated at the pace of change.  I promise you, so have I.  But I tell you what, you know what I believe.  You know where I stand.  You know I tell the truth.  (Applause.)  You know I’ll fight for you and your families every single day, as hard as I know how.  (Applause.)

And that’s why, when we talk about change, we know what real change looks like because we’ve fought for it.  We’ve got the scars to prove it.  I’ve got the gray hair to show it.  (Laughter.)  I wasn’t this gray when I first showed up in Iowa.  (Applause.)  And sometimes it’s been hard.  Sometimes it’s been frustrating.  We understand that.  But what we also know is that when we decide to make a difference, when Americans come together, determined to bring about change, nobody can stop us.  We cannot be stopped.

And after all we’ve been through together, after all that we fought through together, we cannot give up on change now.  (Applause.)

We know what real change looks like.  Change is a country where every American has a shot at a great education — where we recruit new teachers, train new workers, bring down tuition, so that no one in this country is forced to give up the dream of a college education.  (Applause.)

Change comes when we live up to this country’s legacy of innovation by investing in the next generation of technology and manufacturing.  Instead of subsidizing oil company profits, I want to support energy jobs of tomorrow.  And Iowa knows about clean energy and biodiesel and wind turbines that will free this country from the grip of foreign oil.  (Applause.)

I don’t want a tax code that rewards companies for creating jobs overseas; I want to reward companies that create jobs right here in America.  That’s what change is, Iowa.  (Applause.)

Change is turning the page on a decade of war so we can do some nation-building here at home — repairing our roads and our bridges, making our schools state of the art; putting our veterans back to work — because nobody who fights for this country’s freedom should have to fight for a job, or a roof over their heads when they come home.  (Applause.)  That’s what we’re fighting for.  That’s why we’re not done.  (Applause.)

Change is a future where we reduce our deficit by asking the wealthiest Americans to go back to the tax rates they paid when Bill Clinton was in office.  (Applause.)  We’ll cut out spending we don’t need.  But as long as I’m President, we’re not going to turn Medicare into a voucher just to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut.  (Applause.)  We’re not going to kick a kid off of Head Start just to pay for a millionaire’s tax cut.  (Applause.)

Because our budget reflects our priorities and our values.  And we know what our future requires.  We know what real change is.  You helped teach me that, here in Iowa.  (Applause.)  And what we also know is that change isn’t easy.  Remember, a lot of you showed up to town hall meetings back in 2007, 2008, and I used to talk about change.  But I also said I’m not just talking about changing presidents.  I’m not just talking about changing parties.  I’m talking about changing our politics.  (Applause.)
I told you I ran because your voices had been shut out of our democracy for way too long by special interests and politicians who will do whatever it takes to keep things just the way they are.  And we’ve seen over the last four years, the status quo in Washington, they are powerful and they have fought us every step of the way.

When we tried — and succeeded in reforming our health care system, they spent millions trying to stop us.  When we tried — and succeeded — in reforming Wall Street, they spent millions to push us back.  And we kept on going.  But those were tough fights.

And what the protectors of the status quo in Washington are counting on now is that you’ll get worn down by all the squabbling.  You’ll get fed up with the dysfunction.  You’ll give up on the change we’ve fought for.  You’ll walk away and leave them to make decisions that affect every American.  In other words, their bet is on cynicism.  But, Iowa, you taught me to bet on you.  (Applause.)  You taught me to bet on hope.  (Applause.)
I’ll work with anybody, of any party, to move this country forward.  And if you want to break the gridlock in Congress, you’ll vote for leaders who feel the same way — whether they’re Democrats, or Republicans, or independents — the kind of Iowa leaders you’ve always had — Tom and Christie Vilsack, and Tom Harkin, and Leonard Boswell and Bruce Braley, and my great friends, Tom Miller and Mike Fitzgerald.  (Applause.)

But there’s some principles you got to fight for.  There are times where you’ve got to take a stand.  If the price of peace in Washington is cutting deals to kick students off of financial aid, or get rid of funding for Planned Parenthood, or let insurance companies discriminate against kids with preexisting conditions, or eliminate health care for millions on Medicaid who are poor, or elderly, or disabled — I won’t pay that price.  That’s not a deal I will make.  (Applause.)  That’s not bipartisanship.  That’s not change.  That’s surrender to the same forces of the status quo that has squeezed middle-class families for way too long.

And, Iowa, I’m not ready to give up on the fight.  (Applause.)  I’ve got a lot more fight left in me.  (Applause.)  But to wage that fight on behalf of American families, I need you to still have some fight in you, too.  (Applause.)

The folks at the top in this country, it turns out they don’t need another champion in Washington.  They’ll always have a seat at the table.  They’ll always have access and influence.  The people who need a champion are the Americans whose letters I read late at night after a long day in the office; the men and women I meet on the campaign trail every day.

The laid-off furniture worker who’s retraining at the age of 55 for a new career at a community college — she needs a champion.  The restaurant owner who needs a loan to expand — he’s got great food but the bank turned him down — he needs help.  He needs a champion.  The cooks and the waiters and cleaning staff, working overtime in a hotel in Des Moines or Vegas, trying to save enough to buy a first home or send their kid to college — they need a champion.  (Applause.)

The autoworker who was laid off, thought the plant would never reopen, and is now back on the job, filled with pride and dignity, building a great car, building America — he needs a champion.  (Applause.)   The teacher in an overcrowded classroom with outdated schoolbooks, digging into her own pocket to buy school supplies, not always feeling like she’s got the support she needs, but showing up every day because she knows that this might be the day that she’s got a breakthrough and she makes a difference in one child’s life — she needs a champion.  (Applause.)

All those kids in inner cities, small farm towns — kids dreaming of becoming scientists or doctors, engineers or entrepreneurs, diplomats or even a President — they need a champion in Washington, because the future will never have as many lobbyists as the status quo — children don’t have lobbyists the way oil companies or banks do.  But it’s the dreams of those children that will be our saving grace.

That’s what we fight for.  That’s why I need you, Iowa.  To make sure their voices are heard.  To make sure your voices are heard.  (Applause.)  And that’s why we’ve come too far to turn back now.  We’ve come too far to let our hearts grow faint.  Now is the time to keep pushing forward — (applause) — to educate all our kids, and train all our workers, and to create new jobs, and rebuild our roads, and bring back our troops, and care for our veterans, and broaden opportunity, and grow our middle class, and restore our democracy — and make sure that no matter who you are, or where you come from, or how you started out, what you look like, who you love, what your last name is, here in America, you can make it if you try.  That’s what we’re fighting for.  (Applause.)

And, Iowa, after all the months of campaigning, after all the rallies, after the millions of dollars of ads, it all comes down to you.  It’s out of my hands now.  It’s in yours.  All of it depends on what you do when you step into that voting booth tomorrow.  It’s just a remarkable thing, the way our democracy works.  And at a certain point, all this effort and all these campaign rallies — and then it just comes down to each of us, as citizens.  All of it depends on you bringing your friend, or your neighbor, your coworker, your mom, your dad, your wife, your husband to the polls.

That’s how our democracy is supposed to be.  The single most powerful force in our democracy is you.  Moving this country forward begins with you.  (Applause.)  Don’t ever let anybody tell you your voice doesn’t matter.  Don’t let anybody tell you your voice can’t make a difference.  It makes a difference.

I got a powerful reminder of this myself on our last campaign.  Folks in Iowa, I know you may have heard this story but it was early in the primaries, and we were still way down in the polls.  I think this office had just finally gotten the heat turned on.  (Laughter.)  And at the time, I was still competing in South Carolina — it was one of the early primary states.  And I really wanted the endorsement of a state representative down there.  I met her at some function where nobody knew me, nobody could pronounce my name.  They’re wondering, what’s he thinking? (Laughter.)

So I asked her for her endorsement.  And she said, “I tell you what, Obama — I will give you my endorsement if you come to my hometown of Greenwood, South Carolina.”  And I think I had a little bit of wine during dinner, because right away I said “okay.”  (Laughter.)

So it’s about a month later, and I’m traveling back to South Carolina.  And we flew in late — I think we were coming from Iowa.  We had been campaigning non-stop, traveling all through towns and having town hall meetings and shaking hands.  And in between, I’m making phone calls, asking people for support.  And so we land in Greenwood, South Carolina, at around midnight.  We get to the hotel about 1 o’clock in the morning.  I am wiped out. I’m exhausted.  And I’m dragging my bags to my room.  Back then we didn’t fly on Air Force One.  (Laughter.)  And the accommodations were a little different.  (Laughter.)

And just as I’m about to walk into the room, one of my staf taps me on the shoulder to say, “Excuse me, Senator” –I was a senator back then.  “We’re going to have to wake up and be on the road at 6:30 a.m. in the morning.”  And I said, “What?” (Laughter.)  “Why?”  “Well, you made this promise to go to Greenwood, and it’s several hours away.”  (Laughter.)

And you know, Iowa, I try to keep my promises.  So a few hours later, I wake up — and I’m feeling terrible.  I think a cold is coming on.  And I open up the curtains to try to get some light to wake me up, but it’s pouring down rain.  Terrible storm. And I take a shower and get some coffee, and I open up the newspaper and there’s a bad story about me in The New York Times. (Laughter.)  I was much more sensitive at that time to bad stories.  (Laughter.)  I’ve become more accustomed to these now.

And finally I get dressed, I go downstairs and I’m walking out to the car, and my umbrella blows open — and I’m soaked.  So by the time I’m in the car I’m wet and I’m mad and I’m still kind of sleepy.  And it turns out that Greenwood is several hours away from everyplace else.  (Laughter.)

And so we drive, and we drive, and we drive, and we drive.  And finally we get to Greenwood — although you don’t know you’re in Greenwood right away because there are not a lot of tall buildings around.  And we pull up to a small field house, and I walked in, and I’m looking around.  I don’t hear a lot going on. And the state representative said she was going to organize a little meeting for us, and we walked in and there are about 20 people there.  And they’re all kind of wet, too, and they don’t look very excited to see me.  (Laughter.)

But I’m running for President, so I do what I’m supposed to do — and I’m shaking hands, I say, “How do you do?  Nice to meet you.”  And I’m making my way around the room, and suddenly I hear this voice cry out behind me:  “Fired up.”

AUDIENCE:  Ready to go!

THE PRESIDENT:  And I’m startled, and I don’t know what’s going on.  But everybody in the room — this is a small room — they act like this is normal.  (Laughter.)  And when the voice says, “Fired up,” they all say, “Ready to go.”

And so once again, I hear the voice:  “Fired up.”  They say, “Fired up.”  They say, “Ready to go!”  “Ready to go!”

I look around, I turned behind me — there’s this small woman.  She’s about 60 years old; looks like she just came from church — she got a big church hat.  (Laughter.)  And she’s looking at me, kind of peering at me, and she’s grinning, smiling, looking happy.  Turns out she’s a city councilwoman from Greenwood — who also moonlights as a private detective.  I’m not making this up.  (Laughter.)  This is true.  And it turns out she’s famous throughout the area.  When she goes to football games and when she goes to rallies and she goes to community events, she does this chant of hers.  She does it wherever she goes.  So for the next few minutes, she just keeps on saying “Fired up.”

AUDIENCE:  Ready to go!

THE PRESIDENT:  And everybody says “Fired up,” and she says she’s “Ready to go,” and everybody else says “Ready to go.”

And I’m thinking, this woman is showing me up.  (Laughter.) This is my meeting.  I’m running for President.  (Laughter.)  And she’s dominating the room.  And I look at my staff, and they just shrug their shoulders.  They don’t know what to do.

So this goes on for a few minutes.  Now, here’s the thing, Iowa.  After a few minutes, I’m feeling kind of fired up.  (Laughter.)  I’m feeling like I’m ready to go.  (Laughter.)  So I start joining in the chant, and my staff starts joining in the chant.  And somehow I feel pretty good.

And we go on to talk about the lives of the people in the room, and their families and their struggles and their hopes for their kids and their grandkids.  And we drive out and it’s still raining, but it doesn’t seem so bad.  And we go to our next stop, and for the rest of the day, even after we left Greenwood, even though we still weren’t getting any big crowds anyplace, even though people still couldn’t pronounce my name, I felt good.  (Laughter.)

And I’d see my staff, and I’d say, “Are you fired up?”  They’d say, “We’re fired up.”  I’d say, “Are you ready to go?”  And they’d say, “We’re ready to go.”  (Applause.)

And we brought that to Iowa.  And during our rallies, this became a chant, and we’d have signs saying “Fired up, Ready to go.”  And the woman, her name was Edith Childs — she became a celebrity, and she was written up in The Wall Street Journal — (laughter) — and folks did news stories on her.  And this became one of the anthems of our campaign back in 2008.

Now, here’s the end of the story, though.  We knew we were coming back to Des Moines for the last campaign rally I’ll ever do for me.  And so we were getting kind of sentimental.  And we called up Edith Childs.  And we said, why don’t you come on up?  (Applause.)  No, no, listen to this.  We said, why don’t you come on up; we’ll fly you up from South Carolina and you can do this chant one more time, just for old good-time sake.  It’s like getting the band back together again.  (Laughter.)

And you know what Edith said?  She said, I’d love to see you, but I think we can still win North Carolina, so I’m taking a crew into North Carolina to knock on doors on Election Day — I don’t have time just to be talking about it.  (Applause.)  I’ve got to knock on some doors.  (Applause.)  I’ve got to turn out the vote.  (Applause.)  I’m still fired up, but I’ve got work to do.  (Applause.)

And that shows you what one voice can do.  One voice can change a room.  And if it can change a room, it can change a city.  And if it can change a city, it can change a state.  And if it can change a state, it can change a nation.  (Applause.)  And if it can change a nation, it can change the world.  (Applause.)

And, Iowa, in 2008, your voice changed the world.  And Edith Childs asked me to ask you that if you’re willing to still stand with me tomorrow, if you’re willing to get your friends and your neighbors and your coworkers to the polls tomorrow, if you’re willing to make sure we finish what we started, she’s pretty sure we’ll win Iowa.  (Applause.)  She’s pretty sure we’ll win this election.  (Applause.)  And she just had one question for you, and that is:  Are you fired up?

AUDIENCE:  Ready to go!

THE PRESIDENT:  Are you fired up?

AUDIENCE:  Ready to go!

THE PRESIDENT:  Are you fired up?

AUDIENCE:  Ready to go!

THE PRESIDENT:  Are you fired up?

AUDIENCE:  Ready to go!

THE PRESIDENT:  Iowa, tomorrow let’s remind the world just why it is the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth.  (Applause.)

I love you.  (Applause.)  Let’s go vote.  Let’s keep moving forward.  God bless you.  And God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

10:35 P.M. CST

Election 2012 November 6, 2012: POLITICO / George Washington University Battleground Tracking Poll: Dead heat between Barack Obama & Mitt Romney





Battleground Tracking Poll: Dead heat

Source: Politico, 11-6-12

People are pictured voting in Maryland. | AP Photo

The candidates have stayed within the margin of error since the spring. | AP Photo

The presidential race is tied going into Election Day.

The final POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Tracking Poll of 1,000 likely voters — conducted Sunday and Monday — shows Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama each claiming 47 percent nationally.

Our previous poll, conducted Monday through Thursday of last week, found the race tied at 48 percent. Although Romney and Obama have each led at times, the two candidates have stayed within the margin of error since the spring.

Independents break for Romney by 15 points, 47 percent to 32 percent.

Across the 10 states identified by POLITICO as competitive, Obama leads 49 percent to 43 percent.

On the generic congressional ballot, Republicans edge Democrats by 47 percent to 46 percent. It was tied last week….READ MORE

Campaign Headlines November 5, 2012: ABC News / Washington Post Poll: Slim Edge Opens for Barack Obama Over Mitt Romney As the Closest Contest Concludes




POLL: Slim Edge Opens for Obama As the Closest Contest Concludes

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-5-12

John Gurzinski/Getty Images

Barack Obama has inched to a slim advantage in the closing days of the 2012 presidential race, breaking out of a long-running deadlock with Mitt Romney to a 50-47 percent contest in the final-weekend tracking poll by ABC News and The Washington Post.

While still lacking a majority in vote preference, Obama has reached 51 percent job approval, matching his best this year; extended his advantage in better understanding Americans’ economic problems; and moved to within a single point of Romney in trust to handle the economy, reversing a 9-point Romney lead on the central issue of the campaign….READ MORE

See PDF with full results and charts here.

Full Text Campaign Buzz November 5, 2012: Barack Obama Op-ed: “The America We Believe in Is Within Our Reach.”




Obama: “The America We Believe in Is Within Our Reach.”

Source: Barack Obama, ABC News, 11-5-12

PHOTO: President Barack Obama waves to supporters as members of the Mexican Rock band Mana walk off stage during a campaign event.

President Barack Obama waves to supporters as members of the Mexican Rock band Mana walk off stage during a campaign event in Desert Pines High School, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012 in Las Vegas. Mana performed at Obama?s campaign stop in Las Vegas,… (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo) View Full Caption

For the past few days, all of us have been properly focused on one of the worst storms of our lifetimes. We mourn those who were lost. And we pledge to stand with those whose lives have been turned upside down for as long as it takes them to recover and rebuild.

Because when hardship hits, America is at its best. The petty differences that consume us in normal times quickly melt away. There are no Democrats or Republicans during a storm – only fellow Americans. That’s how we get through the most trying times: together.

That spirit has guided this country along its improbable journey for more than two centuries, especially as a nation of immigrants. People have come to America from all over the world, willing to take risks, build their dreams and make sure their kids can dream even bigger. It’s that spirit that’s carried us through the last four years.

Four years ago, we were mired in two wars and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Together, we’ve battled our way back. The war in Iraq is over, Osama bin Laden is dead, and our heroes are coming home. Our businesses have created more than 5 million new jobs in the last two and half years. Home values and 401(k)s are rising. We are less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in the last 20 years. And the American auto industry is back.

We’re not there yet. But we’ve made real progress. And on Tuesday, all Americans will get to choose between two fundamentally different visions of what makes America strong.

I believe America’s prosperity was built on the strength of our middle class. We don’t succeed when a few at the top do well while everyone else struggles to get by – we’re better off when everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules.

When Bill Clinton was president, he believed that if America invested in the skills and ideas of its people, good jobs and businesses would follow. His economic plan asked the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more so we could reduce our deficit and still invest in job training and education, research and technology, better health care and a dignified retirement. And what happened? By the end of his second term, our economy created 23 million new jobs. Incomes rose. Poverty fell. Deficits became the biggest surplus in history.

The path Governor Romney offers is the one we tried for eight years after President Clinton left office – a philosophy that says those at the very top get to play by a very different set of rules than everyone else. Bigger tax cuts for the wealthy that we can’t afford. Encouraging companies to ship jobs and profits overseas. Fewer rules for big banks and insurance companies. Vetoing the DREAM Act and making life so miserable for undocumented workers that they’d “self deport.” They’re the policies that caused this mess in the first place.

In the closing weeks of this campaign, Governor Romney has started calling himself an agent of change. And I’ll give him one thing – offering another $5 trillion tax cut weighted towards the wealthy, $2 trillion in defense spending our military didn’t ask for and more power for big banks and insurance companies is change, all right. But it’s not the change we need.

We know what real change looks like. And we can’t give up on it now.

Change is an America where people of every age have the skills and education that good jobs require. We took on banks that had been overcharging for student loans for decades, and made college more affordable for millions of students, including Latinos. Now we’ll recruit 100,000 math and science teachers so that high-tech, high-wage jobs don’t end up in China, and train 2 million workers at community colleges for the skills local businesses need right now.

Change is an America that’s home to the next generation of manufacturing and innovation. I’m not the candidate who said we should “let Detroit go bankrupt,” I’m the president who bet on American workers and American ingenuity. Now I want a tax code that stops rewarding companies that ship jobs overseas, and starts rewarding companies that create jobs here; one that stops subsidizing oil company profits, and keeps supporting clean energy jobs and technology that will cut our oil imports in half. That’s how we create jobs and support the entrepreneurial spirit of Latino workers and small businesses.

Change is an America where we lift the shadow of deportation hanging over millions of people and help them earn their citizenship. We proposed a change in our laws to cut the red tape so U.S. citizens aren’t unfairly separated from loved ones while waiting for a green card. Then, instead of waiting for Congress to act, I took action so that patriotic young people who are Americans in every way except on paper no longer have to fear being deported. But this is not a permanent solution, so I will continue to work with anyone in Congress to pass the DREAM Act and enact comprehensive immigration reform to create a legal immigration system that rewards hard work and demands responsibility.

Change is an America that turns the page on a decade of war to do some nation-building here at home. So long as I’m commander-in-chief, we’ll pursue our enemies with the strongest military in the world. But it’s time to use the savings from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to pay down our debt and rebuild America – our roads and bridges and schools.

Change is an America where we reduce our deficit by cutting spending where we can, and asking the wealthiest Americans to go back to the income tax rates they paid when Bill Clinton was president. I’ve worked with Republicans to cut a trillion dollars of spending, and I’ll do more. I’ll work with anyone of any party to move this country forward. But I won’t agree to eliminate health insurance for millions of poor, elderly, or disabled on Medicaid, or turn Medicare into a voucher just to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut.

The folks at the very top don’t need another champion in Washington. The people who need a champion in Washington are the Americans whose letters I read at night; the men and women I meet on the trail every day. The cooks and cleaning staff working overtime at a Las Vegas hotel. The furniture worker retraining for a career in biotechnology at age 55. The teacher who’s forced to spend less time with each student in her crowded classroom. The DREAMer who dreams of becoming something great. Every Latino small business owner trying to expand and do right by his or her employees – all of these Americans need a champion in Washington.

When these Americans do well, America does well. That’s the change we need right now. It’s time to finish what we’ve started – to educate our kids, train our workers, create new jobs, new energy, and new opportunity – to make sure that no matter who you are, where you come from, or how you started out, this is the country where you can make it if you try.

The America we believe in is within our reach. The future we hope for is within our sights. That’s why I’m asking for your vote this Tuesday.

Campaign Headlines November 5, 2012: If Barack Obama loses…the Presidential Election




If Obama loses…

Source: Politico, 11-5-12

Barack Obama is shown here. | AP Photo

A loss for Barack Obama would be a traumatic letdown for the Democrats. | AP Photo

A defeat for Barack Obama on Tuesday would be no ordinary loss for Democrats.

It would be a traumatic experience: the death of the dream of liberal realignment embodied in Obama’s insurgent 2008 campaign. And it would be all the more distressing to Democrats because so many of them fervently believe they will win tomorrow.

Unlike Republicans, many of whom have no particular love for their nominee, Democrats admire and sympathize with the president, understanding he came into office at a difficult time. If Obama were to lose, Democrats would suddenly be leaderless for the first time in half a decade and would be forced to confront agonizing questions about the viability of their party’s agenda — health care reform, most of all….READ MORE

Campaign Headlines November 5, 2012: President Barack Obama: We Have the Votes, But Will They Show Up?




Obama: We Have the Votes, But Will They Show Up?

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-5-12


President Obama says he is entirely confident that a sufficient number of Americans back his bid for a second term, but that motivating those voters to show up at polling places Tuesday remains a challenge that could determine the election’s outcome.

“We have enough voters to win, it’s just a matter of whether they show up,” Obama told syndicated radio talk show host Warren Ballentine in a taped interview that ran Monday morning.

“Obviously there are going to be some voters who at this late date may still be undecided, and if they are, I am making a closing argument,” he said. “But the main thing I want everybody to understand is that the number of undecided voters at this point is much smaller than the number of voters who support me but just aren’t voting.

“If all the people who support me vote, then we’ll be fine,” he said….READ MORE

Campaign Headlines November 5, 2012: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney Blitz Battleground States on Last Day of Campaign




Obama, Romney Blitz Battleground States on Last Day of Campaign

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-5-12

William Thomas Cain/Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

The candidates will spend the final 24 hours of this long presidential race bouncing around the country, rallying supporters at 14 scheduled events across nine battleground states.

President Obama is set to hit urban centers in Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa on Monday, with Bruce Springsteen tagging along as his opening act.  Jay-Z is scheduled to join the campaign at a mid-afternoon gathering in the Buckeye State.

Like the president, Mitt Romney will make one last play for Ohio, arriving in Columbus four hours after Obama leaves for Iowa.  It will be the Republican’s third stop in a day that sees him track north from Florida — where the wait to register an early vote this weekend lasted as long as six hours — to Virginia, ending the night with one last rally in New Hampshire….READ MORE

Campaign Headlines November 5, 2012: ABC News / Washington Post Leadership Ratings Help Obama; 50 Percent Approval, Not So Much




Leadership Ratings Help Obama; 50 Percent Approval, Not So Much

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-5-12

President Obama has maintained a sizable advantage over Mitt Romney in trust to handle a major crisis and regained his lead in being seen as the stronger leader, wielding the benefits of incumbency to stay competitive — economic discontent aside — in the razor-close 2012 election.
Obama also has managed essentially an even split with Romney in views of which candidate has better ideas on the size and role of government — another case, as with the economy, on which Romney has been unable to capitalize fully on a vulnerability of the president’s….READ MORE

See a PDF with full results and charts here.

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