WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama swept to a emphatic re-election win over Mitt Romney Tuesday, forging new history by transcending a dragging economy and the stifling unemployment which haunted his first term.
The 44th US president and the first African American to claim the Oval Office, was returned to power after a joyless election which appears to have deepened, rather than healed, his nation's political divides.
"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," Obama said at a triumphant victory party in Chicago.
"We know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come," Obama said, striving for inspirational heights rarely touched in a campaign where the prophet of hope of 2008 became a conventional, brawling politician.
As Obama's victory was confirmed with wins in rustbelt Ohio and his spiritual political home in Iowa, large crowds suddenly materialized at the White House, chanting "four more years" and "O-bama, O-bama."
Republican nominee Romney, deflated and exhausted, offered Obama a classy tribute, as he appeared before dejected supporters in Boston, moments after phoning the US leader to formally concede and to congratulate his team.
"I wish all of them well but particularly the president, the First Lady and their daughters," Romney said.
"This is a time of great challenges for America and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation."
Obama repaid the compliment in his speech, saying the Romney family "had chosen to give back to America through public service and that is the legacy that we honor and applaud tonight."
And in an intriguing aside, the president said he looked forward to sitting down with his former foe to find if they could find common ground to work together. - theStarOnline