At the end of a hard-fought campaign, President Obama won the popular vote and he earned 303 electoral college votes to 206 for Republican
challenger Mitt Romney. The Senate remains under the control of the Democrats however, the House remains under the control of Republicans. Now the hard work of bridging a divided nation will commence.
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 honour 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 neighbours, 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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
Thank you, America. God bless you. God bless these United States.
Hopes for Environmental Action in President Obama’s Second Term