CHICAGO Nov 7 U.S. President Barack Obama won
re-election on Tuesday, defeating Republican challenger Mitt
Following are Obama's remarks early on Wednesday to
thousands of supporters at a convention center in Chicago, the
Thank you. Thank you. 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 Governor Romney and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a
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
Governor 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 going 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
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
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 life-long 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 whose 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
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
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.
OBAMA: 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
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
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
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.