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« Reply #165 on: Nov 06, 2012, 11:35 PM »

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« Reply #166 on: Nov 07, 2012, 06:58 AM »

November 6, 2012

Obama Wins New Term as Electoral Advantage Holds


Barack Hussein Obama was re-elected president of the United States on Tuesday, overcoming powerful economic headwinds, a lock-step resistance to his agenda by Republicans in Congress and an unprecedented torrent of advertising as a divided nation voted to give him more time.

In defeating Mitt Romney, the president carried Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, Virginia and Wisconsin, a near sweep of the battleground states, and was holding a narrow advantage in Florida. The path to victory for Mr. Romney narrowed as the night wore along, with Mr. Obama winning at least 303 electoral votes.

A cheer of jubilation sounded at the Obama campaign headquarters in Chicago when the television networks began projecting him as the winner at 11:20 p.m., even as the ballots were still being counted in many states where voters had waited in line well into the night. The victory was far narrower than his historic election four years ago, but it was no less dramatic.

“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,” Mr. Obama told his supporters early Wednesday. “We know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come.”

Mr. Obama’s re-election extended his place in history, carrying the tenure of the nation’s first black president into a second term. His path followed a pattern that has been an arc to his political career: faltering when he seemed to be at his strongest — the period before his first debate with Mr. Romney — before he redoubled his efforts to lift himself and his supporters to victory.

The evening was not without the drama that has come to mark so many recent elections: For more than 90 minutes after the networks projected Mr. Obama as the winner, Mr. Romney held off calling him to concede. And as the president waited to declare victory in Chicago, Mr. Romney’s aides were prepared to head to the airport, suitcases packed, potentially to contest several close results.

But as it became increasingly clear that no amount of contesting would bring him victory, he called Mr. Obama to concede shortly before 1 a.m.

“I wish all of them well, but particularly the president, the first lady and their daughters,” Mr. Romney told his supporters in Boston. “This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation.”

Hispanics made up an important part of Mr. Obama’s winning coalition, preliminary exit poll data showed. And before the night was through, there were already recriminations from Republican moderates who said Mr. Romney had gone too far during the primaries in his statements against those here illegally, including his promise that his get-tough policies would cause some to “self-deport.”

Mr. Obama, 51, faces governing in a deeply divided country and a partisan-rich capital, where Republicans retained their majority in the House and Democrats kept their control of the Senate. His re-election offers him a second chance that will quickly be tested, given the rapidly escalating fiscal showdown.

For Mr. Obama, the result brings a ratification of his sweeping health care act, which Mr. Romney had vowed to repeal. The law will now continue on course toward nearly full implementation in 2014, promising to change significantly the way medical services are administrated nationwide.

Confident that the economy is finally on a true path toward stability, Mr. Obama and his aides have hinted that he would seek to tackle some of the grand but unrealized promises of his first campaign, including the sort of immigration overhaul that has eluded presidents of both parties for decades.

But he will be venturing back into a Congressional environment similar to that of his first term, with the Senate under the control of Democrats and the House under the control of Republicans, whose leaders have hinted that they will be no less likely to challenge him than they were during the last four years.

The state-by-state pursuit of 270 electoral votes was being closely tracked by both campaigns, with Mr. Romney winning North Carolina and Indiana, which Mr. Obama carried four years ago. But Mr. Obama won Michigan, the state where Mr. Romney was born, and Minnesota, a pair of states that Republican groups had spent millions trying to make competitive.

Americans delivered a final judgment on a long and bitter campaign that drew so many people to the polls that several key states extended voting for hours. In Virginia and Florida, long lines stretched from polling places, with the Obama campaign sending text messages to supporters in those areas, saying: “You can still vote.”

Neither party could predict how the outcome would affect the direction of the Republican Party. Moderates were hopeful it would lead the rank and file to realize that the party’s grass-roots conservatism that Mr. Romney pledged himself to during the primaries doomed him in the general election. Tea Party adherents have indicated that they will argue that he was damaged because of his move to middle ground during the general election.

As he delivered his brief concession speech early Wednesday, Mr. Romney did not directly address the challenges facing Republicans. His advisers said that his second failed quest for the White House would be his last, with his running mate, Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, standing as one of the leaders of the party.

“We have given our all to this campaign,” said Mr. Romney, stoic and gracious in his remarks. “I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead this country in a different direction.”

The results were more a matter of voters giving Mr. Obama more time than a second chance. Through most of the year slight majorities of voters had told pollsters that they believed his policies would improve the economy if they could stay in place into the future.

Mr. Obama’s campaign team built its coalition the hard way, through intensive efforts to find and motivate supporters who had lost the ardor of four years ago and, Mr. Obama’s strategists feared, might not find their way to polls if left to their own devices.

Up against real enthusiasm for Mr. Romney — or, just as important, against Mr. Obama — among Republicans and many independents, their strategy of spending vast sums of money on their get-out-the-vote operation seemed vindicated on Tuesday.

As opinion surveys that followed the first debate between Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama showed a tightening race, Mr. Obama’s team had insisted that its coalition was coming together as it hoped it would. In the end, it was not a bluff.

Even with Mr. Obama pulling off a new sweep of the highly contested battlegrounds from Nevada to New Hampshire, the result in each of the states was very narrow. The Romney campaign was taking its time early Wednesday to review the outcome and searching for any irregularities.

The top issue on the minds of voters was the economy, according to interviews, with three-quarters saying that economic conditions were not good or poor. But only 3 in 10 said things were getting worse, and 4 in 10 said the economy was improving.

Mr. Romney, who campaigned aggressively on his ability to turn around the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression, was given a narrow edge when voters were asked which candidate was better equipped to handle the economy, the interviews found.

The electorate was split along partisan lines over a question that drove much of the campaign debate: whether it was Mr. Obama or his predecessor, George W. Bush, who bore the most responsibility for the nation’s continued economic challenges. About 4 in 10 independent voters said that Mr. Bush should be held responsible.

The president built a muscular campaign organization and used a strong financial advantage to hold off an array of forces that opposed his candidacy. The margin of his victory was smaller than in 2008 — he held an advantage of about 700,000 in the popular vote early Wednesday — but a strategic firewall in several battleground states protected his Electoral College majority.

As Mr. Romney gained steam and stature in the final weeks of the campaign, the Obama campaign put its hopes in perhaps one thing above all others: that the rebound in the auto industry after the president’s bailout package of 2009 would give him the winning edge in Ohio, a linchpin of his road to re-election.

Early interviews with voters showed that just over half of Ohio voters approved of the bailout, a result that was balanced by a less encouraging sign for the president: Some 4 in 10 said they or someone in their household had lost a job over the last four years.

He defeated Mr. Romney 52 percent to 47 percent in Hamilton County, home to Cincinnati, but only because of the number of votes he banked in the month leading up to Election Day.

Mr. Obama won despite losing some of his 2008 margins among his key constituencies, including among younger voters, blacks and Jewish voters, yet he appeared to increase his share among Hispanics and Asians. Early exit poll results showed Latinos representing about 1 in 10 voters nationwide, and voting for Mr. Obama in greater numbers than four years ago, making a difference in several states, including Colorado and Florida.

He held on to female voters, according to preliminary exit polls conducted by Edison Research, but he struggled even more among white men than he did four years ago.

Mr. Romney’s coalition included disproportionate support from whites, men, older people, high-income voters, evangelicals, those from suburban and rural counties, and those who call themselves adherents of the Tea Party — a group that had resisted him through the primaries but had fully embraced him by Election Day.

The Republican Party seemed destined for a new round of self-reflection over how it approaches Hispanics going forward, a fast-growing portion of the voting population that senior party strategists had sought to woo before a strain of intense activism against illegal immigration took hold within the Republican grass roots.

It was the first presidential election since the 2010 Supreme Court decision loosening restrictions on political spending, and the first in which both major-party candidates opted out of the campaign matching system that imposes spending limits in return for federal financing. And the overall cost of the campaign rose accordingly, with all candidates for federal office, their parties and their supportive “super PACs” spending more than $6 billion combined.

The results Tuesday were certain to be parsed for days to determine just what effect the spending had, and who would be more irate at the answer — the donors who spent millions of dollars of their own money for a certain outcome, or those who found a barrage of negative advertising to be major factors in their defeats.

While the campaign often seemed small and petty, with Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama intensely quarreling and bickering, the contest was actually rooted in big and consequential decisions, with the role of the federal government squarely at the center of the debate.

Though Mr. Obama’s health care law galvanized his most ardent opposition, and continually drew low ratings in polls as a whole, interviews with voters found that nearly half wanted to see it kept intact or expanded, a quarter wanted to see it repealed entirely and another quarter said they wanted portions of it repealed.

In Chicago, as crowds waited for Mr. Obama to deliver his speech, his supporters erupted into a roar of relief and elation. Car horns honked from the street as people chanted the president’s name.

“I feel like it’s a repudiation of everything the Republicans said in the campaign,” said Jasmyne Walker, 31, who jumped up and down on the edge of a stone planter in a downtown plaza. “Everybody said that if he lost it would be buyer’s remorse — that we were high on hope in 2008. This says we’re on the right track. I feel like this confirms that.”

Michael Cooper contributed reporting.

Click to watch Obama's victory speech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddx8t6zGWxA


November 6, 2012

President Obama’s Success

NYTimes Editorial

President Obama’s dramatic re-election victory was not a sign that a fractured nation had finally come together on Election Day. But it was a strong endorsement of economic policies that stress job growth, health care reform, tax increases and balanced deficit reduction — and of moderate policies on immigration, abortion and same-sex marriage. It was a repudiation of Reagan-era bromides about tax-cutting and trickle-down economics, and of the politics of fear, intolerance and disinformation.

The president’s victory depended heavily on Midwestern Rust Belt states like Ohio, where the bailout of the auto industry — which Mr. Obama engineered and Mr. Romney opposed — proved widely popular for the simple reason that it worked.

More broadly, Midwestern voters seemed to endorse the president’s argument that the government has a significant role in creating private-sector jobs and boosting the economy. They rejected Mr. Romney’s position that Washington should simply stay out of such matters and let the free market work its will.

The Republicans’ last-ditch attempt to steal away Pennsylvania by stressing unemployment was a failure there and elsewhere. Voters who said unemployment was a major issue voted mainly for Mr. Obama.

Mr. Romney, it turns out, made a fatal decision during the primaries to endorse a hard line on immigration, which earned him a resounding rejection by Latinos. By adopting a callous position that illegal immigrants could be coerced into “self-deportation,” and by praising Arizona’s cruel immigration law, Mr. Romney made his road in Florida and several other crucial states much harder. Only one-third of voters said illegal immigrants should all be deported, while two-thirds endorsed some path to legal residency and citizenship. The Republican approach, if unchanged, will cost them dearly in the future.

 Still, Mr. Obama’s victory did not show a united country. Richer Americans supported Mr. Romney, while poorer Americans tended to vote for Mr. Obama. There also remained clear divisions among voters by gender, age, race and religion.

African-Americans and Hispanics overwhelmingly supported Mr. Obama. White men voted for Mr. Romney; he won among those who said they opposed gay marriage, wanted to outlaw abortion, or favored mass deportation of illegal immigrants. None of those are majority positions in this country anymore.

Mr. Romney’s strategy of blaming Mr. Obama for just about everything, while serenely assuring Americans he had a plan to cut the deficit without raising taxes or making major cuts in Medicare, simply did not work.

A solid majority of voters said President George W. Bush was to blame for the state of the economy rather than Mr. Obama. And voters showed more subtlety in their economic analysis than Mr. Romney probably expected. Those who thought the housing market and unemployment were the nation’s biggest problems said they voted for Mr. Obama. Those most concerned about taxes voted heavily for Mr. Romney.

Significantly, 60 percent of voters said taxes should be raised either on the rich or on everyone. Only 35 percent said they should not be raised at all; that group, naturally, went heavily for Mr. Romney. The polling made it clear that Americans were unhappy with the economic status quo, and substantial numbers of voters said the economy was getting worse. But Mr. Romney did not seem to persuade voters that the deficit was a crushing problem. Only 1 in 10 voters said the deficit was the most important issue facing the country.

Republicans had to be disappointed in the results of their unrelenting assault on Mr. Obama’s health care reform law. Only around a quarter of Americans said it should be repealed in its entirety.

People who were comfortable with the rightward slide of the Republican Party (as measured by their comfort with the Tea Party) voted heavily for Mr. Romney.

But Christopher Murphy’s victory over Linda McMahon in the Senate race in Connecticut, Joe Donnelly’s defeat of Richard Mourdock in Indiana’s Senate race and Claire McCaskill’s defeat of Todd Akin in the Missouri Senate race showed the price the Republicans are paying for nominating fringe candidates in their primaries.

The polls were heartening in that they indicated that a solid majority of Americans believe abortion should be legal, and that half of Americans now say their states should recognize marriages between same-sex couples.

That the race came down to a relatively small number of voters in a relatively small number of states did not speak well for a national election apparatus that is so dependent on badly engineered and badly managed voting systems around the country. The delays and breakdowns in voting machines were inexcusable.


11/07/2012 08:48 AM

Presidential Election in US: Europe Welcomes Obama's Win

Europe was quick to congratulate US President Barack Obama on Wednesday morning as he won his re-election battle against Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Markets in European capitals appeared poised for a rally, but dark clouds loom ahead.

In the end, it wasn't even that close. US President Barack Obama easily surpassed the 270 electoral votes he needed to defeat Republican challenger Mitt Romney on Tuesday evening as swing state after swing state fell into the incumbent's column. At just after 1 a.m. on the East Coast, with his deficit insurmountable, Romney conceded defeat.

"This is a time of great challenges for America and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation," Romney said in remarks before supporters in Boston. "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." Just prior to his concession speech, Romney had called Obama to congratulate him.

European stock futures signalled a strong opening on Wednesday morning on the news as the uncertainty hanging over the leadership of the US economy was removed. Analysts, however, fear that the bump will be short-lived as the first challenge of Obama's second term approaches, that of coming to agreement with Republicans on a deficit reduction deal to dodge the $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases that will automatically go into effect on Jan. 2, 2013 in the absence of such a deal.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel sent a letter to Obama on Wednesday morning to congratulate him on his victory. She noted how relations had always been close and cordial with Obama. "I am pleased to be able to continue with this," she wrote. "I would be pleased to host you again as my guest in Germany." She said the two had a common task in managing the global financial and economic crisis, the military and reconstruction mission in Afghanistan and the challenges posed by Iran's nuclear program.

In France, President François Hollande said Obama's re-election had been a "clear choice for an open, united America that is totally engaged on the international scene." According to the news agency AFP, he said that Obama's victory would "once again reinforce our partnership to facilitate the return of economic growth in our countries, to fight unemployment and to find solutions to crises that threaten us, notably in the Middle East."

Meanwhile, former German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, now prominent member of the political opposition, said it is time for Europe to invest more in the trans-Atlantic relationship. "We have an interest in Europe remaining important which is why we have to invest more in cooperation across the Atlantic," said Steinmeier, who is currently the floor leader for the opposition Social Democrats in parliament. "We are always pouting in the corner waiting for the Americans to redefine the trans-Atlantic relationship."

Steinmeier, speaking on German public television station ARD, welcomed Obama's re-election, saying "I was concerned that a President Romney would have further divided an already fractured country."

Congratulations from Europe

European Union leaders likewise released a statement on Wednesday morning congratulating Obama. "We have the pleasure of extending our warm congratulations to President Obama on his re-election as president of the United States of America," read the statement released by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. "The United States is a key strategic partner of the European Union and we look forward to continuing the close cooperation established with President Obama over these last four years, to further strengthening our bilateral ties and to jointly addressing global challenges, including in the fields of security and economy."

Despite trailing slightly in the popular vote with some 70 percent of precincts across the US reporting, Obama managed an almost complete sweep of the nine swing states which appeared to be teetering between the two candidates on the eve of the vote. Obama took Ohio, Wisconsin, Virginia, Iowa, New Hampshire, Colorado and Nevada, ceding only North Carolina to Romney. Florida remains too close to call.

Obama thanked his supporters via Twitter before taking the stage in Chicago for an ecstatic victory speech. "Whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you," he said. "I have learned from you. And you've made me a better president." He vowed to continue efforts to work with Republicans.

Exit polls showed that the struggling US economy was top in voters' minds as they went to the polls, but also revealed that about half believe that many of the difficulties remain a holdover from the disastrous economic conditions that Obama inherited from his predecessor George W. Bush four years ago. With unemployment still high in the US and the economic recovery fragile, Romney had presented himself as the candidate better equipped to improve the lot of America's middle class.

'Best Is Yet to Come'

But polls also indicate that many voters had come to the conclusion that Romney was the candidate of rich Americans and believed that Obama would do more to help the country's poor. Obama also did better than Romney among Hispanics -- important for his victory in New Mexico and the swing state of Colorado -- and blacks, two voting blocs that Republicans have had a hard time attracting in recent elections. Exit polls also indicated that a majority of women tended to support Obama over his Republican challenger, who had been dogged by ill-considered comments on rape and abortion by two different conservative Republican candidates for the Senate. Both of them -- Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana -- lost.

Despite a victory that came quicker than many pundits had predicted, the next four years promise to be a hard slog for Obama. Republicans managed to defend their majority in the House of Representatives, while Democrats won a small majority in the Senate. Furthermore, with the popular vote split down the middle, it seems unlikely that a wave of bipartisanship is about to wash over Washington D.C.

And that could make Obama's next few weeks extraordinarily challenging. With unemployment at 7.9 percent -- the highest it has been for an incumbent president seeking re-election since Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s -- and all eyes on the $1 trillion budget deficit, Obama must also quickly come to agreement with Republicans to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff" looming in the new year. As part of the Budget Control Act of 2011, US lawmakers agreed that immediate $600 billion in across-the-board spending cuts and tax hikes would automatically go into effect at the beginning of 2013 should the two parties not reach agreement on budget deficit reduction measures -- cuts that economic experts believe would send the US economy into recession. In late 2011, the so-called "Supercommittee" of leading Congressional Democrats and Republicans failed to find a compromise acceptable to both parties.

Still, the mood in Chicago in the wee hours of Wednesday morning was one of celebration. And Obama did his best to stoke the wildly cheering crowd. "Tonight in this election you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long," he said. "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."

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« Last Edit: Nov 07, 2012, 07:21 AM by Rad » Logged
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« Reply #167 on: Nov 07, 2012, 07:20 AM »

07 November 2012 - 12H27  

World leaders hail Obama victory, pledge cooperation

AFP - World leaders on Wednesday hailed President Barack Obama's sweeping re-election, with allies pledging to deepen cooperation with the United States on fighting the world economic slump and maintaining security across the globe.

Congratulations poured in from across the world, including fellow UN Security Council members Britain, China, France and Russia as well as its staunch Middle East ally Israel and Obama's ancestral home in Kenya.

Russia President Vladimir Putin, whose relations with Washington have often been frosty, sent a telegram congratulating Obama on his victory over Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

"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," Russian news agencies quoted Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.

Moscow is ready to "go as far as the US administration is willing to go," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti news agency.

In Beijing, Chinese President Hu Jintao, who himself is handing over power at a Communist Party congress starting this week, noted "positive progress" in Sino-US relations over the past four years despite tensions over issues such as trade and territorial disputes involving US allies.

China will "look to the future and make continuous efforts for fresh and greater progress in the building of the China-US cooperative partnership," foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who at times appeared to have tense relations with Obama, also joined the well wishers.

"I will continue to work with President Obama to ensure the vital security interests of Israel and the United States," said Netanyahu, who had appeared to throw his support behind Romney during the election campaign.

Iran, facing Western pressure particularly from the United States as well as archfoe Israel over its controversial nuclear drive, has yet to comment on Obama's win.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said he was looking forward to working again with his "friend" Obama on several fronts, including kickstarting the world economy and finding a solution for the escalating Syria conflict.

"There are so many things that we need to do: we need to kickstart the world economy and I want to see an EU-US trade deal," Cameron said.

"One of the first things I want to talk to Barack about is how we must do more to try and solve this crisis," he said, referring to the near 20-month conflict in Syria that world leaders have so far failed to resolve.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas urged the US leader to pursue peace efforts while Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said he hoped that Obama's re-election would mean the creation of a Palestinian state in the next four years.

Direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been on hold since September 2010.

In Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel wrote to Obama saying she looked forward to continuing cooperation "so both our countries can continue to stand side-by-side to contend with the important foreign policy and economic challenges that we face as friends and allies".

Her message was echoed by European Union President Herman Van Rompuy, Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and French President Francois Hollande.

Hollande said Obama's re-election is a "clear choice for an open, united America that is totally engaged on the international scene".

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki told Obama that people in his ancestral homeland were celebrating his "well deserved victory".

"Kenya, as always is proud of our association with you," Kibaki said in a statement. "We look forward to the deepening of relations between our two countries during your second term in office."

"The reason why he has won is because God has given it to him," said Sarah Obama, 90 this year and the third wife of the paternal grandfather of the president, who has said he regards her as a grandmother.

South African President Jacob Zuma urged the United State to continue playing a positive role in Africa, saying "we value our relations with the United States and look forward to strengthening bilateral cooperation in the years to come."

Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi also hailed the win, saying he hoped it would strengthen the "friendship between the two countries".

In Muslim majority Malaysia, Prime Minister Najib Razak urged Obama to continue to foster understanding and respect between the United States and Muslims worldwide.

There was no immediate official reaction in nuclear-armed Pakistan, a key US ally in the "war on terror" but whose relations with Washington are only now beginning to rekindle after lurching from crisis to crisis last year.
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« Reply #168 on: Nov 07, 2012, 07:27 AM »

11/07/2012 11:56 AM

Republican Defeat: How Romney Sabotaged His Own Campaign

By Marc Pitzke in Boston

Mitt Romney's defeat is a bitter one. In the end, his campaign was torpedoed by his extremist running mate and the constant flip-flopping that left voters clueless about who the "real" Romney was. His concession speech has only left his supporters feeling empty and confused.

It was still early, but defeat already hung in the air. Mitt Romney had hoped to celebrate his victory here in the ballroom of the Boston Convention Center, but the atmosphere never seemed quite right. Guests were standing around looking somewhat lost, clenching their beer bottles with eyes locked on their smartphones. Some had left their winter coats on as if they were only planning to stay briefly.

"Psst," a woman in a blindingly bright-red outfit whispered in a conspiratorial tone. "I voted for Obama. Just don't tell anybody."

No, that's not something that the people convened in Boston want to hear. They've come to celebrate their triumph and the return of Republican rule. Some have even brought babies along. A festive buffet has been set up out in the foyer, offering chicken, pork roast and exotic salads. Still, the fact that each person is limited to two alcoholic beverages makes one wonder whether they were expecting from the very start that this wouldn't exactly be an evening of boozy merrymaking.

It would eventually be a long time before Romney took the stage before his fans and conceded his bitter defeat. Perhaps he didn't want to face up to it. Perhaps he couldn't find the right words. He had composed a victory speech of 1,118 words on Tuesday morning. But he deliberately declined to pen a concession speech.

When he finally did take to the stage, it was already almost 1 a.m. local time. One could see how much the defeat weighed on him. His usual swagger had noticeably vanished. His voice was hollow. His robot-like smile has been reduced to a thin line.

Hurt by Ryan's Extremism

Romney thanked his aides, his supporters and Paul Ryan, his running mate, saying: "Besides my wife Ann, Paul is the best choice I've ever made." But there's plenty of reason to doubt it seeing that Ryan and his extremism unquestionably contributed to Romney's defeat.

On Tuesday, Romney wore a blue sports coat bearing a small elephant, the symbol of the Republican Party. For his speech, he changed into a dark-black business suit and a patriotic tie with red, white and blue stripes. "The election is over," he said, "but our principles endure." He congratulated President Obama and called for bipartisanship -- although he didn't provide any other hints as to what the future might hold in store.

The crowd was waiting for an uplifting speech that would numb their pain. It wanted to hear a grand address like the one that John McCain, the highly respected senator and Republican nominee of the last election, gave after losing to Obama in 2008. But Romney didn't deliver. He stuck to flowery words, merely encouraging the audience to give Obama amiable support. "The nation chose another leader," he said. "And so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation." Then it was a lot of waving, pained celebration, a family photo -- and goodbye.

Now Romney and the Republicans are left facing the ruins of their arrogance. There's no denying that victory seemed within reach. But, in the end, it was a defeat -- and a rather unambiguous one at that.

After such a long journey, this is a bitter end. Romney has been hacking his way through the political jungle for almost two decades as he follows the trail blazed by his father George, who withdrew from the fight to win the Republican presidential nomination in 1968.

It's also bitter because it fits a pattern of first-time defeats: Romney was defeated in 1994 during his first attempt to become a senator. He was defeated in 2008 during his first attempt to become the Republican presidential nominee. And now he has been defeated in his first -- and surely final -- attempt to win a ticket to the White House.

The quotation that will remain freshest in the minds of many will be the title that the New York Times put on a contribution he submitted in November 2008, at the height of the auto-industry crisis: "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt." Detroit would eventually avenge the insult by throwing its weight behind Obama.

And, lastly, it's a particurly bitter loss for Romney after all the encouraging scenes of recent days. There were the massive crowds of thousands and tens of thousands of supporters hailing Romney wherever he went. It was the enthusiasm of a grassroots movement. The stages he stood on even looked presidential, with their huge, star-studded banners, big-sky backdrops and a sea of American flags stretching to the horizon.

The Chameleon Candidate

So, what caused the defeat? Was it the multiple slip-ups and gaffes that Romney stoically shrugged off? Was it the millions that Obama's strategists pumped into TV ads depicting Romney as a coldhearted capitalist? Was it the threat to Big Bird, the "binders full of women" or his consistently wooden appearances?

When all is said and done, there is only one person who deserves the lion's share of the blame: Mitt Romney. For months, Romney continued to change his stances to the point that voters ultimately had no idea who the "real" Romney was. It wasn't until the very end that Romney dared to be his putative self again. But it was too late. Even Massachusetts, the state that Romney served as governor for four years, would ultimately turn its back on him.

Things had looked different for a while. Romney thought he had pulled things off back during the first TV debate in Denver. At the time, he completed a calculated backwards flip-flop, transforming himself for the last time -- from the "strictly conservative" Mitt that he had presented himself as during the primaries to a decidedly more centrist Mitt. It was a bold but transparent maneuver.

On election night, the first exit polls still kept Romney feeling confident. For the majority of voters, the economy had been the most important issue -- and it was, after all, Romney who came across as being the numbers guy, the executive who would lead the nation back to health. In the end, though, they said "no thanks".

The evening ultimately proved to be a nail-biter. Guests in Boston were forced to look on as their hero's fortunes melted away on two large screens. At some point, the jazz group playing next to the stage put down their instruments.

Romney Loses One State After the Other

Then Florida seemed to lean toward Obama before falling back to Romney. Then it went back to Obama. Back to Romney. Ohio experienced similar shifts in the polls. Romney led in the "popular vote" in the state. Romney captured Utah.

In the end, though, none of it helped.

Romney's top strategist, Ed Gillespie, came out and continued to express his optimism, saying the party would throw a huge election-night party and that: "We feel very good." Ohio Senator Rob Portman, one of Romney's closest supporters then appeared in a patchy video feed. "That's for your hard work," he said. "I've never been prouder."

But then more and more dominos started to fall. Romney lost Massachusetts, his home state, to Obama. Then he lost Michigan, the state where he was born. Then he had to cede Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and New Mexico to his Democratic Party challenger.

Romney Takes Two Hours to Concede Defeat

Things then grew deadly silent in Boston, and the expressions on peoples' faces grew solemn. Nobody moved. Just one young boy continued to wave a small American flag.

By then, the rumors were already circulating that Jeb Bush, George W. Bush's brother and the former governor of Florida, had called to say that Florida had been lost -- and, with it, the presidency.

Then Romney's bodyguard, Garrett Jackson, tweeted a photo from behind the scenes showing the Romney family sitting around on white leather sofas as they took in the results. "Gov and @anndromney having a great time with the grandkids," Jackson wrote. The expressions on their face, however, told a different story -- with Romney looking tense and serious. By then, he seemed to know -- after all, this is the numbers guy.

Sarah Palin, the unsuccessful 2008 vice-presidential candidate, also looked distressed. She only appeared in Boston via video -- courtesy, of course, of Fox News -- and she was greeted with frosty silence. "I'm disappointed," she said, "but I am still keeping my fingers crossed." When asked for her thoughts on the possibility of Obama getting re-elected, she responded: "Truly a disastrous setback!"

At precisely 11:12 p.m., Palin's worst fears came true as the first US networks called Obama the winner of the election. It took exactly 12 minutes longer for that news to come than it did in 2008.

Afterwards, it took nearly two hours before Romney appeared to give his final speech and concede defeat to Obama.

Click to watch Romney's concession speech:

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« Reply #169 on: Nov 07, 2012, 12:36 PM »

Some other exciting things happened as well last night.

We have the first openly gay US Senator elected, Tammy Baldwin.

We had Elizabeth Warren take back Ted Kennedy's seat from Scott Brown

Mazie Hirono, a Buddhist born in Fukushima elected to the Senate representing Hawai'i

Joe Kennedy, the great nephew of JFK, elected to the House of Reps

Alan Greyson, a fiery progressive, returns to the House of Reps

Puerto Rico votes to become a state (congress has to ratify)

Marijuana legalized in two states

Gay marriage legalized in two states

What an amazing reversal from the frightening politics of conservatism. The demographics of the US are changing so fast away from the archaic conservatism of the past. Hopefully this is the dawn of a new day in America and a precursor of whats to come in American politics.
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« Reply #170 on: Nov 08, 2012, 12:09 PM »

Hi All,

Thought to share this video from Rachel Maddox show about the election:


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« Reply #171 on: Nov 10, 2012, 07:21 AM »

Before the election results came out,

I posted the following on facebook:

Mercury is stationary retrograde now

square Neptune in Pisces...............expect confusion

but it's trine Uranus.........expect the unexpected

Venus is in Libra and trine Jupiter.
I would say that's great for marriage equality.
I believe that gay marriage will be legalized in at least one more state.

I like the Mars in Sagittarius trine Eris in Aries........looks like acting on beliefs that are in harmony with diversity.

Sun quincunx Jupiter calls for making adjustments when it comes judgment.

Moon is in Leo which is in the sign of Obama's Sun.
hmmmmmmmm.........maybe he will feel good for a reason
at this moment, it's conjuncting his Sun

I am hoping that retrograde Jupiter in the sign of Obama's Moon, Gemini will be good for him. Jupiter is the traditional benefic.

I was looking at Barack Obama's chart.

I wonder if transiting stationary true Lunar Node conjunct Obama's Midheaven could be great for Obama. It would seem like it would be great for career and social status.

Transiting Mercury is stationary retrograde in his 10th house, but it's not a bad thing
for it is going back to an applying trine to his Mercury in 6th house, and so that would be great for
communications and work. Transiting Uranus is retrograding in his 2nd house and trining his Mercury, and so that is good for finances and communication. Actually the transiting stationary retrograde Mercury trine Uranus is in a grand trine to his Mercury. I think that's great for communications.

Transiting retrograde Jupiter is not only in the sign of Obama's Moon Gemini, but it's also sextile his Sun in Leo. This is an opportunity for expansion. This is a time for optimism. Transiting Venus is sextile his Sun too. Transiting Venus trine Jupiter is in a minor grand trine to his Sun. That's good for love and expansion.


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« Reply #172 on: Nov 10, 2012, 07:23 AM »

I couldn't help notice that transiting Pluto is conjunct USA Sibley Chart's Eris. The conjunction was 33 minute orb applying on Election Day.

That would seem to indicate facing the hard truth that Diversity is a fact of life here in USA and realizing that the changing demographics are forcing changes whether they like it or not. It could also indicate the growing discord as well as the racism that is being uncovered.

Transiting Mars was sextile Eris with 34 minute applying orb during election day, and so put more emphasis on the diversity and the issues with discord and equality.

Also keep in mind that USA Sibley chart in Right Ascension has Sun oppose Eris with only 3 minute orb which reflects a strong major theme on diversity,discord,equality.

I want to point out that currently Saturn in 4'16 Scorpio is conjuncting the Geocentric South Node of Eris in 6'30 Scorpio, opposing the Geocentric North Eris Node in 6'06 Taurus

The exact conjunction of Saturn and Geocentric South Eris Node in 5'57 Scorpio will occur on November 24, 2012
The exact opposition of Saturn and Geocentric North Eris Node in 7'02 Taurus will occur on December 5, 2012

Structure,discipline,authority in connection with collective present and past karma involving Unexpected, Unsettled Awareness as well as diversity, equality, controversy, discord as well as ideology that unites/divides leading to inclusion or exclusion

A good example is conservatives being forced to deal with the reality of diversity here in USA after the November 6, 2012 Presidential re-election of President Barack Obama who is mixed black, white.
They realize that the USA is moving away from the White Christian Male Power Structure into a Diverse People Power Structure and that it is not their father's USA. The Electorate is rapidly changing.
The Republican Party is realizing that they may have to adjust their ideology to include others that they tend to exclude. They can't win presidential elections without diversity.
It can be about letting go of extremism and becoming moderate to include the types of people that feel a sense of exclusion due to the extreme positions of the Republican Party.

Note that the Right Ascension (Equatorial Longitude) USA Sibley chart has a t-square of Saturn in 14'36 Libra square the opposition of Sun in 14'28 Cancer and Eris in 14'25 Capricorn which indicates the conservatism,structure,authority in friction with diversity leading to needing to resolve issues with equality and dealing with discord.

Transiting Saturn is
conjunct my Sun in 5'20 Scorpio in 2nd
conjunct my Ixion in 5'25 Scorpio in 2nd
conjunct my true Black Moon Lilith in 5'41 Scorpio R in 2nd
oppose my Geocentric South Eris Node in 5'29 Scorpio in 2nd
oppose my Geocentric North Eris Node in 5'30 Taurus in 8th

Therefore, it's a highly karmic time for me right now.
I am in the process of joining a Unitarian Universalist church which is mainly about diversity of beliefs.
I noticed the church that I am attending has very little ethnic diversity. Issues of being an ethnic minority may arise for me.

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« Reply #173 on: Nov 10, 2012, 07:54 AM »

I just realized something.
asteroid Lincoln was in 11 degrees of Libra on Nov 6th Election Day, and so Venus was conjunct it within 1 degree.

Abraham Lincoln was the president of the United States during the Civil War.
He was known for freeing the slaves and being assassinated.
Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.
The Republican Party and the Democratic Party are different now with the Democratic Party being more progressive.

There have been comparisons with Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln.
President Obama swore on Lincoln's bible when he was inaugurated.

The movie, Lincoln was just released yesterday.

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« Reply #174 on: Nov 12, 2012, 08:03 AM »

Glaucus, thanks for your posts here. The asteroids add an amazing amount of data, and I find the transiting conjunction of Venus and Lincoln to be highly interesting, to say the least. 
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« Reply #175 on: Nov 12, 2012, 03:24 PM »

Steve and Glaucus,

The natal asteroid Lincoln for Obama is 29 Cap which is then conjunct Obama's Saturn and Jupiter. The N.Node of Lincoln for Obama conjuncts his natal Gemini Moon in his 4th. The S.Node of Lincoln in Obama's chart conjuncts his S.Node of Mars in Libra in his 8th, and his N.Node of Chiron.

God Bless, Rad
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