Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Obama wins in close election

Reactions to the 2012 presidential election ranged from tears of joy to anguishing cries of defeat as American voters turned out to re-elect Barack Obama as president of the United States over challenger Gov. Mitt Romney.

“As an intern for the Obama campaign, I spent months knocking on hundreds of doors, making hundreds of phone calls and losing hours of precious sleep to help President Obama get re-elected,” Victoria Lind, a Liberty University student and Obama supporter, said. “The joy of seeing all of our work as a whole office being fruitful was a feeling I can’t match.”

President — Obama claimed victory once again Nov. 6. Marc Nozell, Creative Commons

“I stood in shock like millions of other Americans as I watched Virginia turn blue,” Zachary Martin, a Liberty alumnus and current representative for the 6th Congressional District on the State Central Committee for the Republican Party of Virginia, said.

Despite the large gap between Obama’s 303 electoral votes and Romney’s 206, the popular vote remained closer than anticipated. Currently, Obama holds 61,497,774 votes compared to Romney’s 58,378,967 votes.

While the commonwealth of Virginia did turn blue Nov. 6, according to the Virginia State Board of Electors, Lynchburg was more in favor of Romney, with 54.35 percent of voters casting their ballot for the former governor of Massachusetts. Liberty University’s precinct turned out 3,347 voters, with 93.22 percent voting for Romney and 4.57 percent voting for President Obama.

Chancellor Falwell said that the large turnout by Liberty student voters will pay dividends when local politicians make decisions impacting college
students.

Concerning the national election, Falwell said, “I learned this week that about 3 million Republican voters who voted in 2008 did not show up at the polls this time. That was about the margin of victory for the president, and I am convinced that many of the absent voters were the conservative Christian and Tea Party voters who supported (John) McCain in 2008 because Sarah Palin was his vice presidential nominee.”

Regardless of being defeated by such a large margin in electoral votes, Romney said in his concession speech that he called the president and congratulated him on his win. Romney thanked his supporters and tipped his hat off to Obama.

“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,” Romney said. “And so, Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation.”

With the election over and citizens preparing for four more years of Obama as president, many will be holding him accountable for all that he has promised now, and in the past.

“We’re very concerned about the president — his actions, his executive orders,” Wendell Walker, a Liberty alumnus and Republican Party leader in Lynchburg, said.
“There are a number of issues that just cause us to have greater concern…”
Obama also addressed some of the issues that his administration will be concentrating on this term in his acceptance speech in Chicago.

“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,” Obama said. “Reducing our deficit, reforming our tax code, fixing our immigration system, freeing ourselves from foreign oil — we’ve got more work to do.”

In order to accomplish the goals this country has set forth, both Obama and Romney agree on one thing — that both sides of the political aisle must work together.

“The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing,” Romney said in his concession speech. “Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work, and we citizens also have to rise to the occasion.”

Only time will tell if Obama will hold true to his word and to the promises he made.

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