As it happened: Election reaction

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    0638 EST:

    The following is archive text of BBC News coverage of the US election. Welcome to the BBC's continued live coverage of the 2012 presidential election, the morning after President Barack Obama won re-election. We've been following the story since election day morning - you can see the reports here.

    0639: The BBC's Tulip Mazumdar

    says: "In his message to President Obama, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari expressed hope the relationship between Pakistan and the US would continue to prosper during President Obama's new term in office."


    President Zardari added that he was confident the leadership of the two countries would be able to further deepen and broaden bilateral relations on the basis of mutual respect and mutual interests.


    This from BBC Monitoring: Obama's Kenyan grandmother has congratulated her grandson, Kenyan newspaper The Standard reports. "I knew he was going to win. We are happy for the victory and are embracing everyone who visits our home," said Mama Sarah Obama at Kogelo Resort in western Kenya.


    Following news that the Democrats will retain the US Senate, Shane Write tweets: "I call on the House to stand fast, no rest, no compromise of our principles, do not bend. You are our last hope. #tcot #election2012"

    0659 EST:

    John Cassidy of The New Yorker magazine writes that Obama's win was a "triumph of moderation over extremism, tolerance over intolerance, and the polyglot future over the monochrome past".

    0701: Robert Peston BBC Business Editor

    "Almost as important as the choice of president is the selection of a Treasury secretary." Read more from Robert on how much the US election matters to the UK.


    Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Hryshchenko has tweeted that "Obama's new tenure means new opportunities for development of strategic partnership between Ukraine and the USA," BBC Monitoring reports.


    For a behind-the-scenes look at the BBC's operation in Washington DC on the night of the US election, take a look at a video produced by our own David Botti.

    0711 EST:

    ABC News has released a list of the six "weirdest items Americans voted on in the 2012 election". Among them was a ballot on whether genetically modified food must be labelled and whether condoms should be used in pornographic films.


    Just a quick reminder that all times here are in Eastern Standard Time (EST) which is GMT -5


    Writing for the environmental blog, Scott Rosenberg says though Obama has not been a "climate crusader", there is at least a "chance of reopening the national conversation about global warming". "At least we're not getting a denier in the White House," he adds.


    Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, sent congratulations to the president. "When you were elected in 2008, you inspired the world with a call to take responsibility for the problems we face as global citizens. Since then, you have made earnest efforts to live up to that great hope and trust."


    Washington Post political reporter Ezra Klein says voters may have expected more out of the president during the past four years. But he adds: "They figured no one could have delivered the kind of hope and change Obama had promised against an economy this bad, a Republican Party this intransigent, a world this dangerous."


    The BBC's Andrey Vladov says the official news agency of the People's Republic of China, Xinhua, has called on the new Obama administration to "set a more constructive tone in crafting its China policy". The agency also stated that during the last four years, the White House "frequently stirred up trade disputes and currency spats with China, and blatantly meddled in China's territorial rows with its neighbours".


    As we reported earlier, Sarah Obama, step-grandmother of Barack Obama, has been speaking about her pride. She said the US president had the "knowledge to love all people".

    Barack Obama's grandmother
    0754: Jonathan Marcus BBC diplomatic correspondent

    "America's own place in the international system is in flux, with a debate raging about relative US decline and what some see as Washington's weakening influence." Read more from Jonathan on the foreign policy challenges facing the president.


    Politico's Maggie Haberman writes that while Obama has not governed as "the president of black America", pundits underestimated how heavily black voters could influence this election.

    Joan Newcomb in Washington

    tweets about a slightly different approach to represent the US presidential campaign statistics: "Two German Designers choose burgers and fries to illustrate statistics from the US presidential campaign."


    Students at Menteng elementary school where Obama studied in Jakarta, Indonesia, cheered him on this morning, while watching a recap of the election.

    Students in Jakarta hold up a painting of Obama
    0817: Nick Robinson BBC political editor

    "Obama has shown that incumbents can be re-elected. Some comfort for David Cameron." Read more from Nick on what lessons UK politicians can learn from this result.


    No presidential vote in the US territory of Puerto Rico, but for how long? It appears the island has voted in favour of becoming a US state, although the counting of referendum results continues. But any change to statehood would require approval from US Congress.


    The president broke another record last night - the most retweeted picture in history. Accompanied with the words "four more years", the president posted a picture on Twitter of himself hugging wife Michelle, when he learned he had won re-election. Cue 327,452 retweets a minute.

    Barack Obama hugging Michelle Obama

    You can now read Obama's victory speech in full.


    The Wall Street Journal's Patrick O'Connor writes that Obama's win was due, at least in part, to an "unorthodox strategy". Patrick says Obama's re-election campaign manager Jim Messina went to the president and proposed the campaign "spend heavily, starting immediately, on ads blasting away at Republican nominee Mitt Romney".

    0848 EST:

    The Atlantic Wire declares "It's Time to Grade Pundit Predictions" as it runs the rule over who got it right in their predictions for the result. There's a lot of pundits across the spectrum who didn't call it right.


    It's a very daunting in-tray. Here are five challenges for the president's second term.


    Millicent Owuor holds her newly-born twin boys, whom she named after Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, in a maternity ward near Obama's ancestral home village of Nyangoma Kogelo in Kenya.

    Woman holds two children
    0914: Stephanie Flanders BBC economics editor

    "The big economic conclusion that investors have already drawn from the election result is about US monetary policy, not fiscal." Read more from Stephanie on what it could all mean for the economy.


    The New York Times' Jodi Kantor writes Obama, who has long thought about crafting his place in American history, now faces what "may be the climactic challenge of his political career" - a second chance to deliver on his promises. Kantor adds this promise may prove difficult without a healthy economy or willing Republican partners.


    Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who leads the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, has congratulated the president. In a statement, he added: "We pray that you will exercise your office to pursue the common good." The Catholic Church is in a dispute with Mr Obama over part of his healthcare law.


    Time Magazine's Michael Scherer has written a report revealing some of the secrets behind Obama's data mining team, like the process of targeting TV ads and creating models of swing-state voters that could be used to increase the effectiveness of door knocks.


    Kitemaker Jagmohan Kanojia showed off this creation in India this morning - a handmade kite with pictures of Barack Obama and the American flag.

    A man in India hold up a kite with pictures of Obama pasted on it

    The Washington Post is reporting that election results in Florida, a state that is reportedly still sorting through some 18,000 absentee ballots, are due this afternoon. The outcome of the ballots in Florida will not change the re-election of Obama.

    Darcy Ogada in Thika, Kenya

    writes: As a dual American/Kenya citizen living in Kenya, I couldn't be more proud of my roots. Obama's victory has been widely celebrated here and his victory transcends the tribal issue that is so prevalent in Kenyan politics. People I spoke to in the supermarket this morning were remarking on how much more advanced the US political system is from Kenya's.


    Rodrigo Campos and Steven C Johnson, writing for Reuters, say though many in the US may be celebrating a win for Obama, "US investors will hit trading floors this morning with the same president and the same problems in gridlocked Washington".


    Mark Knoller, CBS News White House correspondent, tweets: There were at least 24 other candidates running for pres. Libertarian Gary Johnson drew over a million votes: 1,145,862 to be precise.


    Fox News contributor Dick Morris has said that unless the Republican party can appeal to some of the key Democratic constituencies, they won't be able to win again. Expect more on this subject in the hours and days ahead.

    The Economist's Democracy in America blog

    writes: "Barack Obama has just won re-election, but America remains a country bitterly divided, as it has been for well over a decade."

    1031 EST:

    Referring to the decision in several states last night to legalise marijuana and gay marriage, Business Insider's Henry Blodget says "what seemed like common-sense liberties to me apparently seemed like appalling, debauched last-days-of-the-Roman-empire concepts to a majority of people in my country".


    CNN's David Rothkopf warns the president will likely not have more than a few hours to rejoice before he has to address some crucially important questions: "How can the United States create jobs more quickly? How can Iran be stopped from gaining nuclear weapons? How can we contain the threat of spreading unrest in the Middle East?"

    Mike Gowen in North Carolina

    tweets: President Obama says the best is yet to come. I hope so. If we've already seen his best our country is in serious trouble. #election2012


    Writing for Forbes, Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry says though Romney has lost the presidential race, he could be quite useful to the growth of the US. Harnessing his well-documented "data nerdery", Romney should fund and run a foundation "dedicated to fostering and researching new, innovative right-of-center policy ideas".


    Today, Mitt Romney begins day one of post-election life in Massachusetts, a state that voted in larger numbers for his opponent. Perhaps losing there was an omen. The last time a president won the White House without winning his home state was 1916, when Woodrow Wilson lost in New Jersey.


    The National Organization for Marriage tells the Wall Street Journal that the ballot wins for same-sex marriage do not reflect a shift in national opinion. "The only thing this says is that in deep blue states, gay-marriage advocates can win - barely."


    The ice skating rink at New York's Rockefeller Center has been painted to show the results map.

    ice skating rink at New York's Rockefeller Center shows the results of Tuesday night's presidential election
    1102 EST:

    Just to recap where we are. President Obama has decisively won a second term at the end of a long and often bitter campaign with the Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.


    In his victory speech, set out in full here, the president said: "We know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come."


    Mitt Romney congratulated Mr Obama and added: "Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people's work and we citizens also have to rise to the occasion."


    With one state, Florida, still to be called later today, the president has 303 electoral college votes, well past the 270 finishing post.


    And in the popular vote, the president has a 50.3% share to Romney's 48.1%, although there are still plenty of votes still to count. We have a guide to all the results here.


    Congress remains broadly unchanged, with the Democrats still in control of the Senate and the Republicans in charge in the House of Representatives.


    OK, that brings you up to speed so enough of the info overload, time now for something lighter. Sudarshan Patnaik, a sand artist, has sculpted Barack Obama's face on a beach in Puri, India.

    Obama's face constructed from a sand castle

    There's been a lot of talk about the looming package of tax and spending cuts, named the "fiscal cliff". But what is it, exactly? And is it really a cliff? The BBC's business team has a handy explainer.


    During last night's speeches in Chicago and Boston, both Obama and Romney took time out to thank their families. View a video clip of their heart-felt appreciations here.

    1155: The BBC's Jane Little in Washington

    says: "A divided country has given Obama more time to fix a broken economy - it's also ensured he must work with a Republican-controlled house again. A fiscal deadline is looming. If Washington fails to strike a deal, it's likely to harm the very recovery Americans have been starting to believe in."


    Referring to Obama's campaign victory speech last night, New York Times journalist Peter Baker writes: "While he was speaking of America, he could have been talking about himself when he told the audience: 'We have picked ourselves up. We have fought our way back.'"


    The Afghan Islamic Press news agency reports that the Taliban have called on Obama to change the country's foreign policy and pull US troops out of Afghanistan. It said a statement by a Taliban spokesman read: "Obama needs to take advantage of the opportunity he has been given."

    1215 EST:

    Is Massachusetts a curse for presidential runs? In the past 25 years, Michael Dukakis, John Kerry and now Romney have all lost White House bids after political office in the Bay State.


    After storm Sandy, US media is buzzing with questions over whether Obama will quickly tackle environmental policy reform. Peter Aldhous of New Scientist says: "His best hope is the 1970 Clean Air Act. Two landmark Supreme Court rulings, in 2007 and 2011, established that it gives the federal Environmental Protection Agency the power to regulate greenhouse gases."


    One thing President Obama probably won't be short of is advice on what to do next. Chipping in with their suggestions are pupils from Northumberland Park Community School in Tottenham, north London. Among the tips? "Give out more jobs" and "go trampolining".


    The tech world is claiming another victor from last night - Nate Silver, New York Times' data-crunching journalist.'s Chris Taylor writes: "This year, according to all projections, Silver's model has correctly predicted 50 out of 50 states." Taylor adds that by 2016, all media groups will want their own statisticians to predict the outcome.


    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who became a central figure in the campaign, has told ITV News that he received a phone call from UK Prime Minister David Cameron after storm Sandy devastated parts of his state.


    The Daily Beast's Andrew Sullivan writes that Obama's victory speech reminded him of "how deeply American he actually is". The British-born Sullivan says the great American experiment is about "being both white and black, both mid-Western and Hawaiian, both proudly American and yet also attuned to the opinion of mankind".

    1302 EST:

    President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina has sent her congratulations to President Obama. But she warns that he must "assume the role of global leader to overcome this political and economic crisis".


    A woman in South Korea carries a cardboard cut-out of Romney home from a US election party. The result was closely watched in Asia. Officials in Japan, South Korea, India, Thailand and other nations have sent congratulations to Obama.

    A woman in South Korea carrying a cardboard picture of Romney
    1325 EST:

    Do you still have questions about last night? The BBC's Katty Kay will be answering your questions on Twitter at 1500 EST. Send in your questions using the hashtag #AskKattyBBC.


    Let's bring you up to date on some outstanding matters. Several races have still not been called. Florida continues to sort through 18,000 absentee ballots although unlike in 2000, it's only the size of Obama's overall victory that is in doubt. Result expected this afternoon.


    The other results we still await are gubernatorial races in Montana and Washington, and a recount is looming over a Senate race in North Dakota.


    That North Dakota Senate race we just said was up for grabs? Associated Press is reporting that Republican Rick Berg has just conceded to Democrat Heidi Heitkamp.

    1404 EST:

    And before we sign off, Heather Smith, president of Rock the Vote, has released a statement saying the size, diversity and engagement of young adults played a crucial role in the election. "More than 22 million cast a ballot, making this generation an essential and powerful voting bloc."

    1409 EST:

    And that concludes our live coverage of the 2012 US election. Thank you for joining us. You can stay up to date with the very latest election news and analysis on our special report page.


US Presidential Election 2012

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