Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 2:07 pm
President Obama was the headliner Tuesday night, but most members of Congress also faced elections. Democrats retained control of the Senate while Republicans held on to control of the House. Now both sides of the divided Congress face significant challenges addressing the nation's fiscal problems.
Host Michel Martin has been checking in with two former speechwriters throughout the election season to sort through the rhetoric, and find out what messages struck a chord with voters. She reviews campaign messaging, and Tuesday night's victory and concession speeches with former presidential speechwriters Mary Kate Cary and Paul Orzulak.
Now, we want to turn to the international arena. The race for the White House last night had people around the world glued to their TVs and radios and reaction is pouring in from political figures around the globe.
Here is a small sample of what we've been hearing, starting with a spokesperson for the Afghan Foreign Ministry.
JENAN MOUSSA: We look forward to advancing our existing strong, broad, multifaceted partnership with the United States.
CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL: (Foreign language spoken)
This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're sure you know this by now, but just in case, President Obama won reelection and will serve a second term in office.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I believe we can seize this future together, because we are not as divided as our politics suggest. We are not 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.
Although exit polls showed a majority think the country is on the wrong track, voters still gave President Obama a second chance and four more years to govern. For a look at what to expect in a second term, Renee Montagne talks to Neera Tanden, who runs the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank in Washington, D.C.
Five hundred thirty-eight electoral votes were up for grabs on Election Day. President Obama has won, so far, 303 of them, a comfortable majority. Mitt Romney has 206. Twenty-nine are still unaccounted for - the electoral votes of Florida. Too close to call there. Less than a percentage point divides the candidates. But down the ballot, Democrats did well. The party retained a Senate seat and picked up a few key congressional races as well. NPR's Debbie Elliott reports.
For weeks, months - make that years - the conventional wisdom has been that the presidential election would all come down to Ohio, and Ohio would be very close. Well, that was partially right. Ohio was very close, but as NPR's Tamara Keith reports, not as pivotal as predicted.
TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Jack Shumate(ph) flew into Ohio last Thursday from Dallas, Texas. He came here because this was the place where he felt he could really make a difference for his candidate, Mitt Romney.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
In Wisconsin, Democrats won big just five months after a stinging defeat in their effort to recall Republican Governor Scott Walker. President Obama won the state, even though Mitt Romney chose Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate. Plus Wisconsin voters elected Democrat Tammy Baldwin to be the first openly gay member of the U.S. Senate.