President Barack Obama has won re-election, defeating former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
"We are an American family that rise and fall together as one people," The President said in his victory speech in Chicago early Wednesday morning. "For the United States of America, the best is yet to come."
Obama walked onstage in his hometown Wednesday morning with first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters. The song "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" played as they waved at the crowd. Supporters stood, cheered and waved American flags. As the president started to speak the crowd chanted, "Four more years."
Obama thanked Romney for a hard fought campaign and vowed to work with his opponent in the weeks and months to come to make America stronger.
In his 20-minute speech, Obama touched on familiar themes he has emphasized throughout his presidency. He urged people to come together and said he would work with leaders in both parties to improve education, spur innovation, reduce debt and lessen global warming.
"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 world has ever known," he said.
He made references to victims of Superstorm Sandy and the Navy SEALS who killed Osama Bin Laden.
"This country has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich," he said. "We have the most powerful military in history but that's not what makes us strong. Our universities, our culture are the envy of the world but that's not what keep the world coming to our shore."
It's "the belief that our destiny is shared, that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another."
Supporter Michelle Marshall wore an Obama T-shirt and said in 2008 "it was elation" while Tuesday night "is more a sigh of relief." But the 30-year-old thinks "it's a good sigh." Volunteer Ben Rios says he was thrilled to vote for Obama in his first election.
Dignitaries were in the crowd too. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush were all at McCormick Place.
Obama's victory was secured when he won Ohio. No Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio. Romney needed to win nearly every other competitive state or pull off upsets in traditionally-Democratic states but was unable to do so.
Romney said earlier he called Obama to congratulate him on his victory, adding that he prays "the president will be successful in guiding our nation."