|Walk of Victory|
Barack Obama called for unity and presented an optimistic vision of the future as he declared victory in the presidential election tonight.
|New York Democrats cannot contain their excitement at Obama's election victory|
In a speech that saw a return to the soaring rhetoric he has become known for since his election in 2008, Obama said during the fierce campaign he had ‘listened and learned’ to the American people and it had ‘made him a better president and I will return to the White House more determined and inspired than ever’.
His voice going hoarse at times, he said: ‘progress comes in fits and starts’ and the road is littered with ‘difficult compromises’. But he said he enters the next four years with an ‘economy recovering, a decade of war ending and a long campaign is over.’ He thanked his wife and also paid tribute to his daughters Sasha and Malia who he said were ‘two smart beautiful young women, just like their mother’, but joked ‘one dog is probably enough’.
|Barack Obama delivers a powerful acceptance speech|
Broadcast networks called the 2012 election for Obama as he swept the map with wins in the swings states of Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Virginia while Florida still hung in the balance.
|Barack Obama and Joe Biden congratulate each other with their wives in Chicago|
Despite unemployment standing at 7.9 per cent and Obama performing very poorly during the first presidential debate, Romney was crushed nationally, though he might finish only just behind in the popular vote.
Minutes after his victory was announced, the President tweeted: 'We're all in this together. That's how we campaigned, and that's who we are. Thank you.' He also posted a picture of himself embracing his wife Michelle - and the post rapidly became the most popular tweet of all time.
|Obama called Biden 'America's happy warrior'|
Obama thanked the citizens who had participated in the political process: 'Whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference.'
Romney called Obama to concede defeat shortly before 1am, a few minutes before he took to take the stage at his Boston headquarters to deliver his gracious concession speech and announced, 'I have just called the President to congratulate him on his victory.' He thanked his family for their support, saying his wife Ann 'would have been a wonderful First Lady', and also praised his running mate Paul Ryan: 'Besides my wife Ann, Paul is the best choice I've ever made.'
|Michelle, Sasha, Barack & Malia Obama celebrate the President's victory on stage|
After Obama spoke to Romney, he immediately called former President Bill Clinton, one of his most important supporters whose speech to the Democratic convention in September was credited with giving the campaign a significant boost.
While both campaigns and their teams of lawyers were steeling themselves for an all-night nail-biter and possibly even protracted legal disputes over recounts and disputed ballots, the evening effectively ended at 11.15pm when Ohio fell.
|Obama delivered his speech in front of thousands of supporters in Chicago|
Obama's huge margin of victory belied his slender lead in the national popular vote. By midnight he was in fact a few thousand votes behind Romney, though results in the Pacific appeared likely to push the President slightly over the edge in the final analysis.
Culled from Mailonline
For more pictures and detailed story, go to Mailonline