While Americans sang “Four More Years”, a touch of relief spread across Europe with the news of the re-election of Barack Obama as President of the United States of America, on Tuesday 6 November.
Tuesday night was a night of anticipation as the world awaited the results of the presidential elections of the most powerful country in the world.
Competing, Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, and incumbent president and Democrat, Barack Obama.
Tension began to build as the map of the US filled up with red and blue colours and the number of votes were added up during the night.
270 votes were needed to win the election. Obama obtained 303 votes against Mitt Romney’s 206 ballots of the U.S. Electoral College. Indeed, the red flag of the Republicans was very much present, it was certainly not an easy victory for Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and supporters, but, it was a success nonetheless.
This victory is said to be due to a greater appeal of Obama among minorities, women, middle class and youth. Indeed, 60% of under-29s voted for the incumbent, as well as 93% of Afro-Americans, 71% of Hispanics, 54% of women and 60% of people earning less than 50 000 dollars.
Outside the United States, Europeans did very much engage in the elections. Election-nights ran all over the continent and according to an opinion poll for German Marshall Fund, 75% of Europeans were supporting President Obama’s re-election against a mere 8% in favour of candidate Romney. The first European countries to support Barack Obama were Germany and France.
This particular support was, in all likelihood, due to the fact that Romney appeared as a scary candidate through his contentious statements and his link to the Mormon Church which came as a shocking and determining aspect in the European media. Also, Obama created a major trend in 2008 and gained support of many European leaders throughout his presidency. Furthermore, his withdrawal decisions on Iraq and Afghanistan wars are highly considered among Europeans who are also reassured by his economic plans for stability.
Even the most conservative Europeans did not tend to side with candidate Romney. Let’s not forget that Mitt Romney criticized the UK’s preparation for the London 2012 Olympic games and this made a relatively poor impression in Europe.
Although the last four years have also disappointed, it is now time to turn to another four and the American hope lays in the hands of Barack Obama who will, however, have to work with a strong opposition.
In fact, Obama addressed a victory speech on Wednesday 7 November at a rally in Chicago in which he reaffirmed his hope in the future of America. “I believe we can seize this future together” he said, before adding “We are and forever will be the United States of America and together, with your help and God’s grace, we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on earth. Thank you America! God bless you! God bless the United States!”.
But, the European media agrees, the most difficult is yet to come for President Barack Obama.