Barack Obama called for unity and presented an optimistic vision of the future as he declared victory in the presidential election tonight.
The re-elected President promised 'the best is yet to come' and paid tribute to his opponent Mitt Romney in soaring rhetoric after his landslide election win.
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’.
Romney had earlier called for America to 'put the people before politics' and warned, 'At a time like this we can't risk partisan bickering and political posturing.' He added, 'I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead this country in a different direction. But the nation chose another leader.