— Michael Oreskes
The Republican National Committee's election night festivities in Washington started with an optimistic tone. Supporters milled about well-stocked buffets and bars as musical performers riled up the crowd at the Ronald Reagan Building downtown.
Within hours, the palpable excitement was neutered as news organizations called the election for President Barack Obama. A once-deafening roar subsided into a slow murmur as the crowd began to rapidly dissipate, the GOP's victory in the House of Representatives now overshadowed.
The few remaining were disappointed, but conciliatory.
"(We) still have the status quo in the House and the Senate, and (Obama's) going to have to reach out to them," said Republican Joe Hagerty of Virginia.
The party was supposed to last until 2 a.m., but the atrium was almost empty by the time midnight rolled around, save for a handful of people. One woman left shouted to no one in particular: "We live in the socialist republic of Obama!"
— Donald Borenstein
AP National Political Editor Liz Sidoti's take on Barack Obama's victory speech:
It was a speech far different from the jubilant and lofty one he gave in Chicago four years ago.
With one term nearly over and the next ahead of him, a seasoned Obama talked of a resilient America — a place where people have "picked ourselves up" and fought back during tough economic times. He declared that the "best is yet to come."
And he struck a more bipartisan tone — by necessity as much as anything else given that power remains divided on Capitol Hill. He said he wants to meet with Republican rival Mitt Romney to discuss how they can work together, and he said he looked forward to working with the GOP.
Yet he also urged patience, saying progress will come in fits and starts.
— Liz Sidoti
Maybe they should ask for a cat?
President Barack Obama told Sasha and Malia Obama in his victory speech how proud he was of them — they were becoming strong, smart, beautiful women just like their mother, he said — but that didn't mean they were getting a second dog.
"One dog's probably enough," he said to laughter from the crowd.
Four years ago, of course, in his first victory speech, Obama had promised his girls they would have a new puppy in the White House. The First Dog soon followed, named Bo.
It was striking to see how the girls had grown since that night four years ago. Now, Malia, 14 — who wore a dress with a bright blue skirt, black top and pink belt — looked as tall as her mother, and in flat shoes, yet. Sasha, now 11, who four years ago jumped up into her father's arms on the victory stage, also looked mature in a dress with a bright green, bouncy skirt.
It was not lost on commentators that the next four years will bring renewed, intensified interest in the girls' lives, as they become full-fledged teenagers in the public eye.
— Jocelyn Noveck — Twitter http://twitter.com/JocelynNoveckAP
OBAMA: DESTINY IS SHARED
In his 20-minute speech to supporters after winning re-election, President Barack 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."