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Four more years.

On Nov. 6, 2012, presidential incumbent Barack Obama was announced as the winner of the 2012 presidential election, giving him four more years in office.

Obama claimed victory over former Massachusetts governor and GOP candidate Mitt Romney after a campaign season that cost over $2 billion between both candidates, according to The Washington Times.

In his acceptance speech several hours after the announcement, Obama said: “…in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together.” He noted that he planned on “sitting down with Governor Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward.”

Romney, in his concession speech just after midnight, said: “I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader. And so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation.”

Earlier in the night, a number of Fairfield students gathered in the lower level BCC to watch updates provided by news channels MSNBC, FOX and CNN. The announcement of Obama’s victory came at approximately 11:25 p.m. when each news outlet successively projected Obama had exceeded the necessary 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.

Student reactions were an immediate mix of loud cheers and silent disbelief. Supporters of both candidates stopped to watch and discuss as more concrete numbers were announced by each news outlet.

“I’m just really excited that Obama was re-elected and I’m looking forward to the next steps that are going to happen with this country,” said Rachel Lang ’14.

“I am just a little disappointed,” said Laura McKee ‘16. “I thought it would to turn out differently because it was really close in the beginning and then all of the sudden in the last hour things went towards Obama’s way. It was a turnaround, I was kind of expecting it, but it was more of a disappointment to me.”

McKee’s sentiments highlighted the initial closeness of the race. Romney initially led the popular vote, but as key states such as Ohio were attributed to Obama, the race quickly became a definitive victory for the president. As concrete figures poured in, Obama was awarded 303 electoral votes to Romney’s 206, withholding incomplete statistics from Florida.

Campaigning on issues such as reformed health care, marriage equality and support of women’s rights, Obama earned the vote of many Fairfield students due to his views on social policy.

Junior Erin Sullivan said, “The reason I voted for Obama is because I feel fortunate at this time in my life that I don’t really have to be concerned with economic policies as much as if I would once I’m supporting myself, so I voted based on social policy.”

“I am so excited,” said Sarah Joseph ‘13. “America needed to keep our president … Obama is the president for all people – gays, women, blacks, whites and Asian.”

Junior Taylor Webb, an Obama supporter, noted, “We deserve the right to do what we want with our own bodies as women.”

Though many vocalized their excitement over Obama’s victory, some supporters voiced criticism for the re-elected president in terms of his economic policy. Sandanie Ambalangodage ‘16 said, “I definitely think Obama needs to get his act together. I think now he realizes, you now, he can’t just BS everything.”

She continued: “I think what he needs to focus now on is jobs especially. And I think everything he promised he would do in 2008 needs to be put into action this year.”

Romney supporters also stressed the implications of Obama’s economic policies. “I kind of wish Romney won,” said Alexis Ellis ‘16. “Mitt Romney’s plan was going to have jobs created and … Obamacare is socialism. That’s all.”

Regardless of viewpoints, those who voted partook in the progression of, in the words of Obama, “a former colony [that] won the right to determine its own destiny.”

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