UPDATE: CHICAGO (AP) -- Obama aide: Romney concedes to Obama in a phone call.
Michael Beschloss notes that for most of American history, the two major tickets were comprised of four white Protestants; this year, none were (the only Protestant is President Obama).
The AP says: "The election emerged as a choice between two very different visions of government -- whether it occupies a major, front-row place in American lives or is in the background as a less-obtrusive facilitator for private enterprise and entrepreneurship."
“Voters a continent apart made history Tuesday on two divisive social issues, with Maine and Maryland becoming the first states to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote while Washington state and Colorado legalized recreational use of marijuana,” Associated Press reports.
Mark Shields: President Obama needs to reach out more forcefully to Republicans, “not just summon them to meetings at the White House.”
David Brooks: He also should acknowledge that even many of the people who voted for him have been disappointed in his performance.
Christina Bellantoni: In New Hampshire, the governor and entire Congressional delegation are all women -- a first. “This was a good night for women overall.”
Rothernberg: Two controversial House Republicans are in tight races -- Allen West in Florida, Michelle Bachmann in Minnesota. (West is down slightly; Bachmann is up slightly.)
Brooks on Biden: Gave a fine convention speech, “and he didn’t put his foot in it.” More substantively, he’s done important work on Iraq and dealing with Congress.
Shields: “You talk to senators, especially Democratic senators, they want to talk to Joe. … The assessment was, ‘The president doesn’t like us. He thinks we’re politicians.’”
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republicans win control of House for two more years, assuring more clashes with Obama.
NEWBURGH, NY - UPDATE - Rep. Nan Hayworth, down 52-48 to Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney, has reversed course and has now conceded the 18th Congressional District race. She will become a one term Congresswoman.
President Obama walks onto stage with Michelle and his daughters, Sasha and Malia.
Michelle, Sasha and Malia have left the stage. Obama now stands alone at the podium.
The picture of the President hugging the first lady that was tweeted from Obama's Twitter account was retweeted more than 400,000 times. Twitter said it was its most retweeted message ever. -- AP
President Obama: “Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward. It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope - the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual beliefs, we are a family and we will rise and fall together as one people.”
“Tonight in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up -- we are on our way back, and we know in our hearts, for the United States of America, the best is yet to come,” the president said.
“I want to thank every American who participated in this election - whether you voted for the very first time, or waited in line for a very long time. By the way - we have to fix that,” Obama said. “Whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone. Whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard - and you made a difference.”
“I just spoke to Gov. Romney, and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a hard-fought campaign. We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply, and we care so deeply about its future,” Obama said. “In the weeks ahead, I look forward to sitting down with Gov. Romney to talk about ways we (can) work together to move America forward.”
Obama will not be getting Sasha and Malia a second dog, he said. (He promised them a first dog in his 2008 victory speech.) “But I will say that, for now, one dog is probably enough.”
Following the NewsHour broadcast tonight, Hari and Christina will provide a video debrief of the evening on our livestream.
“Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs up controversy. That won’t change after tonight - and it shouldn't,” the president said.
Obama: “Despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future. We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers. A country that lives up to its reputation as a global leader in technology … free of debt ... that isn’t threatened by inequality or ... a warming planet.”
Obama: “Our economy is recovering. A decade of war is ending. A long campaign is now over. And whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you. You have made me a better president.”
UPDATE: Maine joins Maryland as states that have approved same-sex marriage laws Tuesday.
“Tonight, you voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders from both parties, to meet the challenges we can only solve together,” Obama said.
“This country has more wealth than any nation -- but that’s not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military, but that’s not what makes us strong,” Obama said. “What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on earth, the belief that our destiny is shared.”
Christina: “This is rhetoric we’ve heard from him before - but we’re already seeing statements from the leadership of both parties saying they want to work with him.”
Mark: “The challenges are enormous - but he sounded tonight like he was energized and inspired and determined. The test will be - we’ll need it soon. It won’t be in 2012; we’ll need it between now and the end of the year” to deal with the fiscal cliff and the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts.