CHICAGO— After a long and hard fought re-election campaign, President Barack Obama successfully won a second term in the White House. Although many of Obama’s supporters celebrated the victory in his hometown of Chicago, they also acknowledged there is a great need for bipartisan support to create jobs and improve the economy.
In front of an enthusiastic crowd of thousands gathered at Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center, President Obama thanked faithful supporters and the millions who voted for him, giving him a second term in office.
"The task of perfecting our union moves forward," he said.
"I am exhilarated, I am so excited. It’s just amazing. I’m so happy," said
Obama campaign worker Carol Foreman who was standing among the masses.
Foreman has supported Obama through two presidential races. The outcome of the election was no surprise to her, but she remains concerned about the economy.
"His biggest challenge, at this point, is probably the jobs and the economy," she said.
Those are also the biggest concerns for Obama supporter Nickole Jackson.
"We’re losing jobs to overseas and that’s a big concern and we want more jobs here in America," she said.
Illinois voter Michael Dawson says the president's biggest challenge is staying the course with his economic policies.
“When you have a systemic failure, the ability to fix that and stop that falling elevator, its something that has to be taken into account," he said. "We’re not exactly where we need to be, but the elevator was stopped and it’s slowly going back to where it needs to be.”
Dawson admits Obama will continue to have difficulty seeking bipartisan cooperation to achieve meaningful economic recovery many voters seek.
"Tonight, you voted for action, not politics as usual," said President Obama.
Acknowledging that the final tally between the president and his Republican challenger is close, he sought to heal the partisan divisions created by a lengthy and sometimes tense campaign.
"Whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you and you’ve made me a better president. And, with your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do and the future that lies ahead,” said Obama.
But in that future stands a U.S. Congress that remains politically divided, also a result of the November 6 election.