intro: Barack Obama now prepares for his second term as the President of the United States. Though the race was tight, especially in states like Florida and Virginia, Obama won by more than 2 million popular votes at last count, and had at least 303 electoral votes to Mitt Romney's 206. (Florida was still too close to call as of midday Wednesday.)
Check out some of the reactions to last night's election results:
quicklist:1 title:Mitt Romney text: "I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory. His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations. I wish all of them well, but particularly the president, the first lady and their daughters.
quicklist:2 title:Speaker of the House John Boehner text: "The American people re-elected the president, and re-elected our majority in the House. If there is a mandate, it is a mandate for both parties to find common ground and take steps together to help our economy grow and create jobs, which is critical to solving our debt. I offer sincere congratulations to President and Mrs. Obama and to Vice President and Dr. Biden. I wish Mitt, Ann, Paul, Janna and their families well, and thank them for having carried the banner of our party and our principles with strength, grace, and courage."
quicklist: 3 title:Sarah Palin text: "I just cannot believe that the majority of Americans believe that incurring more debt is good for the economy, for our children's future, for job creators. I just cannot believe that the majority of Americans believe that it's OK to ignore the constitution and not have a budget."
quicklist:1 title:French President Francois Hollande text: "Your re-election is a clear choice in favor of an America that is open, unified, completely engaged in the international scene and conscious of the challenges facing our planet: peace, the economy and the environment."
quicklist:4 title:Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell text:"I extend my sincere congratulations to President Obama and Vice President Biden on their hard-fought victory, and I would like to thank Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan for running a great campaign based on concrete solutions to the tremendous economic challenges we continue to face.
"The American people did two things: they gave President Obama a second chance to fix the problems that even he admits he failed to solve during his first four years in office, and they preserved Republican control of the House of Representatives.
"The voters have not endorsed the failures or excesses of the president's first term, they have simply given him more time to finish the job they asked him to do together with a Congress that restored balance to Washington after two years of one-party control.
"Now it's time for the president to propose solutions that actually have a chance of passing the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and a closely-divided Senate, step up to the plate on the challenges of the moment, and deliver in a way that he did not in his first four years in office.
"To the extent he wants to move to the political center, which is where the work gets done in a divided government, we'll be there to meet him half way.
"That begins by proposing a way for both parties to work together in avoiding the 'fiscal cliff' without harming a weak and fragile economy, and when that is behind us work with us to reform the tax code and our broken entitlement system. Republicans are eager to hear the president's proposals on these and many other pressing issues going forward and to do the work the people sent us here to do."
quicklist:1 title:Prime Minister David Cameron text: "I would like to congratulate Barack Obama on his re-election. I have really enjoyed working with him over the last few years and I look forward to working with him again over the next four years.
"There are so many things that we need to do: we need to kick start the world economy and I want to see an EU-US trade deal. Right here in Jordan I am hearing appalling stories about what has happened inside Syria so one of the first things I want to talk to Barack about is how we must do more to try and solve this crisis.
"Above all, congratulations to Barack. I've enjoyed working with him, I think he's a very successful US president and I look forward to working with him in the future."
quicklist: 4 title: Herman Cain text: Cain tweeted, "Obama won on Popularity rather than substance. I predict higher unemp & higher taxes."
quicklist:5 title: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu text:"The strategic alliance between Israel and the U.S. is stronger than ever. I will continue to work with President Obama in order to assure the interests that are vital to the security of the citizens of Israel."
quicklist:5 title: Russian President Vladimir Putin text: "We hope that the positive beginnings that have taken hold in Russian-US relations on the world arena will grow in the interests of international security and stability."
quicklist:6 title:Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak text:"As a moderate Muslim nation, Malaysia stands ready to help the United States as it seeks to better engage with those of Islamic faith."
quicklist:7 title: Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley text:"First, Michael and I want to offer our congratulations to Mitt and Ann Romney – two wonderful people filled with grace, strength and love of country, and two people we are proud to call our friends. They ran a campaign that offered a vision of America that is strong, prosperous and free, and inspired millions of Americans in the process. We all owe them a debt of gratitude for their service.
"Second, we congratulate President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on their hard-fought and hard-earned re-election. Since the day he was sworn into office back in 2009, we have hoped and prayed for President Obama's success as, more than anything, we want to raise our children in an America that's thriving and that offers our children the same blessings and opportunities it has offered the generations that preceded them. Those hopes and prayers continue today.
"Although South Carolina cast a majority of its votes in the other direction, our country has spoken. As Americans, we must respect this outcome, and, as governor, I will work together with President Obama wherever I can for the betterment of our state and country."
quicklist:8 title: Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski text:"Americans want us to work together to solve the difficult problems facing our nation."
"In his second term, I am hopeful that President Obama will see the value of pragmatism over partisanship," she said. "Both parties created the challenges we face today, and the solutions can only be found through collaborative efforts — good ideas don't come with a party label.
"I encourage President Obama and his administration to work with Congress, represent all of America and make a better tomorrow for our nation."
quicklist: 9 title: Alaska Sen. Mark Begich text:"I look forward to continuing to build on the important progress we have made not only on Arctic development, but on other critical Alaska issues like supporting our veterans, balancing the budget, permitting mines and improving education."
"I am also happy to see that voters have sent common-sense moderates from across the country to join me in the Senate."
"Not only do we share common ground on policies, but we have a like-minded approach of reaching across party lines, rolling up our sleeves, and looking for solutions."
quicklist:10 title: Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell text: "Tonight, I want to congratulate President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on winning re-election.
"This has been a spirited and tough campaign. The differences between the sides have been clear, widely discussed and vigorously debated. I strongly supported my friends Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. I believe they would have provided exceptional leadership for this nation. I cannot thank them enough for their dedication to the principles of our party, and their commitment to helping improve the lives of the people of this great nation. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are honest, decent and selfless. They had big ideas that would achieve good results for all people. I wish them the very best moving forward, and I know they will stay deeply involved in the public life of this nation. We need their positive, optimistic visions as we address the pressing issues facing our country.
"I have disagreed often with the President and Vice President. On many issues of policy we clearly do not see eye to eye. But the President and Vice President are good men who care deeply about this nation. And we are bound together by something far more important than politics and policy: we are Americans, and this is a great country. The campaign is now over. It is time for us to heal and face our tremendous challenges. We will only be able to surmount those challenges by working together. As Governor of Virginia, I will continue working with the President and Vice President to find common ground, identify responsible solutions to the pressing issues of our day, and improve the lives of our fellow Americans."