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World Hopeful For Change Again In Wake Of Obama's Re-Election

Jacqueline Jackson |
November 8, 2012 | 2:54 p.m. PST


Barack Obama won re-election Tuesday night. (Barack Obama, Creative Commons)
Barack Obama won re-election Tuesday night. (Barack Obama, Creative Commons)
The 2012 presidential race was full of questionable errors, including computer glitches selecting the opposite candidate of the voter’s choice and the growing enactment and enforcement of voter ID laws. Despite these problems, hope, fear and excitement spread across the nation upon the arrival of Election Day. As the polls closed and votes came in, Romney supporters witnessed an initially close race and possible victory for Romney, until Obama won California and Ohio to achieve victory with over 270 electoral votes.

Throughout the U.S., people’s responses to Obama's re-election were hopeful, yet skeptical. In his first term, the president accomplished more than many others to move America toward a more unified nation; some of his achievements include repealing DADT, taking steps toward better healthcare with ObamaCare, re-establishing key international relationships and fostering a strong connection to youth development through Michelle Obama's connection to community.

Despite the freshness of Obama’s win, CNN reports, there is little time to celebrate. Before Obama's inauguration, he will be faced with the difficult task of combatting America’s potential fiscal cliff. This issue must be resolved immediately, but only through consistent negotiation with the Republican Party, especially with regard to tax increases, and Congress is still divided in terms of how to handle the financial crisis. Wednesday night, Anderson Cooper questioned the Republicans' desire to raise taxes on the wealthy, remarking that there can either be confrontation or improved cooperation between the two parties. Along with this time-sensitive issue, Obama will have to deal with international security issues and the 2014 departure of all U.S. military forces from Afghanistan.

Throughout the world, in spite of language and economic barriers, Obama's victory has inspired many to yet again trust in the possibility for change. Obama has received congratulatory messages from political leaders around the world, including Chinese President Hu Jinato, Russian President Valdimir Putin, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and, of course, emotions ranged high in Indonesia and throughout Africa, as thousands of Obama supporters chanted his name not only in congratulations of his victory, but also because of his role as a model for black youth around the world. Zindzi Mandela, daughter of Nelson Mandela, embodied this emotion as she thought of her children. She said, "as a mother and as a grandmother who raises boy children, I think that the symbolism of having a black man occupy the highest office is something that can make my children very aspirational to know that this is possible, you know, in their lifetime."

International news organization Al Jazeera reported a unanimous international excitement to the president’s re-election, accompanied by a growing desire to not only support the president in his second term, but also to be an integral part of his promise for change, better international communication and increasing desire to work with forward-thinking international leaders. The world, despite its many divides, is reaching out to President Obama in the hopes of coming together to promote peace and restore or create much-needed legislation to move not just America, but also the world, forward.

Along with the excitement of Obama's win came the knowledge of the obstacles Obama has yet to face. BBC reminded its readers that this term might be even more difficult than the last. Jeremy Brown, BBC's Middle East editor, emphasized the fact that President Obama has to make vital decisions on the conflict in Syria and Iran's potential arsenal of nuclear weapons. The administration needs to focus on national security and the growing war in Syria, and with Obama’s re-election, many are hoping to turn potentially deadly circumstances into negotiations of peace and growth within nations abroad.

The president will face complicated tasks of redirecting America out of a slowly growing American economy. The recession has led to an increase in joblessness, home foreclosures and crime and violence throughout the nation. Across the world, people have questioned whether the energy in the Obama administration has lessened through the trials of his first term, and if there is enough of a focus on strengthening international relations. Yet, as international leaders, supporters and skeptics across the globe look forward to Obama's second term, one phrase from President Obama's acceptance speech range true: "The best is yet to come.”



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