Fans of Obama rhetoric went into ecstasies last night over the president’s victory speech.
Here was the old Obama back: strong, confident, with his preacher’s cadences – appealing for a better future and reprising the themes that first shot him to national prominence in 2004: the unity of the nation, the ability to overcome the differences between red and blue America.
The fact that Mitt Romney also made a gracious and conciliatory speech and that senior Republicans are talking of finding compromises have led to some hopeful talk of a new spirit of bipartisanship, allowing America to skirt the fiscal cliff – and tackle a few other big challenges besides.
I’m afraid I don’t buy it. I think the Republican Party will return to Washington in an embittered and angry mood. Read more
The relief felt by Obama supporters on Wednesday is tonally different from the unbridled elation of 2008. The four intervening years have instilled a little more wariness and a little less hope. So while Obama’s campaign slogan was ‘Forward!’, it’s also important to look back – at his successes and failures, at the battles fought with a recalcitrant Congress, and at the lessons he may have learned – all of which will inform the choices of his second term. In that spirit, here is our selection of some of the best reporting and analysis pieces that shed light on Obama’s first term as president. Read more
A lot of north Americans will get high on last night’s vote – not because they are celebrating the re-election of Barack Obama as president, but following the legalisation of marijuana in Colorado and Washington. In defiance of federal law, they have now become the first US states to legalise the possession and sale of marijuana for recreational use. Although Oregon voters rejected the amendment, it’s a ground-breaking move which will change the tone of the debate on international drugs policy, test the balance of power between US states and the Federal Government, and affect Mexican security.
Medical-use cannabis is already legal in several US states. What makes Amendment 64 significant is that it would remove the prohibition on the commercial production of cannabis. In Colorado, pot can now in theory be legally sold and taxed at state-licensed stores in a system similar to alcohol sales. Personal possession of up to 28 grams (1 oz) will be legal for anyone at least 21 years old.
To get a bead on what this might mean, this is further than Netherlands has gone. There, contrary to common perception, it is only the retail sale of 5 grams that is legal. Production and wholesale remains illegal, and the law is vigorously enforced. That is why the price of pot in Amsterdam “coffee shops” is “little different than the price in US dispensaries,” as the authors of “Marijuana legalisation: what everyone needs to know”, argue here. Read more
Celebrations at the Obama victory rally in Chicago (AP)
Welcome to the Wednesday morning FT live blog on the 2012 election, beginning moments after Barack Obama renewed his pledge to unite America and tackle its looming problems, particularly the so-called “fiscal cliff”. If you want to relive a decisive night in US politics, you can do it here. President Obama’s victory speech is here. We’ll track reaction from markets and governments around the world. By Anjli Raval and Arash Massoudi in New York and Ben Fenton and John Aglionby in London. (Times in GMT)
21.20: We’re signing off now, thank you for following the US election 2012 live blog.
21.16: As we shut down the blog for the day, here is a final look at US markets from Vivianne Rodrigues, US capital markets reporter, at the close of play:
“All major benchmark indices declined by more than 2 per cent. Wall Street’s S&P 500 suffered their worst day of losses since June, ending the session below the 1,400 mark. US treasuries yield fell over 10 basis points as investors fled riskier assets for haven investments such as top tier government bonds. The 10-year note yield ended the session at 1.64 per cent. Meanwhile, the dollar index rose 0.2 per cent and gold prices see-sawed wildly before ending the session slightly higher at $1,717 a troy ounce.”
Welcome back to the FT’s live coverage of the US Election 2012 as voters have re-elected Barack Obama over Mitt Romney. The Democrats will retain a majority in the Senate, while the Republicans will hold the house. Follow all the action with Shannon Bond, Arash Massoudi and Anjli Raval in New York (All times EST).
02.20: As the celebrations continue in Chicago, we leave you with these closing thoughts.
The President came into tonight’s election a damaged political figure with victory far from certain. He won with help of a unmatched grass-roots campaign and his direct appeal to a broad cross-section of America’s ever-changing demographics. He won’t enter his second-term in office with the same momentum in his sails but that’s not to say his challenges are any less daunting. Read more
Welcome back to the FT’s live coverage of the US election in which voters will choose between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. As polls are closing across the country, we’re also tracking key Congressional races.
Follow all the action with Arash Massoudi, Anjli Raval and Shannon Bond in New York (All times EST)
23.00: Continue to follow our election live blog here.
22.56: The AP has called North Carolina, with 15 electoral votes, for Mr Romney. That puts his total at 186, against Mr Obama’s 148. Read more
Welcome back to the FT’s live coverage of the US Election 2012 in which US voters will choose between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. As millions of Americans continue to head to polling sites around the country, some results will begin to trickle in shortly. By Arash Massoudi and Anjli Raval in New York (All times EST)
19.58: Continue to follow our election live blog here.
19.55: Early signs from exit polls taken in battleground states do not bode well for Mr Romney, says Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker.
@RyanLizza: “Lots of reasons not to trust the exits, but so far they show good news for Obama and bad news for Romney.”