The longest night

Wednesday 07 November 2012 15.02

In his final blog from Washington DC,  RTÉ News Deputy Foreign Editor Anthony Murnane reflects on the events of voting day and looks ahead to the second term for President Barack Obama.

And so the ‘longest night’ comes to an end.

It was a 24 hour period that saw 130m Americans queue, some for as long as three hours, to exercise their right to vote.

A time frame that saw the polls close and the count begin. Then the time came for the electorate and political junkies to settle in for the night and watch the election results unfold.

We knew it was always going to be close, and for some time it was.

We watched as swing States like Florida returned results of 50/50 with the hundreds of thousands of votes for both sides exactly the same down to the last vote.

Then something began to happen. States like the all importantOhiostarted changing from swing to likely Obama. And then it just kept happening. The incumbent won enough swing states to secure a victory.

There was an outpouring of emotion. Thousands of Obama supporters in DC poured onto the streets, they gathered outside the White House. When we joined them to film the scenes it was a reminder of the joy that spread onto the streets that night four years ago when Barack Obama won his first election.

But the celebrations will be short-lived. Barack Obama must now deal with the economic and other problems he promised to solve, all with a Republican controlled House of Representatives and the tensions that bring.

Republicans will be regrouping and asking themselves how victory in this Presidential election slipped away from them.

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