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Andrew Pyle

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Democrats End Up With the Real "Trump" Card

Posted: 11/08/2012 9:58 am

This week's US elections resulted in a status quo outcome -- something that should not have been a major surprise, regardless of how the spin doctors played this campaign. Obama kept his keys to the White House, the Republicans maintained control over the House and Democrats remained the majority in the Senate.

For all the negative campaigning, aimed at shifting an ever-shrinking undecided voter contingent, including Donald Trump's last minute media grab on his $5 million offering for Obama disclosure documents (now there's a man with a real journey into insignificance); America's philosophical divide became even more apparent. Republicans turned out the angry white gentlemen and rural vote, while Democrats solidified their captive hold over urban, Black, Hispanic and female voters.

Much has already been written on how this was essentially the last opportunity for the Republicans to seize power on a declining demographic base of support and, now that Mitt Romney has failed, it is difficult to see how Republicans can adapt quickly enough to win four years from now, if not eight, 12 or more. Option one is to shift towards the centre and welcome the above-mentioned demographic groups with open arms. Doing so would eat into Democrat support, but it would raise the risk of the extreme right splitting away as a separate party (Ross Perot nightmare revisited).

The conservative vote would be split and odds of returning to power would diminish. Option two is to stay the right-of-centre course, thus rolling the demographic dice that what happened this past Tuesday was just an anomaly. One can argue that coming up with a new Republican torch bearer and reconciling these two opposing options will take up so much time over the next four years that the GOP will not be able to govern the House with the singular purpose of opposing everything that comes out of the Oval office. In other words, Republicans cannot risk being labeled simply the "no" party.

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  • Barack Obama accompanied by First Lady Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia appears on stage on election night in Chicago. JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

  • Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama, with his daughter Malia wave toward the crowd at his election night party Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Chicago. President Obama defeated Republican challenger former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama walks out of the stage with his wife Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia at his election night party Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Chicago. President Obama defeated Republican challenger former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Sasha Obama, Malia Obama

    President Barack Obama waves as he walks on stage with first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha at his election night party Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Chicago. Obama defeated Republican challenger former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama addresses the crowd at his election night party Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Chicago. President Obama defeated Republican challenger former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

  • Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama speaks at his election night party Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Chicago. President Obama defeated Republican challenger former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama speaks at his election night party Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Chicago. President Obama defeated Republican challenger former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama smiles during his speech at his election night party Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Chicago. President Obama defeated Republican challenger former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama acknowledges the crowd at his election night party Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Chicago. President Obama defeated Republican challenger former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

  • US-VOTE-2012-ELECTION-OBAMA

    US President Barack Obama arriveS on stage after winning the 2012 US presidential election November 7, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Obama swept to re-election, forging history again by defying the dragging economic recovery and high unemployment which haunted his first term to beat Republican Mitt Romney. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-ELECTION-OBAMA

    US President Barack Obama and family arrive on stage after winning the 2012 US presidential election November 7, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Obama swept to re-election, forging history again by defying the dragging economic recovery and high unemployment which haunted his first term to beat Republican Mitt Romney. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-ELECTION-OBAMA

    US President Barack Obama and family arrive on stage after winning the 2012 US presidential election November 7, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Obama swept to re-election, forging history again by defying the dragging economic recovery and high unemployment which haunted his first term to beat Republican Mitt Romney. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

  • President Barack Obama accompanied First Lady Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia waves to supporters on stage on election night in Chicago. President Barack Obama swept to re-election Tuesday, forging history again by transcending a slow economic recovery and the high unemployment which haunted his first term to beat Republican Mitt Romney. JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

  • US President Barack Obama waves to supporters as he arrives accompanied by (from L-R ) First Lady Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha on election night in Chicago. JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

  • US President Barack Obama and family arrive on stage after winning the 2012 US presidential election. SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

  • Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney concedes defeat November 6, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts, telling supporters that he had called US President Barack Obama to congratulate him on his victory. (DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney Holds Election Night Gathering In Boston

    BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 07: Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, waves to the crowd while speaking at the podium as he concedes the presidency during Mitt Romney's campaign election night event at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on November 7, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. After voters went to the polls in the heavily contested presidential race, networks projected incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama has won re-election against Republican candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

  • Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney Holds Election Night Gathering In Boston

    BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 07: Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney greets supporters as he concedes the presidency during his campaign election night event at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on November 7, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. After voters went to the polls in the heavily contested presidential race, networks projected incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama has won re-election against Republican candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (Photo by Rick Wilking-Pool/Getty Images)

  • Mitt Romney, Ann Romney, Paul Ryan

    Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, left, wife Ann Romney, center, and Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., stand on stage after Romney conceded the race during his election night rally, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Boston. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

  • Mitt Romney, Ann Romney, Paul Ryan, Janna Ryan

    Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and his wife Ann, left, and Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and his wife Janna, right, are joined by their families on stage after Romney conceded the race during his election night rally, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Boston. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Mitt Romney, Ann Romney, Paul Ryan, Janna Ryan

    Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and his wife Ann stand on the stage with Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and his wife Janna after Mitt Romney conceded the race during his election night rally, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Boston. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Mitt Romney, Ann Romney, Paul Ryan, Janna Ryan

    Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and his wife Ann are joined by their son Craig Romney, right, and other family members on stage after Romney conceded the race during his election night rally, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  • Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney Holds Election Night Gathering In Boston

    BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 07: Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, speaks at the podium as he concedes the presidency during Mitt Romney's campaign election night event at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on November 7, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. After voters went to the polls in the heavily contested presidential race, networks projected incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama has won re-election against Republican candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

  • Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney Holds Election Night Gathering In Boston

    BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 07: Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, waves to the crowd while standing at the podium before conceding the presidency during Mitt Romney's campaign election night event at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on November 7, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. After voters went to the polls in the heavily contested presidential race, networks projected incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama has won re-election against Republican candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

  • Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney Holds Election Night Gathering In Boston

    BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 07: Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, waves to the crowd before conceding the presidency during Mitt Romney's campaign election night event at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on November 7, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. After voters went to the polls in the heavily contested presidential race, networks projected incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama has won re-election against Republican candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney Holds Election Night Gathering In Boston

    BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 07: Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, kisses his wife, Ann Romney, after conceding the presidency during Mitt Romney's campaign election night event at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on November 7, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. After voters went to the polls in the heavily contested presidential race, networks projected incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama has won re-election against Republican candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images)

  • Barack Obama, Michelle Obama

    President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk off Air Force One after arriving at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

  • Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama greets first lady Michelle Obama on the tarmac as she arrives at Des Moines International Airport on Air Force One, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Des Moines, Iowa, en route to a campaign event. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • Joe Biden

    Vice President Joe Biden hugs Anne Holton, wife of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine on the tarmac of the Roanoke Virginia Airport in Roanoke, Va., Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. Biden made a surprise visit to Roanoke arriving via Air Force Two with Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine and U.S. Sen. Mark Warner. (AP Photo/The Roanoke Times, Kyle Green, Pool)

  • Mitt Romney

    Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney waves to reporters after he took questions on his campaign plane en route from Pittsburgh to Boston, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. At right is senior adviser Kevin Madden. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Mitt Romney

    Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney arrives on his campaign plane at Boston's Logan Airport, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Republican

    A spectator reacts to a change in the Florida early projections sen on a television during Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's election night rally, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Boston. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Cean Orrett, 45, center, and Gareth Edmondson-Jones, 46, of San Diago, both recently married in New York, react to positive predictions for President Barack Obama as crowds watch election results in Times Square, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in New York. After a year of campaigning, polls have begun to close after Americans across the United States headed to the polls to decide the winner of the tight presidential race between President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (AP Photo/ John Minchillo)

  • Nancy French, from Columbia, Tenn., watches vote results displayed on a television screen during Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's election night rally, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Boston. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Spencer Siady, left, and Vinay Cardwell, of Salt Lake CIty, react as disappointing numbers dis come in for Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney during election night party for the Republicans at the Hilton Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Steve Griffin) DESERET NEWS OUT; LOCAL TV OUT; MAGS OUT

  • A supporter reacts to voting results displayed on a television screen during Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's election night rally, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Boston. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Mitt Romney supporters watch presidential returns during a GOP watch party, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

  • The Democratic party faithful gathered at the Minnesota DFL Party headquarters at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown St. Paul, Minn. to hear election results Tuesday night, Nov. 6, 2012. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak went crowd surfing, with his mother Loraine, after it was announced that Pres. Barack Obama had won re-election. (AP Photo/David Joles/ Star Tribune)

  • Arizona Democrats celebrate as President Barack Obama is declared the winner of the presidential race at Democratic Party gathering, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Tucson, Ariz.(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

  • Supporters of President Barack Obama Shauna Harry, left, and Alana Hearn celebrate by leaping in the air at New York State Democratic Headquarters following Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

  • President Obama Holds Election Night Event In Chicago

    CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 06: Supporters of U.S. President Barack Obama attend the Obama Election Night watch party at McCormick Place November 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Obama is going for reelection against Republican candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • American Expats Gather To Watch Coverage Of The U.S. Presidential Elections

    LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 06: Supporters of U.S. President Barack Obama cheer while watching coverage of the U.S. Presidential Elections on on November 6, 2012 in London, England. U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney are in a virtual tie in the national polls. (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)

  • President Obama Holds Election Night Event In Chicago

    CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 06: A supporter of U.S. President Barack Obama attends the Obama Election Night watch party at McCormick Place November 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Obama is going for reelection against Republican candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-ELECTION-OBAMA

    Supporters of US President Barack Obama watch voting results on election night November 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

  • President Obama Holds Election Night Event In Chicago

    CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 06: Supporters of U.S. President Barack Obama cheer after networks project Obama as reelected during the Obama Election Night watch party at McCormick Place November 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Networks project Obama has won reelection against Republican candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • President Obama Holds Election Night Event In Chicago

    CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 06: Supporters of U.S. President Barack Obama cheer after networks project Obama as reelected during the Obama Election Night watch party at McCormick Place November 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Networks project Obama has won reelection against Republican candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney Holds Election Night Gathering In Boston

    BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 06: Spectators react to President Obama's projected re-election displayed on large televisions during Mitt Romney's campaign election night event at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on November 6, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. Voters went to polls in the heavily contested presidential race between incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-ELECTION-OBAMA

    Supporters of US President Barack Obama celebrate as CNN projects victory for Obama on election night November 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-ELECTION-OBAMA

    Supporters of US President Barack Obama celebrate as CNN projects victory for Obama on election night November 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-ELECTION-ROMNEY

    Supporters of US Presidential candidate Mitt Romney watch as Fox News projects US President Barack Obama is re-elected on election night November 6, 2012 in Boston Massachusetts. AFP PHOTO/ TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-ELECTION-OBAMA

    US President Barack Obama supporters celebrate as CNN projected The President re-elected on election night November 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

These political dynamics will have an impact on the type of economic policy that comes out of Washington over the next four years, despite suggestions that a status quo election will result in just a status quo gridlock on the changes necessary for an improvement in US fiscal status, production, employment and household net worth.

The easy and skeptical view is that Republicans will follow a scorched earth doctrine, throwing out compromise in favour of a worst-case "fiscal cliff" scenario that sends the US economy into recession and Democratic 2016 wishes along with it.

Similarly, we can view the Democrat position with respect to the revenue (tax increases) to spending mix as unbending and unpalatable to the centre/centre-right make-up of Congress. The reality from the razor-thin margin on the popular vote is that compromise is probably more likely in the next several months than in the Presidential term just passed. The ball is in Obama's court in terms of delivering the first serve and, at the time of writing there was talk that the re-elected President would deliver a speech outlining the initial tactics in arriving at a solution to the fiscal cliff and debt ceiling before inauguration.

The challenge is that markets and rating agencies may not have a lot of patience in waiting for a solution. Let's forget the post-election plunge in stocks for now. This was not the market voting against the Obama victory as much as pundits would have us believe. Instead it had more to do with ill-timed comments by European Central Bank President Draghi that Eurozone tensions are hurting Germany's economy.

That headline hit the wires at just after 7:15am ET -- about the time the floor came out from under the stock market. A day later we were already seeing some stabilization in equities and I expect that markets are going to wait at least a few sessions for signs from the Obama office before making the next move.

Let's not forget the other implications from this week's election outcome.

For one, Fed Chairman Bernanke's job is safe, at least until January 2014 when his second term is up. This means that bottomless pit quantitative easing will continue, which was a factor behind the risk-on trade coming out of the summer. We also have a leadership changeover taking place in China this month.

Right now it looks as though a pro-reform platform will continue, suggesting a stronger push towards creation of a more sustainable domestically-driven growth model for China. I still don't know if Romney would have followed through with his campaign promise to label China a "currency manipulator"; but there is some relief in the fact this indictment won't be made and that an improvement in US-China trade relations can be achieved (with less threat of Chinese retaliation via dumping of US Treasury bonds).

Is this constructive view towards the next four years naïve? Perhaps. Guaranteed, if we had seen a unified election outcome (one party taking the Oval office and Congress), the odds of quick action on the US fiscal problem would have been better, regardless of which party took office.

Would a Republican victory have resulted in an improvement in business conditions on expectation of reduced taxes? Probably. Yet, I don't believe that rating agencies would have rewarded a tax-centric fiscal strategy when deficit reduction is such an overwhelming priority.

For now, investors should remain nimble and err to the conservative side in terms of their exposure to risk relative to their strategic targets. The last four years were far from boring, as the US economy fell into the worst downturn since the Great Depression and stumbled out of it. The next four years will prove to be as interesting and important to our portfolios.

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  • Indonesian school children erupt into cheers on hearing the announcement that U.S. President Barack Obama had won the U.S. presidential election at SDN 01 Menteng elementary school to which Obama once attended in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. Obama attended the school when he was a child while living in Indonesia. (AP Photo)

  • Cyclists ride on a beach passing by a sand sculpture congratulating U.S. president Barack Obama for a second term in office in Puri, India, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. Obama captured a second White House term, blunting a mighty challenge by Republican Mitt Romney as Americans voted for a leader they knew over a wealthy businessman they did not. (AP Photo/Biswaranjan Rout)

  • Sarah Obama

    Sarah Obama, step-grandmother of President Barack Obama, waves her walking cane towards supporters in celebration before speaking to the media about her reaction to Obama's re-election in the U.S. presidential election in the garden of her house in the village of Kogelo, western Kenya, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

  • Students hold a poster of U.S. President Barack Obama as they watch the US election vote counting at SDN 01 Menteng elementary school where Obama studied in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. Obama attended the school when he was a child while living in the Southeast Asian nation. (AP Photo)

  • An American supporter of President Barack Obama holds a flag and sports a T-shirt which has a portrait of Obama and a phrase that reads 'Bangalore has hope' during a screening of U.S. elections coverage organized at a restaurant over breakfast in Bangalore, India, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. Obama captured a second White House term, blunting a mighty challenge by Republican Mitt Romney as Americans voted for a leader they knew over a wealthy businessman they did not. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

  • U.S citizens celebrate U.S. presidential election results in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. President Barack Obama captured a second White House term, blunting a mighty challenge by Republican Mitt Romney as Americans voted for a leader they knew over a wealthy businessman they did not. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

  • A Kenyan supporter of U.S. President Barack Obama cheers as he watches a broadcast showing that Obama has won the U.S. presidential election for a second term, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. Obama won re-election Tuesday night despite a fierce challenge from Republican Mitt Romney, prevailing in the face of a weak economy and high unemployment that encumbered his first term and crimped the middle class dreams of millions. (AP Photo/Sayyuid Azim)

  • A U.S. citizen reacts as he watches the live telecast of U.S. presidential election results in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Nov 7, 2012. Barack Obama captured a second White House term, blunting a mighty challenge by Republican Mitt Romney as Americans voted for a leader they knew over a wealthy businessman they did not. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

  • An empty champagne bottle and glasses are left after President Barack Obama's victory was announced Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Shanghai, China. Obama won re-election Tuesday night despite a fierce challenge from Republican Mitt Romney, prevailing in the face of a weak economy and high unemployment that encumbered his first term and crimped the middle class dreams of millions. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

  • Villagers ride motorcycles and wave branches to celebrate Obama's re-election, in the village of Kogelo, home to Sarah Obama the step-grandmother of President Barack Obama, in western Kenya Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

  • U.S. embassy staff, Iraqi guests, and ambassadors listen to the speech of U.S. re-elected President Barack Obama at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed, Pool)

  • Barack Obama

    A man reads a Spanish newspaper with the smiling portrait of U.S. President Barack Obama on his front page, in Pamplona northern Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. It is announced early Wednesday that Obama has been re-elected to be U.S. President for next four years. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

  • Indian Muslim students pose for photographs near cutouts of U.S. President Barack Obama, background right, and Republican candidate Mitt Romney during an event organized by the U.S. Embassy in Chennai, India, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. Obama captured a second White House term, blunting a mighty challenge by Romney as Americans voted for a leader they knew over a wealthy businessman they did not. (AP Photo/Arun Sankar K.)

  • Indian students react to results on television networks during an event organized by the U.S. embassy at the landmark Imperial Hotel in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. Obama captured a second White House term, blunting a mighty challenge by Republican Mitt Romney as Americans voted for a leader they knew over a wealthy businessman they did not. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)

  • President Obama supporters gesture and celebrate upon hearing the presidential election results on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Singapore. Obama won re-election Tuesday night despite a fierce challenge from Republican Mitt Romney, prevailing in the face of a weak economy and high unemployment that encumbered his first term and crimped the middle class dreams of millions. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos, center, and Japanese high-school students celebrate reports that President Barack Obama won the presidential election at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

  • Indian students react in front of photographers next to a cardboard cutout in the likeness of U.S. President Barack Obama after he was projected as the winner during an event organized by the U.S embassy at the landmark Imperial Hotel in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. Obama defeated Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for a second term. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)

  • U.S. citizens Jaspal Singh, right, and Jane Ludin break into a dance as President Barack Obama's win becomes certain, during a live telecast of U.S. presidential election results organized by the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. Obama captured a second White House term, blunting a mighty challenge by Republican Mitt Romney as Americans voted for a leader they knew over a wealthy businessman they did not. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)

  • Indian students have their picture taken next to a cardboard cutout of President Barack Obama after he was projected as the winner of the U.S. presidential election during an event organized by the U.S. Embassy at the landmark Imperial Hotel in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. Obama captured a second White House term, blunting a mighty challenge by Republican Mitt Romney as Americans voted for a leader they knew over a wealthy businessman they did not. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)

  • A young woman poses for a photo with a cutout of President Barack Obama, right, beside a cutout of Republican candidate Mitt Romney, left, during an election night event organized by the U.S. embassy in Skopje, Macedonia, early Wednesday, Nov.7, 2012. President Barack Obama won re-election Tuesday night despite a fierce challenge from Republican Mitt Romney. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)

  • A shop assistant watches US President Barack Obama speaking on TV screen in Moscow TV shop, Russia, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. Obama defeated Republican challenger former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

  • A U.S citizen reacts as she poses for the media after watching the live telecast of U.S presidential election results in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. President Barack Obama captured a second White House term, blunting a mighty challenge by Republican Mitt Romney as Americans voted for a leader they knew over a wealthy businessman they did not. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

  • Guests watch live television coverage showing the victory of U.S. President Barack Obama, Wednesday Nov. 7, 2012, in Shanghai, China. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

  • Palestinians at a barber shop watch a televised speech by U.S. President Barack Obama after his vicotry, in the West Bank town of Jenin, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012.(AP Photo/Mohammed Ballas)

  • A Muslim woman poses for a photo with a cutout of President Barack Obama during a victory celebration for Obama in the U.S. presidential election in an event hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)

 
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