When the race has truly been decided and reputational politics can safely be set aside for a moment, even candidates for the highest office in the land may indulge their deepest emotions. At least that’s what newly re-elected President Barack Obama and his defeated Republican challenger Mitt Romney seemed to believe.
Scarcely three days after his dramatic win, Mr. Obama allowed himself a few tears as he addressed campaign staff at an Obama for America office in Chicago, the city where he celebrated his triumph at a grand watch party on Tuesday evening.
“It’s not that you remind me of myself, it’s that you’re so much better than I was. You’re smarter and you’re better organised and you’re more effective,” Mr. Obama told his support team, adding, “What Bobby Kennedy called the ‘ripples of hope,’ when you throw a stone in the lake, that’s you.”
Saying he had come “full circle,” since his days as a community organiser in Chicago’s South Side and wiping away tears to the crowd’s applause, he noted, “Because what you guys have done means the work that I’m doing is important. And I’m really proud of that. I’m really proud of all of you.” The video of his speech has since gone viral on the social media.
On the other side of the table, in Massachusetts, Mr. Romney and his campaign struggled to make sense of their stunning loss, with one of his senior advisers admitting to CBS news channel that he was “shell-shocked,” when he ultimately realised he would not be walking into the Oval Office.
According to CBS, his adviser said, “We went into the evening confident we had a good path to victory... I don’t think there was one person who saw this coming.” “But once Colorado and Florida were also called for Obama, Romney knew it was over,” reports from his camp noted, adding that Mr. Romney’s running-mate Paul Ryan also seemed shocked by the loss, and both Ann Romney and Paul Ryan’s wife Janna cried at that point.