Washington: After winning the hard fought 2012 US Presidential Election, a triumphant Barack Obama on Wednesday declared that the best is yet to come.
Obama, who addressed his joyful supporters amidst huge cheering at McCormick Place convention centre in Chicago's lakefront, thanked "every American" for casting their ballot and helping in making a decision that matters. Beginning his re-election speech with a call to action, Obama, however, told Americans that their citizenship doesn't end with their vote.
After defeating Republican rival Mitt Romney to get a second term in the White House, the victorious Obama said: "We know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come."
"I want to thank every American who participated in this election," Obama told the crowd.
"Whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very, very long time - by the way we have to fix that - whether you pounded the pavement... or whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign you made a difference," he said.
The nation, he told the gathering, "moves forward because of you... because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war, over depression".
The President, who rolled to a second term with more than 300 electoral votes, also gracefully congratulated Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan on a "hard fought campaign".
"We may have battled fiercely," Obama said, "but only because we love this country deeply... because we care about its future".
Obama, 51, the first African-American President of the US and a powerful orator, said in his victory speech that he is looking forward to talking to Romney in the weeks ahead to take the country forward.
Obama further thanked his running mate Joe Biden. The President, who had appeared on stage with his wife Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia, also acknowledged their contribution.
The journey, he said, would not have been possible without the woman who married him 20 years ago.
"Michelle, I never loved you more," he said.
"We are an American family who rise and fall together as one nation," he said.
"If you ever get a chance to talk to folks… you will discover something else… (you will) hear pride… deep patriotism from military spouses".
"That's why we do this. That's what politics can be... A nation of 300 million can be messy and complicated. When we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions," he admitted.
"These arguments are mark of our liberty."
He said: "We want to pass on a country that is safe and respected…a nation that is defended by the strongest military on earth and the best troops that the world has ever known."
"We believe in a generous America, a compassionate America," said the Nobel laureate, who won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2009.
Romney said earlier that he had called Obama to congratulate him on his victory, adding that he prays "the President will be successful in guiding our nation”.
Buoyed by a slowly but surely recovering economy and a display of cool leadership during superstorm Sandy, Obama scored a decisive victory over Republican challenger Mitt Romney after a long, contentious and expensive election battle.
Obama had four years ago made history by becoming the first African-American to occupy the world's most powerful office with a promise of hope and change to a country in the throes of a deep recession.
(With Agency inputs)