Obama reaffirms 'Forward!' message in victory speech

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U.S. President Barack Obama reaffirmed his re-election message of "Forward!" on early Wednesday to thousands of supporters in Chicago.

The first family emerged on stage in cheers of thousands of campaign volunteers and supporters in an indoor rally in McCormick Place, Chicago.

"The task of perfecting our union moves forward," said Obama in his victory speech. "It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression."

Sheryl Siegel-Rios, a supporter and volunteer from Skokie, Illinois, said she believed when Obama was going forward for four more years, "things will be better" for the country.

Yet she did have a wish-list for the president's second term. "More jobs, better economy, let's go through the hardest days."

"It's amazing to see him win again," said Lyubomir Uzunov, who also showed up in the outdoor celebration rally in Grant Park on Nov. 4, 2008 when Obama claimed victory in front of about 240,000 supporters.

The young volunteer saw the celebration night four years ago as "a transforming moment."

On Election Night four years ago, then president-elect Obama delivered an encouraging speech of victory to an estimated 240,000 supporters in chilly but enthusiastic Grant Park in his hometown Chicago. People were screaming, jumping, dancing and waving hands or flags throughout the night, with similar celebratory scenes playing out in many other places across the country.

"This victory alone is not the change we seek, it's only the chance for us to make that change," he said at that time, highlighting once again his powerful campaign message of "Change."

Many supporters went out to the park late that night chanting Obama's catch phrase "Yes, we can!"

Theresa McCrillis, who voted for Obama four years ago, did not disclose her choice this time.

To her, a message of "Change" was simply not as appealing this year as it was in 2008, said the young mother of two, who also brought her four-year-old son to the polling station.

"I did not blame anyone for anything but we have to make good decision when things like these happened," she said. "There are still a lot of people out there looking for some help, at least some hope."

"Our economy is recovering. A decade of war is ending. A long campaign is now over," stressed Obama during his victory speech on Wednesday.

Among the audience, a volunteer, sitting on the shoulder of his co-worker, was holding a banner that reads: "We have overcome!"

Back in the White House later Wednesday, the president has more to overcome in a second term, including a fiscal cliff scheduled to kick in at the end of 2012 if Congress fails to act.

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