CHICAGO — President Barack Obama took a moment from the relentless pounding his campaign has been dishing out to congratulate his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, on Tuesday, as the two men began their final countdown to finding out which one of them will be sitting in the Oval Office next year. During a stop at a local campaign office to thank volunteers, Obama gave Romney "congratulations on a spirited campaign." Obama spent the morning making calls to volunteers to thank them. Obama took part in an Election Day basketball game, which he and friends have played on the day of each one of his elections. Alexi Giannoulias told a pool reporter that after four 12-minute quarters, Obama's team won by "like 20," with a score of "like 102, 105, 108 or so to 80-something." Obama was player-coach of his team, which also included Giannoulias and former NBA player Scottie Pippen.
Victory, no concession in Romney's writings
BOSTON — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wrote a 1,118-word victory speech Tuesday as he concluded his yearslong quest for the presidency claiming he had no regrets. "I feel like we put it all on the field. We left nothing in the locker room. We fought to the very end, and I think that's why we'll be successful," Romney told reporters aboard his plane as he flew from Pittsburgh to Boston, where preparations were under way for a big election night event. The GOP nominee spent Election Day doing a last-minute round of campaigning in one state he's showered with attention and another he's largely ignored. After voting near his Boston-area home, Romney was betting that an eleventh-hour appeal to working-class voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania. On his campaign plane in between flights, he worked on his speech. He said he hasn't written a concession speech, though he acknowledged the results might not come out in his favor. "Nothing is certain in politics," he said.
Another early start for Dixville Notch, N.H.
Residents of Dixville Notch, the New Hampshire village that traditionally opens its polls just after the stroke of midnight, split their vote, with Obama and Romney each receiving five votes. It was reportedly the first tie in Dixville Notch history.
We have to stop meeting like this
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney landed here Tuesday morning and waited in his campaign plane for his running mate, Paul Ryan, to touch down from Wisconsin, for a joint Election Day stop. But 22 minutes after Romney arrived, another plane unexpectedly landed across the tarmac. It was Air Force Two. For the third time in as many days, Romney and Vice President Biden's planes have crossed each other on the same tarmac. On Sunday, it was a chance meeting on the same Cleveland runway. On Monday, it was at Dulles Airport just outside Washington. And on Tuesday, it was back in Cleveland, where Biden was making an unannounced Election Day stop — the same day and at the same time that Romney and Ryan were to hold an event of their own here.
Wisconsin board pans free pints for voting
MILWAUKEE — When the biggest problem is a bar handing out free beers, you know Election Day is going well. Officials in Wisconsin, said Tuesday afternoon that voting had so far gone relatively smoothly, with few disputes or broken machines. In fact, the state's Government Accountability Board took time to chastise Badger State businesses that have offered free or discounted refreshments – including a cold pint of brew – to anyone sporting an official "I Voted!" sticker.
Information from the New York Times, Associated Press and Washington Post was used in this report.