Excerpt from Obama's acceptance speech
"I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope. . . . I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.
"America, I believe we can build on the progress we've made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunity and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you're willing to work hard, it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn't matter whether you're black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you're willing to try.
"I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We're not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.
"And together with your help and God's grace we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on Earth."
Excerpt from Romney's concession speech
"The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can't risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people's work. And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion. . . . And we look to Democrats and Republicans in government at all levels to put the people before the politics.
"I believe in America. I believe in the people of America. And I ran for office because I'm concerned about America. This election is over, but our principles endure. I believe that the principles upon which this nation was founded are the only sure guide to a resurgent economy and to renewed greatness.
"Like so many of you, Paul and I have left everything on the field. We have given our all to this campaign.
"I so wish — I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader. And so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation."
You can find full transcripts and video of both men's speeches at links.tampabay.com.
Obamas' photo is most-liked of all time
The photo above, posted to Barack Obama's Facebook profile Tuesday, is now Facebook's most-liked photo of all time, with more than 3.8 million "likes" and counting. The page Facebook + Journalists confirmed the landmark early Wednesday morning.
Meanwhile, the same photo, posted to Obama's Twitter feed, is also the most-retweeted ever, according to NBC News. At last count it had been retweeted some 660,000 times.
Ryan returning to U.S. House budget panel
Rep. Paul Ryan, 42, won an eighth term from his Wisconsin district on Tuesday. He flew home Wednesday to Janesville, Wis., after giving up his usual Election Day deer hunting trip. He said in a statement: "I am immensely proud of the campaign we ran, and I remain grateful to Gov. Romney for the honor of being his running mate. I look forward to spending some time with my family in the coming days and then continuing my responsibilities as chairman of the House Budget Committee and representative of Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District.''
Rove: I didn't want repeat of 2000 error
Fox News commentator Karl Rove insists the ghosts of 2000 — when networks mistakenly called Florida for Al Gore —prompted him to challenge Fox's decision to call Ohio for President Barack Obama. "I had a concern about premature calls, and in this instance, the concern was shared by my Fox colleague Joe Trippi," Rove said Wednesday.
"The first thing that came to my mind, the first thing burned in everyone's mind, is Florida 2000," said Michael Clemente, the Fox News executive vice president for news. "And the minute you hear, 'Hold the phone,' you sort of get that oh-my-goodness feeling." Clemente decided with his team of producers to allow Rove to say on TV what he was finding and hearing from the Romney campaign: The numbers coming out of Ohio were not necessarily adding up for Obama.
Fox News then let Arnon Mishkin and Chris Stirewalt, members of its decision team, respond. Clemente said, "So I said, 'Let's have Arnon with the facts, and Chris — because he's on TV every day — to put it in English.' " By that point Fox had already declared Obama not just the winner of Ohio, but the winner of the presidency. And when Rove next appeared on camera, his demeanor was more deflated.