2013年8月28日 星期三

Barack Obama (2) 危機: 敘利亞用化學武器之後考驗總統


基於歐美人道基本價值  敘利亞用化學武器之後  歐美必須與予處罰.
但是這牽涉到他本人價值國內壓力  蘇-中-伊朗-阿拉伯諸國等的反對和報復
所以動武之後  各方可能都不感激美國
Barack  Obama 總統陷入多難局面   考驗他的領導能力
這些是版主私見

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洛杉磯時報

Syria chemical weapons response poses major test for Obama

Obama, who before taking office vowed to end the foreign policies of Bush, is now wrestling with some of the same moral and legal realities.



WASHINGTON — The apparent poison gas attack that killed hundreds of Syrian civilians last week is testing President Obama's views on military intervention, international law and the United Nations as no previous crisis has done.
The former constitutional law professor, who came to office determined to end what critics called the cowboy foreign policy of George W. Bush, now is wrestling with some of the same moral and legal realities that led Bush to invade Iraq without clear U.N. consent in 2003.
As U.S. officials discussed diplomatic and military options with allies in Europe and the Middle East, White House advisors indicated Tuesday that they were unlikely to seek either a vote in Congress or at the U.N. Security Council to authorize use of force. Last week, Obama said he had concerns about launching an attack on Syrian President Bashar Assad's government without a U.N. mandate.
Russia and China would almost certainly veto or delay any U.N. resolution condemning Syria or sanctioning reprisal. Top British and French officials, who are likely to support U.S. military action, have signaled they don't think a detour to the U.N. would be worthwhile.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday that virtually no one doubted that Assad's government had carried out a chemical attack last week. But the Obama administration has yet to reveal the intelligence that led to that conclusion.
Syria's foreign minister, Walid Moallem, denied that government forces had used chemical weapons. "I dare them to produce any single piece of evidence," he said at a news conference in Damascus, the Syrian capital.
White House officials cautioned that Obama was still considering the options, but the administration appeared positioned to act quickly once he chooses a course. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said during a visit to Brunei that the Pentagon was prepared to strike targets in Syria and hinted that such a move could come within days.
Some experts said U.S. warships and submarines in the eastern Mediterranean could fire cruise missiles at Syrian targets as early as Thursday night, beginning a campaign that could last two or three nights. Obama leaves next Tuesday for a four day trip to Sweden and Russia, which strongly supports Assad's government, for the G-20 economic summit.
One U.S. official who has been briefed on the options on Syria said he believed the White House would seek a level of intensity "just muscular enough not to get mocked" but not so devastating that it would prompt a response from Syrian allies Iran and Russia.
"They are looking at what is just enough to mean something, just enough to be more than symbolic," he said.
Obama and his top aides have shared intelligence with key members of Congress. But White House aides made it clear Tuesday that Obama would not wait for Congress to return from its monthlong recess on Sept. 9, and House and Senate leaders signaled no plans to call members back for an emergency session.
"I can't imagine the president is going to do much more than the outreach he's already doing," said Jim Manley, former aide to Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said after a briefing that the administration was "proceeding cautiously." Obama is "considering a broad range of options that have been presented by our military leaders," he said.
Still, a growing number of lawmakers in both parties pressed the White House to seek authorization from Congress.
Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.) collected nearly three dozen signatures of House members on a letter he intended to send to the White House. It states that military action without a congressional vote "would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution." Congress stood ready to return for a debate on the issue, the letter says.
Other lawmakers worried that a few days of missile strikes might be counterproductive.
Sen. Christopher S. Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said it would be "little more than a slap on the wrist" to the Syrian government, but could provoke retaliation from Assad that could draw America into "a much wider and much longer-term conflict that could mean an even greater loss of life within Syria."
Because of safety concerns, the team of U.N. inspectors in Damascus was forced to scrub a planned visit Tuesday to one of the suburbs allegedly hit by poison gas. They are to leave Syria on Sunday, but they probably will be withdrawn earlier if Washington warns that missile strikes are imminent.
"I would doubt" the United States or its allies would attack while the U.N. team was still in Syria, said Jean Pascal Zanders, a Belgian scientist and author of a blog that focuses on chemical weapons issues.
The U.N. team includes experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the World Health Organization. Led by a Swedish scientist, Ake Sellstrom, the investigators are seeking to determine if sarin nerve gas or other toxic agents were used in Syria, though not who used them.

【周一專欄】王健壯:總統像個過路人


歐巴馬最近陷入了「馬英九困境」:他的政府團隊連續發生三件重大醜聞,但他對這些醜聞卻事前一無所知,事後又疏離以對,有媒體因此諷刺他是個「過路人總統」。
這三件醜聞是:白宮隱瞞美國駐利比亞大使館被恐怖份子攻擊真相的「班加西門」;辛辛那提國稅居刁難支持茶黨組織申請免稅的「國稅門」;以及司法部非法調閱「美聯社」(Associated Press)通聯紀錄的「AP門」。
醜聞之所以都被冠上一個「門」,源自尼克森時代的水門案。美國共和黨這次一舉逮到歐巴馬政府三項醜聞後,全黨士氣大振,他們把這三件醜聞一律與水門醜聞等量齊觀,歐巴馬也被形容為今之尼克森。
醜聞即是危機,但即使是支持歐巴馬的自由派,也對他的危機處理方式不敢領教。對這三項醜聞,白宮的回應祇有兩招:其一,強調總統事前毫不知情,也是閱報得知;其二,總統絕不介入正在進行中的個案犯罪調查。
但 也就是因為這樣的回應模式,讓歐巴馬陷入了「馬英九困境」。《華盛頓郵報》專欄作家梅班克(Dana Milbank)在小布希當總統時,曾經被人形容為「最敢也最懂得質疑總統的記者」,也是「讓總統最頭痛的記者」,但他最近卻連寫幾篇專欄痛批歐巴馬,並 把歐巴馬形容為「他好像是個站在吧台邊喝酒的傢伙,每天看晚間電視新聞才得知天下事」。
在梅班克筆下,歐巴馬是個「漠不關心的總統」、「過 路人總統」以及「旁觀者總統」,好像所有錯誤都與他無關。但梅班克卻質疑:總統即使不可能盡知他的團隊所為之事,但政府是他的,他要扛起責任,他可以撤換 官員,也可以對官員愚蠢錯誤的政策叫停;但歐巴馬在這三項醜聞中卻表現得像個局外人。
以「AP門」為例。AP在去年曾獨家報導,CIA在葉 門成功阻止了一項基地組織想以人肉炸彈炸毀美國班機的陰謀行動,但司法部卻認為AP洩露軍機,並且未經告知AP,即非法向電訊公司調閱AP通聯紀錄,其中 包括:五位記者與一位編輯,二十條包括手機與市話的線路,五個包括記者住家與辦公室的場所,以及長達兩個月的所有通話紀錄。
依照法律以及依 照慣例,政府調閱媒體通聯紀錄前,必須以傳票事前告知媒體或記者,可讓媒體有尋求法律抗爭的機會。但司法部這次卻是在調閱近一年後才通知AP。而且為了保 障非當事人的隱私與通訊自由,通聯紀錄的調閱範圍依法應該能小則小,而非能大則大,但司法部這次調閱範圍之大卻是前所未見;也難怪有人說:「班加西門」是 欲加之罪,「國稅門」是政治鬥爭,但「AP門」卻是不折不扣的濫權醜聞。
但對濫權事實如此明顯的「AP門」,歐巴馬卻堅持「我不會道歉」。 事實上,歐巴馬雖然曾在大學教過憲法,但他任內打擊媒體洩密卻始終不遺餘力,不論起訴洩密官員或洩密記者,人數之多都遠遠超過他的前任,目前至少有六位官 員與六位記者都有案在身。其中最知名的案件是:無人飛機參與刺殺賓拉登行動的洩密案,美國與以色列以電腦病毒攻擊伊朗核武設備的洩密案,以及《維基解密》 的洩密案。對這幾項以洩密為由而侵犯新聞自由的濫權行為,歐巴馬也從未道歉過,好像他根本沒讀過或教過憲法一樣。
把歐巴馬無限上綱比擬成尼克森,或許是共和黨的鬥爭策略;但就像梅班克所說,尼克森是個控制狂,歐巴馬卻正好相反,對政府作為毫不控制;但權力真空卻讓他的部屬認為無事不可為,濫權醜聞一再發生當然也是必然之事。
如果總統像個過路人,第二任魔咒當然很快就會應驗,甚至會讓第二個任期變成「垂死的總統任期」;歐巴馬與馬英九都是中了魔咒的總統,但能救他們的祇有他們自己。


12.12.20: 歐巴馬再膺《時代》風雲人物 被推崇為--新美國的建築師
鉅亨網編輯查淑妝綜合報導  2012-12-20 09:40:21  
美國《時代》雜誌年度風雲人物揭曉,剛成功連任美國總統的歐巴馬再次當選「風雲人物」 (Person of the Year) 。《時代》推崇歐巴馬在充滿挑戰性的 2012 年仍能展現出優越的應變能力,堪稱「新美國的建築師」。
《星島日報》報導,《時代》雜誌周三 (19日) 讚揚歐巴馬於競選連任期間展現出非凡的才能,成為自羅斯福總統以來首位連續兩屆獲得逾 5 成選票的美國總統,也是自 1940 年以來首位美國總統能夠在失業率高於 7.5% 情況下仍能成功連任。
然而,《時代》強調,歐巴馬再度膺選《時代》風雲人物,不但因為連任總統,更重要是他能夠掌握深遠影響美國的人口及社會變化因素。這不僅使他成為國家的象徵,更堪稱「新美國的建築師」。
歐巴馬接受《時代》訪問時表示:「實情是美國正逐步蛻變成更多元化和包容力更強的國家,能夠包容不同人士的差別,並且尊重社會上跟我們不同的人。」
歐巴馬在 2008 年當選美國首位黑人總統後,《時代》雜誌也曾評選他為當年風雲人物,那年美國經濟正值金融海嘯之後的「陣痛期」。相比之下,今年要面對的挑戰亦不相伯仲。 2012 年 9 月 11 日美國駐利比亞領事館遇襲;曠日持久的阿富汗戰爭無大進展;乾旱侵襲中西部,超級風暴肆虐東北部;經濟持續疲弱,國內生產總值增長緩慢。然而, 51 歲的歐巴馬聲望仍高,證明個人魅力非凡。
《時代》風雲人物選拔活動每年選出對世界影響最大的人物。於本月較早前截止的網上票選活動中,北韓領袖金正恩曾以約 560 萬票稱霸,但最後結果由雜誌編輯決定。
香港《文匯報》報導,《時代》周刊訪問新鮮出爐的年度風雲人物——總統歐巴馬,他除提及美國傳奇前總統林肯、「大政府」主張及對第 2 屆任期的展望等,更大談自己在今屆大選首場電視辯論時的失準。
歐巴馬提及,「重返亞太」是第 2 任期的外交重點之一。他表示,「中國將繼續崛起,我們樂見中國成功。一個穩定且邁向更民主開放的中國,對美國經濟、政治及安全均有利。」
被問及美國人對「大政府」的疑問時,奧巴馬強調問題不在於政府是否插手太多,而在於所作之事是否正確。奧巴馬稱,林肯是自己最喜歡的總統,因林肯令他明白,追求遠大目標及道德事業時,須親力親為,並作出許多妥協及犧牲。
《時代》記者在訪問尾聲提及,奧巴馬在今屆首場大選直播辯論表現失準,有奧營幕僚笑稱,他當時沉浸在「夏威夷時光」(Hawaii moment)。奧巴馬解釋,2008年上任之初面對眾多難題,他不禁跟幕僚打趣說,「不如帶家人一走了之,到夏威夷賣襯衫或沙冰為生。」


兩次當選《時代》風雲人物名單
  
■美國總統奧巴馬
■美國前總統克林頓
■美國前總統艾森豪威爾
■美國前總統羅斯福
■美國將軍馬歇爾
■美國前總統布希
■美國前總統杜魯門
■前蘇聯領袖斯大林
■美國前總統詹森
■前蘇聯領導人戈爾巴喬夫
■美國前總統尼克遜
■美國前總統里根
■英國前首相邱吉爾

資料來源:香港文匯報



 2012.11.7
昨天日本的小浜(Obama)居民鬆口氣
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 國總統奧巴馬(Barack Obama)週二晚勝選後在芝加哥發表演講﹐演講文字稿由Roll Call記錄。

非常感謝你們。

今夜﹐在當年的殖民地贏得了決定自己命運的權利200多年以後﹐讓美利堅合眾國更加完美的任務又向前推進了一步。

這一進程是因為你們而向前推進的﹐因為你們再次確認了那種使美國勝利克服了戰爭和蕭條的精神﹐那種使美國擺脫絕望的深淵並走向希望的最高點的精神﹐以及那種雖然我們每個人都在追求自己的個人夢想、但我們同屬一個美國大家庭、並作為一個國家和民族共同進退的信仰。

今夜﹐在此次選舉中﹐你們這些美國人民提醒我們﹐雖然我們的道路一直艱難﹐雖然我們的旅程一直漫長﹐但我們已經讓自己振作起來﹐我們已經發起反擊﹐我們在自己內心深處知道﹐對美利堅合眾國來說﹐最美好一切屬於未來。


我想感謝所有參加此次選舉的美國人﹐無論你是首次參加選舉還是為投票曾長時間排隊等候。順便說一句﹐我們需要解決這些問題。無論你是到投票站投票還是發傳真投票﹐無論你選的是奧巴馬還是羅姆尼﹐你都讓別人聽到了自己的聲音﹐你都讓美國因你而不同。

我 要對羅姆尼州長說幾句話﹐我對他和保羅•萊恩在這次競爭激烈的選舉中的表現表示祝賀。我們可能爭奪得很激烈﹐但這僅僅是因為我們深愛著這個國家以及我們如 此強烈地關心著它的未來。從喬治到勒諾到他們的兒子米特﹐羅姆尼家族選擇了通過公共服務來回報美國﹐那是一種我們今夜表示敬重和讚許的遺產。我期待著今後 幾週能與羅姆尼州長坐下來討論一下我們可以從何處著手一起努力將美國推向前進。

我想對我在過去四年中的朋友和伙伴表示感謝。他就是美國的快樂戰士、無出其右的最佳副總統喬•拜登。

如 果不是那位20年前同意嫁給我的女性﹐我不會成為今天的我。請讓我公開說出下面這段話:米切爾﹐我對你的愛無以復加﹐我無比驕傲地看到其他美國人也愛上了 你這位我們國家的第一夫人。薩沙和瑪利亞﹐在我們所有人的見證下你們正成長為兩個堅強、聰明和美麗的年輕女性﹐就像你們的媽媽一樣。我十分以你們為榮。不 過我要說的是﹐眼下家裡養一條狗或許已經夠了。

在這個有史以來的最佳競選團隊和有史以來的最佳志願者隊伍中﹐你們有些人是這次新加入進來 的﹐有些人則是一開始就在我身邊。但你們所有人都屬於一個大家庭。無論你的工作是什麼﹐無論你從哪裡來﹐你們都將獲得我們共同創造的歷史記憶﹐你們都將被 一位充滿感激之情的總統終生感激。感謝你們始終充滿信心﹐無論是在高峰還是在低谷。你們鼓舞著我走完整個選舉過程﹐我對你們所做的每件事、你們所做的每項 不可思議的工作將一直充滿感激。

我知道政治角力有時會顯得小家子氣甚至愚蠢。它為憤世嫉俗者提供了足夠的口實﹐他們告訴我們政治不過是自 負者之間的競爭﹐是特殊利益集團的地盤。但如果你曾經有機會與參加我們集會的那些人以及高中體育館內擠在隔離繩外的那些人攀談﹐或者看到那些在遠離家鄉的 偏遠小縣的競選辦公室內加班工作的人﹐你會發現一些別的東西。

你將從一位年輕的活動現場組織者的聲音里聽到他的決心﹐他邊在大學里學習邊 從事助選工作﹐他希望確保每個孩子都能擁有同樣的機會。你將從一位志願者的聲音里聽到她的驕傲﹐她挨門動員選民是因為她哥哥終因當地一家汽車製造廠增加了 一個班次而有了工作。你將從一對軍人夫婦的聲音里聽到深深的愛國情懷。他們深夜時還在接聽選舉電話﹐以確保那些曾經為這個國家作戰的人不會返回家園時還要 為得到一份工作或棲身之所而苦苦爭鬥。


Jason Reed/Reuters
圖片:美國大選精彩瞬間回顧
正 因為如此﹐我們要進行選舉。這是政治所能夠實現的。正因為如此﹐選舉很重要。這不是小事﹐而是大事﹐是至關重要的事。在一個有三億人口的國家實行民主制度 可能嘈雜不堪、一團混亂、情況複雜。我們有自己的觀點。我們每個人都有自己深信的信仰。當我們經歷艱難時期﹐當我們作為一個國家做出重大決定時﹐這必然會 激發熱情﹐也必然會引發爭議。

今晚過後﹐這都不會改變﹐也不應該改變。我們進行的這些爭論恰恰體現了我們的自由。我們永遠不應忘記﹐就在我們講話之際﹐遙遠國度的人們現在正冒著生命危險﹐僅僅是為了獲得一個能夠對重要問題進行爭論、像我們今天這樣投票的機會。

不過﹐儘管我們存在這樣那樣的分歧﹐我們大多數人都對美國的未來有著某些共同的希望。我們希望我們的孩子成長的國家能夠讓他們上最好的學校、接受最好老師的教導。一個無愧於全球技術、探索和創新領袖光輝歷史的國家﹐倘能如此﹐各種好工作和新企業將隨之而來。

我 們希望我們的孩子能夠生活在一個沒有債務之累、沒有不公之苦、沒有全球變暖帶來的破壞之虞的美國。我們希望留給後代一個安全、受到全球尊重和讚賞的國家﹐ 一個由全球有史以來最強大的軍事力量和最好的部隊保衛的國家﹐一個滿懷信心走過戰爭、在人人享有自由和尊嚴的承諾之上構建和平的國家。

我 們堅信一個慷慨的美國、一個富有同情心的美國、一個寬容的美國。美國向一位移民的女兒的夢想打開了大門﹐讓她有機會在我們的學校學習、對著我們的國旗宣誓 ﹔美國向芝加哥南部地區的一個小男孩打開了大門﹐讓有機會他看到一個最近街角以外的遠大人生﹔美國向北卡羅來納州的一位家具工人的孩子打開了大門﹐讓他有 機會實現自己當醫生或科學家、工程師或企業家、外交官甚至是總統的夢想﹐這是我們希望的未來。這是我們共同的願景。這是我們奔赴的方向﹐向前的方向。這是 我們需要實現的目標。

現在﹐我們對如何實現這一目標存在分歧﹐有時分歧還很嚴重。正如兩個多世紀以來一樣﹐進展的取得將是斷斷續續﹐並非總是一條直線﹐並非總是一帆風順。

承認我們擁有共同的希望和夢想﹐僅憑這一點不會結束所有的僵局﹐或解決我們所有的問題﹐或代替推動這個國家向前所需的達成共識和做出艱難讓步的辛苦努力。不過﹐這一共同的紐帶是我們必須開始的地方。

我 們的經濟正在好轉。長達10年的戰爭即將結束。一場漫長的競選現已落幕。無論我是否贏得了你們的選票﹐我一直在傾聽你們的故事﹐向你們學習﹐是你們使我成 為一位更好的總統。聽過你們的故事和困難經歷﹐我在重返白宮時對今後需要做的工作和未來將懷著比以往更堅定的決心和更大的熱情。

今晚你們 把票投給了行動﹐而不是像以往投給了政治。你們選舉我們來專注於你們的工作﹐而不是我們的工作。在未來的幾週和幾個月內﹐我將期待與兩黨領袖接觸並合作﹐ 以便麵對我們團結一致才能解決的問題。減少赤字﹐改革稅法﹐修改移民制度﹐擺脫對外國石油的依賴。我們還很更多工作要做。

但這並不意味著你們的工作就此結束。民主國家公民的角色並不隨著投票完結而結束。美國看重的從來都不是能夠為我們個人做些什麼﹐而是我們團結一致通過自治這一艱難、令人倍感挫折但必要的工作能夠實現什麼。這正是我們的立國之本。

美國的財富多於世界上任何其他國家﹐但真正讓我們富有的並非金錢﹔我們擁有有史以來最強大的軍力﹐但真正讓我們充滿力量的並非軍隊﹔我們的大學和文化為全世界所艷羨﹐但美國真正吸引各國人踏上這片土地的魅力也不在於此。

真 正讓美國與眾不同的﹐是將這個地球上最多元化的國家的人民團結到一起的那些紐帶。是我們共命運的信念﹐是只有當我們肩負某些對彼此以及對後代的責任美國才 能走下去的信念﹐是無數的美國人前赴後繼為之奮鬥的自由──它既賦予了我們權利﹐也給我們帶來了責任﹔是愛、慈善、義務和愛國。正是這些讓美國變得偉大。

今 晚﹐我滿懷希望﹐因為我已經看到美國精神正在得以發揚。我看到有些家族企業﹐所有者寧可減少自己的薪酬也不願讓鄰居丟掉工作﹔我看到有些工人寧願縮減自己 的工時也不願看到朋友沒有活幹﹔我看到有些士兵在失去一條腿或胳膊之後又選擇再次入伍﹔我看到海豹突擊隊員不避危險沖上樓梯、沖入黑暗﹐因為他們知道有一 個兄弟在做他的後盾。

在新澤西和紐約的海岸﹐我也看到了美國精神。每一個政黨和各級政府的領導者都捐棄分歧﹐為在駭人風暴過後的廢墟上重 建社區各盡己力。就在不久前的一天﹐在俄亥俄的門托﹐我看到一位父親在講述他8歲女兒的故事。這個女孩與白血病進行了長期的鬥爭﹐如果不是因為幾個月前通 過的醫改法案﹐保險公司就會停止支付醫療費用﹐他們的家庭就將失去一切。

我曾有機會與這位父親攀談﹐不僅如此﹐我還見到了他的女兒﹐這個 非常了不起的小姑娘。當這位父親向傾聽他的故事的人講述時﹐每一位在場的父母的眼裡都含著淚水﹐因為我們知道﹐我們自己的孩子也有可能遇到這種狀況。而且 我知道﹐每一位美國人都希望這位小女孩的未來能像所有人的未來一樣光明。這就是美國人﹐這就是美國﹐我為自己能夠成為這個國家的總統、帶領這個國家前行感 到無比光榮。

今晚﹐儘管我們遭遇了很多困難﹐儘管華盛頓有諸多不盡人意之處﹐我仍從未像現在這樣對未來充滿希望。我從未像現在這樣對美國 充滿希望。我請大家也保持這樣的希望。我所說的並非盲目的樂觀主義﹐不是那種看不到眼前的任務有多麼艱巨、看不到前行的路上有什麼樣的障礙的希望﹔我所說 的並非作壁上觀或是臨戰退縮的一廂情願的理想主義。

我一直相信﹐所謂希望就是我們內心倔強地堅持的力量﹐相信不管有多少相反的證據﹐都要相信有更好的東西在等著我們﹐只要我們有勇氣不斷前行、不懈工作、不停戰鬥。

國 民們﹐我相信我們有能力在已經取得的進步的基礎上再進一步﹐繼續為了給中產階級創造新的工作、新的機遇、新的保障而戰鬥。我相信我們有能力信守開國者們許 下的諾言﹐信守這樣一種理念﹐那就是不管你是誰﹐不管你來自哪裡﹐不管你長相如何﹐不管你愛著哪個地方﹐你所需要做的就是努力工作。不管你的膚色是黑是白 ﹐不管你是拉美裔、亞裔還是美國原住民﹐不管你年輕還是年老﹐富有還是貧窮﹐身體健全或是殘障﹐同性戀還是異性戀﹐只要你願意努力﹐就能夠在美國大有作 為。

我相信我們有能力共同握住這樣的未來﹐因為美國人民並不像政界那麼嚴重分歧。美國人民不像某些飽學之士所認為的那樣憤世嫉俗。美國的抱負並不是每一個美國人的抱負的簡單加總﹐美國也不是紅州和藍州的簡單聯合。我們是美利堅合眾國﹐我們將永遠是美利堅合眾國。

有你們的幫助﹐有上帝的仁慈﹐我們將繼續攜手前行﹐讓全世界知道我們生活在全球最偉大的國度的原因到底是什麼。

謝謝你﹐國民們﹐上帝保佑你們﹐上帝保佑美國。
 Transcript: Obama's Victory Speech
 President Barack Obama's speech in Chicago after his re-election Tuesday night, as transcribed by Roll Call:

Thank you so much.

Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward.

It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people.

Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and 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, whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time. By the way, we have to fix that. Whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone, whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference.

I just spoke with Gov. Romney and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a hard-fought campaign. We may have battled fiercely, but it's only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future. From George to Lenore to their son Mitt, the Romney family has chosen to give back to America through public service and that is the legacy that we honor and applaud tonight. In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Gov. Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward.

I want to thank my friend and partner of the last four years, America's happy warrior, the best vice president anybody could ever hope for, Joe Biden.

And I wouldn't be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago. Let me say this publicly: Michelle, I have never loved you more. I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you, too, as our nation's first lady. Sasha and Malia, before our very eyes you're growing up to become two strong, smart beautiful young women, just like your mom. And I'm so proud of you guys. But I will say that for now one dog's probably enough.

To the best campaign team and volunteers in the history of politics. The best. The best ever. Some of you were new this time around, and some of you have been at my side since the very beginning. But all of you are family. No matter what you do or where you go from here, you will carry the memory of the history we made together and you will have the lifelong appreciation of a grateful president. Thank you for believing all the way, through every hill, through every valley. You lifted me up the whole way and I will always be grateful for everything that you've done and all the incredible work that you put in.

I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly. And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics that tell us that politics is nothing more than a contest of egos or the domain of special interests. But if you ever get the chance to talk to folks who turned out at our rallies and crowded along a rope line in a high school gym, or saw folks working late in a campaign office in some tiny county far away from home, you'll discover something else.

You'll hear the determination in the voice of a young field organizer who's working his way through college and wants to make sure every child has that same opportunity. You'll hear the pride in the voice of a volunteer who's going door to door because her brother was finally hired when the local auto plant added another shift. You'll hear the deep patriotism in the voice of a military spouse who's working the phones late at night to make sure that no one who fights for this country ever has to fight for a job or a roof over their head when they come home.

That's why we do this. That's what politics can be. That's why elections matter. It's not small, it's big. It's important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy.

That won't change after tonight, and it shouldn't. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty. We can never forget that as we speak people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.

But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America's future. We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers. A country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation, with all the good jobs and new businesses that follow.

We want our children to live in an America that isn't burdened by debt, that isn't weakened by inequality, that isn't threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet. We want to pass on a country that's safe and respected and admired around the world, a nation that is defended by the strongest military on earth and the best troops this ─ this world has ever known. But also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war, to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being.

We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America, open to the dreams of an immigrant's daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag. To the young boy on the south side of Chicago who sees a life beyond the nearest street corner. To the furniture worker's child in North Carolina who wants to become a doctor or a scientist, an engineer or an entrepreneur, a diplomat or even a president ─ that's the future we hope for. That's the vision we share. That's where we need to go ─ forward. That's where we need to go.

Now, we will disagree, sometimes fiercely, about how to get there. As it has for more than two centuries, progress will come in fits and starts. It's not always a straight line. It's not always a smooth path.

By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won't end all the gridlock or solve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward. But that common bond is where we must begin.

Our economy is recovering. A decade of war is ending. A long campaign is now over. And whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you, and you've made me a better president. And with your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do and the future that lies ahead.

Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together. Reducing our deficit. Reforming our tax code. Fixing our immigration system. Freeing ourselves from foreign oil. We've got more work to do.

But that doesn't mean your work is done. The role of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote. America's never been about what can be done for us. It's about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government. That's the principle we were founded on.

This country has more wealth than any nation, but that’s not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military in history, but that’s not what makes us strong. Our university, our culture are all the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores.

What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on earth. The belief that our destiny is shared; that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations. The freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights. And among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That’s what makes America great.

I am hopeful tonight because I’ve seen the spirit at work in America. I’ve seen it in the family business whose owners would rather cut their own pay than lay off their neighbors, and in the workers who would rather cut back their hours than see a friend lose a job. I’ve seen it in the soldiers who reenlist after losing a limb and in those SEALs who charged up the stairs into darkness and danger because they knew there was a buddy behind them watching their back.

I’ve seen it on the shores of New Jersey and New York, where leaders from every party and level of government have swept aside their differences to help a community rebuild from the wreckage of a terrible storm. And I saw just the other day, in Mentor, Ohio, where a father told the story of his 8-year-old daughter, whose long battle with leukemia nearly cost their family everything had it not been for health care reform passing just a few months before the insurance company was about to stop paying for her care.

I had an opportunity to not just talk to the father, but meet this incredible daughter of his. And when he spoke to the crowd listening to that father’s story, every parent in that room had tears in their eyes, because we knew that little girl could be our own. And I know that every American wants her future to be just as bright. That’s who we are. That’s the country I’m so proud to lead as your president.

And tonight, despite all the hardship we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I’ve never been more hopeful about our future. I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope. I’m not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. I’m not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight.

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.

Thank you, America. God bless you. God bless these United States.

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國現任總統奧巴馬(Barack Obama)週二在競爭激烈的大選中獲得連任﹐戰勝了人們對飽受持續經濟低迷之苦的美國的懷疑﹐他將面臨的一項考驗是:在一個由兩黨分別掌控部分機構的政治體系﹐他是否能夠實現富有成果的連任。

奧 巴馬贏得了這場競爭激烈的大選﹐這可謂是現代選舉歷史上的一個里程碑。自1940年羅斯福(Franklin D. Roosevelt)總統以來﹐還沒有哪位現任總統在失業率更高(目前為7.9%)的情況下贏得連任。這也是1816年以來﹐美國連續第三位獲得連任的總 統。此外﹐特拉華州的拜登(Joe Biden)連任副總統。


REUTERS
2012年10月5日,弗吉尼亞州費爾法克斯市的一次大選集會上,奧巴馬在發表演說時露出微笑。
將奧巴馬推上勝利之路的是一個獨特的聯盟﹐這個聯盟反映出美國選民不斷變化的特點──尤其是白人選民的影響減小﹐拉美裔選民影響不斷增大。

奧巴馬將面對的是一個兩院分別由民主黨和共和黨控制的國會。民主黨將繼續在參議院保持多數席位﹐而共和黨將繼續控制眾議院。大選後﹐華盛頓的局面仍與週二早間一樣﹐儘管兩位候選人的競選活動花費了60億美元﹐政治廣告花了120萬美元。

美國人交給奧巴馬的工作是駕馭存在於華盛頓和美國的互相矛盾的目標﹐國會兩院分別由民主黨和共和黨掌控的局面是奧巴馬此前一直難以控制的。

現 年51歲的奧巴馬擊敗65歲的前馬薩諸塞州州長羅姆尼(Mitt Romney)連任總統。羅姆尼力爭當選總統已有六年時間。儘管羅姆尼的競選主題是經濟﹐並將自己標榜為有能力解決美國問題的前商人﹐但羅姆尼無法克服一 些失誤以及民主黨對其在私募股權行業擔任高管經歷的攻擊。


兩人對政府角色及如何實現經濟復蘇有著截然不同的願景。羅姆尼主張減稅、放寬監管﹐他說這樣做將啟動經濟增長。

奧巴馬則提出要加大在新型能源和教育領域的公共投資﹐同時對較富裕的家庭增稅以便減少赤字。他還提出了尋求改革美國移民法的計劃。

奧巴馬的競選陣營對連任期間的任務細節說的較少﹐這令任何宣示權力的努力變得更加困難。相比之下﹐2008年他入主白宮時帶去了宏大的任務單。

在美聯社(Associated Press)預測他將拿下俄亥俄州後﹐奧巴馬確保了勝利。俄亥俄是此次大選中的關鍵州。奧巴馬拿下了很多爭奪激烈的搖擺州﹐表明奧巴馬競選陣營很好地爭取到支持者投票﹐儘管今年選民投票熱情較低。

在最重要州之一佛羅里達﹐兩人的得票數難分伯仲。週二深夜近800萬張選票裡面﹐兩位候選人的差距只有大約4萬張。


Jason Reed/Reuters
圖片:美國大選精彩瞬間回顧
從 這次選舉可以看到美國在近幾年發生了多麼劇烈的變化。選後民調顯示羅姆尼贏得了60%的白人選票﹐而奧巴馬只贏得38%﹐比2008年低五個百分點。從 1984年蒙代爾(Walter Mondale)被共和黨人里根(Ronald Reagan)以壓倒性優勢擊敗以來﹐還沒有哪位民主黨人在白人中的得票率比奧巴馬更低。

不過奧巴馬沒有多少時間來享受獲勝的喜悅。“財政懸崖”幾乎馬上就要到來﹐即一系列增稅、減支措施在12月31日自動生效。如果總統與國會的領導者達不成妥協﹐這種情況就有可能令美國經濟的脆弱復蘇功虧一簣。

美國還將在未來幾個月觸及債務上限﹐使2011年夏季導致美國債務評級下調的那種爭鬥更有可能再度上演。

奧巴馬希望達成一項影響深遠的協議﹐就像去年他未能達成、將包含對富人增稅內容的那種“大買賣”。共和黨人說過﹐他們將反對任何增稅措施。

奧巴馬其他需要做的事情還包括尋找現任財政部長和國務卿的替代人選。預計這兩人都將卸任。

競選期間的大多數時候﹐奧巴馬都被看好﹐但在三場競選辯論中的第一場﹐他表現得無精打採﹐之後兩位候選人的差距逐步縮小。民調顯示羅姆尼奮起直追﹐增加了美國首任非裔總統剛任滿一屆就被選下台的可能性。

奧巴馬通過攻勢猛烈、資金充足的選戰取得了勝利。他主張中產階級利益﹐同時把羅姆尼描繪成一位冷漠的商人﹐說他的經濟政策偏袒美國最富裕的一批人。

選戰期間不乏惡語傷人。奧巴馬基本上已經放棄他在2008年選戰中給人希望的信息﹐轉而相信他必須把羅姆尼描繪成一個討厭的替代人選才能獲勝。

如 果沒有實現連任﹐奧巴馬當總統可能就會被貶低為撞了大運。他的履歷完全不像之前的幾位總統。他由單身母親和外祖父母養大。父親來自肯尼亞﹐母親一家人來自 堪薩斯﹐童年大部分時候在夏威夷度過﹐並在那裡就讀於名牌私立學校。從哥倫比亞大學(Columbia University)畢業後﹐奧巴馬進入哈佛大學(Harvard)法學院求學﹐並成為《哈佛法律評論》(Harvard Law Review)首位非裔主編。最後他搬到芝加哥﹐成為社區組織者﹐並遇到他的妻子、第一夫人米歇爾•奧巴馬(Michelle Obama)。

奧巴馬從政經歷較短。他曾在伊利諾伊州參議院任職﹐直到2004年在民主黨全國代表大會上發表主旨演講時引起全國關注。同年他被選進聯邦參議院﹐還沒有任滿一屆﹐就在2008年贏得總統選舉。

第一個任期期間﹐奧巴馬通過了醫改法案、金融監管法案﹐並採取一系列重大干預行動讓銀行業擺脫了大蕭條以來的最嚴重衰退。

2010年中期選舉之後﹐共和黨掌控了眾議院﹐奧巴馬不得不抑制自己的雄心。他放棄了改革美國移民制度的計劃。2011年為了提高美國債務上限﹐他還向堅持削減開支的共和黨人讓步。

奧巴馬曾預測自己在第二屆任期內會做得更好。白宮高級顧問普拉夫(David Plouffe)說﹐因大選而起的任何惡意都會很快消散。他說﹐總統競選就是艱難的過程。

奧巴馬曾說﹐他會推動第一屆任期時未能完成的幾項任務。他希望通過移民改革法案﹐為在美國非法居住的110萬人提供申請合法地位的途徑。

共和黨人可能會得出結論:合作對他們有好處。在週二選舉中﹐共和黨在疏遠拉丁裔移民的危險方面得到了教訓。許多共和黨戰略專家說﹐該黨必須軟化在非法移民問題上的立場。拉丁裔目前約佔美國人口的16%﹐到2030年預計將增加到22%。

颶 風“桑迪”在美國東海岸肆虐之際﹐奧巴馬得以有机會撫慰颶風災民﹐並向被摧毀的居民區佈置政府資源。新澤西州州長、共和黨人克里斯蒂(Chris Christie)向來都是奧巴馬的批評者﹐他曾在羅姆尼的提名大會上發表主旨演講﹐然而此次也極力稱讚奧巴馬的表現。《華爾街日報》/NBC News的調查顯示﹐大約三分之二的公眾對奧巴馬處理颶風“桑迪”感到滿意。

對羅姆尼來說更糟糕的是﹐正當他開始積聚勢頭、減少奧巴馬的領先優勢之際﹐颶風令競選活動陷入停頓。在那幾天寶貴的日子裡﹐“桑迪”轉移了全國的注意力﹐迫使羅姆尼取消了一些競選活動﹐並兼顧對奧巴馬的攻擊和對災民的安慰。

然而在2010年秋季、奧巴馬的總統生涯處於最低點時﹐他似乎不太可能再次當選﹐當時的中期選舉令共和黨人獲得了眾議院的控制權。奧巴馬說那次選舉是“徹底失敗”。白宮顧問們知道他處於艱難境地﹐將注意力轉到了他的政治復興上。

失業率接近10%。助手們擔心獨立選民已經拋棄了奧巴馬。內部小組座談顯示﹐選民們並不認為經濟刺激計劃是奧巴馬的功勞﹐雖然許多經濟學家得出結論說﹐刺激計劃阻止了更為嚴重的經濟低迷。

助手們拿出了一項戰略﹐將重點放在穩步提高就業率上﹐同時將奧巴馬定位成中產階級的保護人。

奧巴馬競選陣營沒有把資金留著用於勞動節(9月5日)之後的競選活動﹐而是花了數百萬美元打電視廣告﹐攻擊羅姆尼在私募股權公司貝恩資本(Bain Capital)的經歷。他們將羅姆尼描繪成掠奪性資本家﹐為了尋求快速利潤而收購公司並大肆裁員。

奧巴馬花掉了一大堆競選資金﹐令一些民主黨人不安。但他讓羅姆尼在選民中變得不受歡迎。最終奧巴馬也並無資金匱乏之虞。僅9月一個月﹐他就收到了1.81億美元的競選捐款。整個競選過程中﹐奧巴馬和聯盟團體總計籌集了近10億美元。

Peter Nicholas / Carol E. Lee


Obama Wins a Second Term
President Barack Obama won re-election Tuesday in a closely fought race, overcoming the doubts of a nation ravaged by a prolonged economic downturn and setting up a test of whether he can forge a productive second term within a divided political system.

Mr. Obama's victory in the bruising campaign marks a landmark in modern election history. No sitting president since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940 has won re-election with a higher unemployment rate, which stands at 7.9%. It is also the first time since 1816 the U.S. has had three consecutive two-term presidents. Also re-elected was Joe Biden of Delaware as vice president.

Propelling Mr. Obama to victory was a unique coalition reflecting the changing nature of the U.S. electorate -- notably, the diminished influence of white Americans and the rising clout of Latino voters.

Greeting Mr. Obama will be a divided Congress. Democrats were set to retain their Senate majority while Republicans kept control of the House of Representatives. After the election, Washington remained aligned exactly as it was Tuesday morning, despite $6 billion in spending and 1.2 million political ads.

Americans handed Mr. Obama the job of navigating conflicting impulses in both Washington and the nation, a partisan divide the president has previously struggled to master.

In retaining the presidency, Mr. Obama, 51 years old, defeated former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, age 65, who had been seeking the office for six years. Despite a focus on the economy, pitching himself as a one-time businessman capable of fixing what ails the U.S., Mr. Romney couldn't overcome some missteps and attacks from Democrats over his work as a private-equity executive.

At stake were two starkly different visions of the role of government and the recipe for economic revival. Mr. Romney called for reducing taxes and scaling back regulations, which he said would trigger economic growth.

Mr. Obama laid out a model of public investment in alternative energy and education, along with tax increases on wealthier families to help cut deficits. He has also voiced plans to pursue a revamp of U.S. immigration laws.

The president's re-election campaign was light on details of what a second term would comprise, in contrast to the ambitious list he brought to the White House in 2008, complicating any effort to claim a mandate.

Mr. Obama sealed his win after the Associated Press projected he would win Ohio, which loomed as the contest's pivotal state. The president won many swing states in contention, an indication that the Obama campaign's machine for turning out its supporters, even in a year of lower enthusiasm, was sound.

One of the major prizes in the race, Florida, was too close to call. Out of nearly eight million votes cast late Tuesday night, the candidates were separated by only about 40,000 votes.

The contest showed how dramatically the U.S. has changed in recent years. According to exit polls, Mr. Romney won 60% of the white vote, compared with 38% for Mr. Obama. That is five points less than his 2008 showing. Not since Walter Mondale, who was swept aside by Ronald Reagan in the 1984 presidential race, has a Democrat recorded a smaller share of the white vote.

Mr. Obama will have little time to savor his victory. Looming almost immediately is the so-called fiscal cliff, a series of tax increase and spending cuts that come into force Dec. 31, and which could unravel the economy's fragile gains, unless the president and congressional leaders engineer a compromise.

The U.S. will also hit its borrowing limit in coming months, raising the prospect of a battle like the one in summer 2011 that led to a downgrade in the U.S.'s debt rating.

Mr. Obama hopes to broker a far-reaching agreement, the kind of 'grand bargain' that eluded him last year, which would include raising taxes on wealthier Americans. Republicans have said they would oppose any tax increase.

Other to-do list items: Replacing his current Treasury Secretary and Secretary of State, both of whom are expected to step aside.

Mr. Obama was favored to win for most of the campaign, but the race narrowed in the final month after he turned in a lackluster performance in the first of three presidential debates. Mr. Romney closed the gap in the polls, raising the possibility that the nation's first African-American president might be voted from office at the end of a single term.

Mr. Obama prevailed through an aggressive and well-funded campaign. He championed middle-class interests while depicting Mr. Romney as an uncaring businessman whose economic policies would favor the wealthiest Americans.

The campaign's tone was coarse. Mr. Obama largely jettisoned the hopeful message of his 2008 campaign, convinced that to win he needed to paint Mr. Romney as an unpalatable alternative.

Mr. Obama's rise to power might have been dismissed as a fluke had he not secured a second term. His biography is nothing like that of recent predecessors. Mr. Obama was raised by a single mother and his grandparents. His father was from Kenya and his mother's family from Kansas and he spent most of his childhood in Hawaii, where he attended a prestigious private school. After graduating from Columbia University, Mr. Obama attended Harvard Law School, becoming the first African-American editor of the Harvard Law Review. He eventually moved to Chicago, where he became a community organizer and met his wife, first lady Michelle Obama.

His political resume is short. He served in the Illinois State Senate until 2004, when he captivated the nation with a keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. He was elected to the U.S. Senate that same year and hadn't served a full term before he won the White House in 2008.

His first term included passage of the health-care law, the financial regulation bill and a series of dramatic interventions to save the banking system from a the worst downturn since the Great Depression.

er the midterm elections in 2010, Republicans took charge of the House and Mr. Obama was forced to curb his ambitions. He backed off plans to revamp the nation's immigration system. And he capitulated to Republicans who insisted on spending cuts as the price of raising the U.S. debt ceiling in 2011.

The president has predicted that he would have better results in a second term. David Plouffe, a senior White House adviser, said any ill will from the election would quickly vanish. 'Presidential campaigns are tough,' he said.

Mr. Obama has said he would push several pieces of unfinished business left over the first term. He wants to pass an immigration overhaul that would provide a path to legal status for the 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally.

Republicans might conclude it is in their interest to cooperate. In Tuesday's elections, the GOP got a lesson in the dangers of alienating Latinos. Many Republicans strategists have said the party must soften its stance on illegal immigration. Latinos now account for 16% of the population, and that figure is expected to jump to 22% by 2030.

With Hurricane Sandy ravaging the east coast, Mr. Obama had a chance to show compassion to storm victims and deploy government resources to neighborhoods left in ruins. No less a critic than New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican who gave the keynote speech at Mr. Romney's nominating convention, went out of his way to praise Mr. Obama's performance. About two-thirds of the public approved of the president's handling of Hurricane Sandy, a Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll showed.

Worse for Mr. Romney, the storm froze the race at a moment when he had been gaining momentum and cutting into Mr. Obama's lead. Sandy diverted the nation's attention for precious days, forcing Mr. Romney to cancel some events and juggle attacks on Obama with expressions of sympathy for storm victims.

Still, Mr. Obama's re-election would have seemed unlikely in the nadir of his presidency, the fall of 2010, when voters in the midterm election gave Republicans control of the House. Mr. Obama termed that election, 'a shellacking.' White House advisers turned their attention to his political revival, knowing he was in a tough spot.

Unemployment hovered near 10%. Aides worried that independent voters had abandoned the president. And internal focus groups showed that voters didn't give credit to Mr. Obama for the stimulus program, even though many economists concluded the stimulus staved off an even more serious downturn.

Aides settled on a strategy that emphasized steady improvement in the jobless rate while positioning Mr. Obama as a champion of the middle class.

Rather than save their money for the post-Labor Day race to November, the Obama campaign spent millions of dollars in TV ads attacking Mr. Romney for his record at the private-equity firm, Bain Capital. They painted him as a predatory capitalist who bought companies and laid people off in search of a quick profit.

Mr. Obama burned through a good chunk of his campaign cash, making some Democrats uneasy. But he made Mr. Romney unpopular among voters. In the end, Mr. Obama suffered no shortage of funds. In September alone, he took in $181 million in campaign donations. All together, the president and allied groups will have raised nearly $1 billion over the course of the campaign.
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