Second Term For Barack Obama Leaves Nation Divided

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Jazlyn Beltre
Staff Writer

After 13 months of campaigning, rallying, and debating, Barack Obama will begin his second term in the White House. Although he beat former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in a landslide in electoral votes, he was not as popular amongst all Americans.

According to A CNN article published this month, “Obama takes key battlegrounds to win re-election” by Tom Cohen, Obama won all battleground states as well as Romney’s birthplace of Michigan and his governing state of Massachusetts, with 332 electoral votes. Romney won 206 electoral votes. Obama needed only 270 electoral votes to win the election. But, Obama did not win the popular vote with such a wide margin. According to the BBC U.S. 2012 results, 50.5 percent of the country voted for Obama while 47.9 voted for Romney, leaving the nation divided.

In Chicago, Obama supporters roared and cheered once Obama’s victory was announced, while television networks showed coverage of Romney supporters somber and crying. Republicans still had hope since Fox News Analyst Karl Rove had reported that Romney might still have a chance in winning Ohio. Shortly after Obama won the battleground state. After Romney’s concession speech, one Romney supporter stated that the fact that Romney lost was “a tough pill to swallow.”

A new Romney appeared on stage, less aggressive and more somber than we’ve seen him in the past months. An hour after news networks projected Barack Obama as victor, in Boston, Romney, whose eyes appeared to be red and watery, conceded, “I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation. The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. I believe in America, I believe in the people of America.”

In Barack Obama’s acceptance speech, he stated, “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…..We’ve got more work to do.”

Changes promised for students under Obama’s Presidency:

Student debt has reached $1 trillion for the fist time in history. Students will begin to see Obama’s Pay as You Earn program reiterated on certain websites where students can apply for loans. The Pay as You Earn program, which will be in effect in 2013-2014, caps monthly federal student loan repayment at 10 percent of one’s monthly income. This is so students have more money to spend and invest in the economy, according to Barackobama.com. Also, under this program, a student can choose the college they want to attend based on their career goals and not solely on the price of tuition. In addition, if one pays their federal loans on time and at least at 10 percent of your monthly income as a teacher, service person, or doctor, one will be forgiven of federal loans after 10 years. For all other professions, if loans are paid responsibly, one will be forgiven in 20 years.

The Know Before You Owe program is a form that includes loan interest rates while differentiating between grants and scholarships, showing students exactly what they will be paying, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Board and the U.S. Department of Education. The form would also be introduced as a universal Financial Aid document that all colleges would be urged to adopt by the 2013-14 school year. This would allow students to see what they are being offered and how much they could possibly pay, before they accept the offer to attend that school. President Obama also insured that veterans and service members would be able to get a college education and find work when they return from service by implementing and expanded the post-9/11 G.I. Bill, according to BarackObama.com.

He also proposes to make higher education institutions more affordable, even though a written bill has yet to be written out and plans lack details, according to “With Obama’s Win, Colleges Anticipate 4 More Years of Reform,” by Michael Stratford in Chronicle.com this month. According to WhiteHouse.gov, the official website of the White House, Obama stated, “Higher education is not a luxury. Earning a postsecondary degree or credential is a prerequisite for 21st century jobs.”

The President will be inaugurated for his second term on January 21, 2013 in Washington D.C.

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