President Barack Obama will represent Chicago for four more years during a second term in the White House, and a buzz once again emanated from his hometown on Election Night.
Supporters chanted "four more years" at his McCormick Place victory rally, where he promised "the best is yet to come" with more work ahead. The crowd appeared much smaller than the 240,000 who packed Grant Park in 2008 but still very enthusiastic. And they had reason to celebrate as results rolled in to show wins in the battleground states of Iowa, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia.
"Despite all the frustrations of Washington, I've never been more hopeful about our future," Obama said during his acceptance speech. "I have never been more hopeful about America, and I ask you to sustain that hope."
The victory was a lot more decisive than many expected it to be, but Chicagoans ranging from commuters to cabdrivers told NBC Chicago Wednesday morning they were overall happy with the outcome:
"I knew that he would win, he deserved to win, because he worked very hard and he was sincere,"
"I think it's a good thing. I think he's done a lot of good things for the country, and hopefully he [uses] the four more years to continue his efforts and the party's efforts, although I didn't vote for him, but it's a good thing."
"He needed four more years to finish the job."
So what's next? During his Election Night speech the president said he wants to sit down with Mitt Romney in the coming weeks to talk about working together to move the country forward. He used words like "building consensus" and "compromise."
Climate change, immigration reform and renewable energy are all possibilities in Obama's second term, based on the speech. The country's economy path looms as well as the promise for more jobs.
"Our economy is recovering. A decade of war is ending. A long campaign is now over," Obama said. "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 about the future and life ahead."
For now, Obama woke up in his Kenwood home Wednesday after the big victory and a late night for the First Family. His motorcade returned to the family's Chicago home at 2:36 a.m.
They're expected to leave Chicago via O'Hare Airport at 2:40 p.m. and be back at the White House by 5:30 p.m.
Obama's inauguration is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 21, 2013.