Celebrations more subdued this time round

Nick O'Malley

Nick O'Malley   Over the next 24 hours Barack Obama will place his hand on three Bibles to swear two oaths before God to faithfully execute the Office of President of these ostensibly secular United States, becoming only the second president to take the oath four times.

Getting old fast comes with presidential seal

FILE - In this Jan. 14, 2013, file photo, President Barack Obama speaks during the last news conference of his first term in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Obama wants Asia to be a growing focus of his foreign policy, but as his second terms starts, success could hinge on his ability to manage hot spots elsewhere in the world and avert a fiscal crisis at home.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Ned Martel   TIME roughs up presidents. Photos of Barack Obama on election night in 2008 look as though they were taken much more than four years ago. Now his face has deeper creases and crow's feet, while his hair is salted with white.

Obama's army wins the trench warfare

U.S. President Barack Obama.

Nick O'Malley   From Barack Obama's campaign headquarters in Chicago you can look out over Grant Park, down Lake Shore Drive (''now we're tripping on LSD'', taxi drivers like to say as they pull onto Lake Shore) to the McCormick Centre, where the President claimed his victory early on Wednesday morning.

Mitt's last gaffe - Romney the President-Elect

Mitt

Is this Mitt Romney's last presidential election campaign gaffe?

Statistician kept his cool under fire and his numbers came up

Nate Silver

Asher Moses   THE political emperors have no clothes, stripped bare by a wizard named Nate Silver who showed dispassionate maths was more reliable than pundit intuition and cherry-picked polls.

Obama's focus shifts to 'fiscal cliff'

Voters get ready in Obama's hometown (Thumbnail)

Nick O'Malley   Less than 15 hours after his victory speech in Chicago, Barack Obama had returned to the White House, and Republican House Majority leader John Boehner had begun to position the GOP for the pending crisis negotiations over the "fiscal cliff".

The man behind The Man: how a strategist called Jim got Barack Obama back into the White House

Jim Messina

Glenda Kwek   He was once described as "the most powerful person in Washington you've never heard of".

Gay marriage push heaps woe on Republicans

Whitney Young, left,

Nick O'Malley   Not only did the conservative movement fail to win either the White House or the Senate on Tuesday night in America, voters in state referendums across the country rejected some of its key positions, particularly opposition to gay marriage and drug law reform.

Confused? So was Kristen Neel

Kristen Neel

It must be quite a shock for Julia Gillard to find that President Barack Obama's re-election somehow transformed her into Australia's male, Christian president who "actually supports what he says".

Decline of white might hurts right

Rubio

Ewen MacAskill and Gary Younge   It was telling that the greatest cheer during newly re-elected President Barack Obama's acceptance speech came when he reprised a version of the speech that made him famous when he introduced John Kerry at the Democratic convention in 2004.

'Historic' day for gay marriage

Whitney Young, left,

Erik Eckholm   Voters in Maine and Maryland on Tuesday approved same-sex marriage on a day of election results that jubilant gay rights advocates called a historic turning point, the first time marriage for gay men and lesbians has been approved at the ballot box.

Republicans' next battle is with themselves

Mitt Romney

Paul McGeough   BOSTON: Where does the Republican Party go in a country that again has affirmed its middle-of-the-road political personality?

International reaction to Obama's win

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono with US President Barack Obama

ISRAEL: Israel awoke to the news it faced what many see as a political and diplomatic relationship in need of rehabilitation.

Peter Hartcher

Superman has just 54 days to save the world

Peter Hartcher dinkus

Peter Hartcher   WHEN Barack Obama was still campaigning for the presidency first time around, he was unsettled to receive his first top-secret security briefing from US intelligence chiefs.

Return to gridlock: it's down to business for a house split in two

US President Barack Obama and family arrive on stage

Karen Tumulty   WASHINGTON: The election sorted out winners and losers, but it left intact a polarised governing structure in Washington that has been unable to produce much more than gridlock during the past couple of years.

Good relations key to President's second term

Daniel Flitton   BREATHE a sigh of relief, Australia - had Mitt Romney won the day, it would have made for an ugly time with our big alliance partner.

Senate Tea Party leaves Republicans reeling

Suporters of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney react to results on election night.

Jonathan Weisman, New York   NEW YORK: Democrats snatched Republican Senate seats in Indiana and Massachusetts and were poised to hold control of the Senate, handing Republicans a string of stinging defeats for the second campaign season in a row.

Washington, Colorado allow marijuana's recreational use

Washington and Colorado voters approved legalisation of marijuana for recreational use, making them the first U.S. states to decriminalise the practice.

Obama reaches out to nation

Obama

Nick O'Malley, United States Correspondent in Illinois   Chicago, Illinois: Barack Obama has won his re-election, stitching together a coalition among groups that the Republican Party failed to appeal to women, young voters, Hispanics, gays and even autoworkers who benefited from the government's bail out of the auto industry.

Four more years: Obama sweeps to victory

Obama

US President Barack Obama swept to a emphatic re-election win over Mitt Romney, forging new history by transcending a dragging economy and the stifling unemployment which haunted his first term.