The long and negative campaign was finally over last night with Obama claiming victory. The Obama supporters were thrilled and reenergized while the Romney camp disappointed and crushed.

My 6-year old son Jake was among those who were disappointed when he found out this morning that Obama had won. Yesterday when I picked him up from school, he said to me “Mom, I want to vote for Romney!”
“Because he hasn’t got a chance and I want to be nice to him.”

I voted for Obama four years ago but this time it was tougher to make the same choice. Personally I like President Obama and his family. It was a miracle that he had worked his way up to become the first black president of the Unites States of America. His success offered many hardworking minority men and women fresh hope and aspiration. It also gave the American dream a whole new meaning.

But after almost four years, Obama has turned out to be a disappointment to many: another politician who speaks eloquently and convincingly but lacks the guts and determination to bring the country on the right track. Our economy is still going through a tough time which leaves many middle-class families in shambles, the national debt continues piling that will prevent our kids from living the American dream, and America’s place in the international system is in flux. The mood of celebration last night was very different from four years ago, gone was the optimistic tone in 2008 and the hope and change message that set Obama apart, in its place a deep sigh of relief from his supporters that he was given another four years to fix things.

High voter turnout, African Americans, Latinos, women and hurricane Sandy helped Obama win the second term. Republicans’ narrow focus on the conservative whites made the party lose its appeal to an increasingly diversified population. Romney won 59 percent of the white vote, a 20-point margin over Obama, but not enough for him to win the race since whites have decreased to 72% of the electorate from 87% twenty years ago.

Now with the pressure of staying in the office gone, hopefully Obama will work harder for the people who have made it possible for him to remain in the oval office and focus on getting the economy back in shape, developing a realistic plan to manage the ‘fiscal cliff’ and restoring America’s leadership role in the world. It’s a daunting task because the country is dangerously polarized and the white-male-dominated congress and senate may still not be willing to work with him. But he has to find a way to get it done if his dreams and visions for this country are real and still alive.

As for us the Asian Americans, other than taking pride in having a minority president who is easier to identify with, I don’t expect anything to change substantially in the next four years. We are too small for them to pay attention to us unless we come together and make our needs and wants heard. Among other things, we urge the Obama administration to come up with fair and reasonable policies towards China and the Chinese currency because it has a huge impact on China’s stability and continuous prosperity.