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  •  This Jan. 20, 2009, file photo shows the crowd on the National Mall in Washington for the swearing-in ceremony of President-elect Barack Obama. Four years and one re-election after Obama became America’s first black president, some of the thrill is gone. Yes, the inauguration of a U.S. president is still a big deal.

    Second time with Obama not as thrilling as before Jan 13, 2013 12:00 AM
    Four years and one re-election after Obama became America's first black president, some of the thrill is gone. Yes, the inauguration of a U.S. president is still a big deal. But the ceremony that Washington will stage in a few weeks won't be the heady, historic affair it was in 2009, when nearly 2 million people flocked to the National Mall to see Obama take the oath of office. This time, District of Columbia officials expect between 600,000 and 800,000 people.

     
  •  From left, Rep. Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, Vice President Joe Biden, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. While the next presidential primary voting is still three years away, the political implications of the actions and whereabouts of the potential field of 2016 candidates hung over a dramatic year-end period.

    2016 politics on display as Congress ends term Jan 3, 2013 12:00 AM
    While the next presidential primary voting is still three years away, the political implications of the actions and whereabouts of the potential field of 2016 candidates hung over extraordinary year-end Washington drama. The fiscal cliff vote forced those in Congress who are eyeing presidential runs to stake out early positions which signal how they may be aligning themselves — and which could come back to haunt them should they move forward.

     
  • Associated Press/Jan. 31, 1973 U.S. District Court Judge John Sirica in his office in Washington.

    Government releases once-secret Watergate files Nov 30, 2012 12:00 AM
    The files showed Judge John J. Sirica at times discussing the case with special prosecutors and justifying his attempts to learn new facts in the case. The documents stem from the prosecution of five defendants arrested during the June 1972 Watergate break-in and two men, E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy, who were charged as the burglary team's supervisors.

     
  •  David Axelrod was a calming influence on the Obama 2012 campaign team and helped focus on middle-class voters.

    Obama adviser says Ryan pick was a surprise Nov 26, 2012 12:00 AM
    A top adviser to President Barack Obama's re-election campaign says one of the biggest surprises of the 2012 election was Mitt Romney's choice of a running mate. Speaking to students at the University of Chicago Monday, senior strategist David Axelrod said by choosing Congressman Paul Ryan, Romney played to his base at a time when he needed to be broadening his appeal.

     
  • Associated Press/Oct. 19, 2012 A mostly women audience listens behind President Barack Obama as he speaks about the choices facing them in the election, during a campaign event at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. More women voted for Obama, more men for Romney.

    Women overrule moody male voters Nov 24, 2012 12:00 AM
    For the first time in research dating to 1952, a presidential candidate whom men chose decisively — Republican Mitt Romney — lost. More women voted for the other guy.

     
  •  Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is telling top donors that President Barack Obama won re-election because of the “gifts” he had already provided to blacks, Hispanics and young voters. Romney also cites as a reason for his loss the president’s effort to paint Romney as anti-immigrant. In a call Wednesday to those donors, Romney said Obama’s campaign focused on giving targeted groups what he called “a big gift” while his campaign had been about, in his words, “big issues for the whole country.”

    Romney: Obama won with ‘gifts’ to certain voters Nov 14, 2012 12:00 AM
    Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is telling top donors that President Barack Obama won re-election because of the "gifts" he had already provided to blacks, Hispanics and young voters and because of the president's effort to paint Romney as anti-immigrant. "The president's campaign, if you will, focused on giving targeted groups a big gift," Romney said in a call to donors on Wednesday.

     
  •  President Barack Obama’s Twitter posting, which read “Four more years” and featured a picture of him hugging his wife, Michelle, became the most retweeted post on Twitter. Unlike many images of political marriage in which the man lays claim to his wife through a symbolically possessive gesture, the embrace between these two people seems mutual and symbolic of a healthy society.

    Obama photo is snapshot of modern, equal marriageNov 11, 2012 12:00 AM
    President Barack Obama's Twitter posting, which read "Four more years" and featured a picture of him hugging his wife, Michelle, became the most retweeted post on Twitter. Unlike many images of political marriage in which the man lays claim to his wife through a symbolically possessive gesture, the embrace between these two people seems mutual and symbolic of a healthy society.

     
  •  President Barack Obama and family host thousands of kids of all ages for an annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House in 2009. Pictured, Sasha, left, and Malia Obama read to a group gathered on the South Lawn.

    Sasha and Malia get four more years as First Daughters Nov 11, 2012 12:00 AM
    When her father's second term as president is up, Malia Obama will be 18 years old and entering adulthood. She and her younger sister, Sasha, will have spent their formative years in the White House, a place that their parents have attempted to shape into something resembling a normal home.

     
  •  An electoral U.S. map displays red states v. blue states on election night.

    Nation’s political divide is deepening Nov 11, 2012 12:00 AM
    Contrary to what President Barack Obama famously declared when he came to prominence in 2004, and which he echoed in his victory speech, there really does seem to be a Red America and a Blue America, each seeing a markedly different reality. That's why seven in 10 Democrats say the economy is getting better, while nearly six in 10 Republicans say it's getting worse, according to exit polls.

     
  • Associated Press Voters line up in the dark Tuesday to beat the 7 p.m. deadline to cast their ballots at a polling station in Miami.

    Florida win gives Obama 332 to Romney’s 206 Nov 10, 2012 12:00 AM
    The Florida Secretary of State's Office said that with almost 100 percent of the vote counted, Obama led Republican challenger Mitt Romney 50 percent to 49.1 percent, a difference of about 74,000 votes. That was over the half-percent margin where a computer recount would have been automatically ordered unless Romney had waived it.

     
  •  Tears run down the cheek of President Barack Obama as he speaks at his final campaign stop on the evening before the 2012 election, in the downtown Des Moines, Iowa. Barack Obama isn’t the only world leader unashamed or unable to avoid being seen crying in public.

    Changing times: Politicians’ tears more common now Nov 9, 2012 12:00 AM
    It seems out of place: The president of the United States breaking down in tears as he thanked campaign workers for their tireless work for his re-election. But Barack Obama isn't the only world leader unashamed to be seen crying in public — or simply unable to avoid it. Attitudes seem to have changed since the early 1970s, when an alleged crying incident during the presidential primary season went a long way toward derailing the candidacy of a Maine senator.

     
  • In the sheer quantity of negative advertising and amount of dollars being spent, 2012 may have marked the birth of an unprecedented era of negative campaigning. However, there’s considerable second-guessing about its effectiveness in the wake of Tuesday’s results.

    GOP groups taking stock after $380 million loss Nov 8, 2012 12:00 AM
    Republican-leaning independent groups were supposed to be a key to victory for Mitt Romney. But they ended up being among the big losers of the presidential race, spending an eye-popping $380 million on ads to oust President Barack Obama only to come up woefully short.

     
  •  Now that the election is over, President Barack Obama will revamp his administration for a second term, including changes to his Cabinet.

    Change coming to Obama’s team, just not right away Nov 8, 2012 12:00 AM
    Big changes are coming to President Barack Obama's administration — just not right away.

     
  • Even in defeat, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney gives a thumbs-up before his concession speech Tuesday night in Boston. Many of his most ardent followers aren't as optimistic today.

    End of world? Nirvana? Time to let political anger goNov 8, 2012 12:00 AM
    As Facebook returns to adorable cat photos, inspirational posters and endless updates on fantastic offspring and progress in exercise regimes, what do we do with all that leftover hate and bile? Can you become buddies again with that friend you unfriended because of all those offensive political postings?

     
  •  House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, says Republicans are willing to consider some form of higher tax revenue as part of the solution to the “fiscal cliff” problem — but only under what he calls “the right conditions.”

    Obama, GOP leaders lay down markers on budget deal Nov 8, 2012 12:00 AM
    Taking little time to celebrate, President Barack Obama is setting out to leverage his re-election into legislative success in an upcoming showdown with congressional Republicans over taxes, deficits and the impending "fiscal cliff." House Speaker John Boehner says Republicans are willing to consider some form of higher tax revenue as part of the solution — but only "under the right conditions."

     
  •  Speaker of the House John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, on Wednesday expressed a willingness to discuss tax hikes.

    Fiscal cliff: Impasse on tax rates is big hurdle Nov 8, 2012 12:00 AM
    House Republicans' hard line against higher tax rates for upper-income earners leaves re-elected President Barack Obama with a tough, core decision: Does he pick a fight and risk falling off a "fiscal cliff" or does he rush to compromise and risk alienating liberal Democrats?

     
  • President Barack Obama walks onstage with first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha at his Election Night party Wednesday in Chicago.

    GOP tries to regroup after suburbs go for Obama again Nov 8, 2012 12:00 AM
    Once might be considered a fluke, but twice is a trend. President Barack Obama's continued election successes in suburbs once fortified by Republicans have many area GOP leaders concerned. Obama carried Cook County and four of the collar counties. “We did put out a strong effort getting information out to people, but it's tough,” said state Rep. Randy Ramey of Carol Stream.

     
  •  Supporters wave flags during President Barack Obama’s election night party Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Chicago. President Obama defeated Republican challenger former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

    The economy Obama faces: Slow but gaining steadily Nov 7, 2012 12:00 AM
    Some reward. Here's the assignment President Barack Obama has won with his re-election: Improve an economy burdened by high unemployment, stagnant pay, a European financial crisis, slowing global growth and U.S. companies still too anxious to expand much.

     
  •  In this photo combo, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gestures to supporters during his election night rally in Boston, left, and President Barack Obama waves to the crowd of supporters at his election night party in Chicago, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. Obama defeated Romney to win a second term.

    Analysis: Both sides see mandate, hard road ahead Nov 7, 2012 12:00 AM
    President Barack Obama's re-election, coupled with Republicans' continued hold on the House, gives both parties a chance to rethink, and perhaps undo, the bitter partisanship that has gripped Washington for four years and frustrated Americans who see big problems going unsolved. It won't be easy. Both sides claim, with some justification, a mandate from the voters.

     
  •  President Barack Obama speaks to media as he visits a campaign office the morning of the 2012 election, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Chicago.

    Best rally in decade may slow as Obama faces Congress on taxes Nov 7, 2012 12:00 AM
    Stock and bond investors enjoying the biggest advance in more than a decade under Barack Obama may see the momentum fade as the rallies age and the president confronts Congress over spending cuts and taxes. Obama will preserve interest-rate policy at the Federal Reserve, according experts.

     
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