The White House has released a photograph showing the moment President Barack Obama learned he had won re-election against his Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Taking the call perched on a chair at the Fairmont Millennium Park Hotel in Chicago, Barack Obama was apparently wished well by his defeated opponent.
The historic image was captured by the Obama administration’s photographer Pete Souza and was posted onto the official White House Flickr account for all to see.
Body language experts have had a field day with the signs that the just-triumphant president is giving off to the camera.
They claim that by perching on the back of the chair, Barack Obama is implicitly suggesting that he does not expect the telephone call to be a lengthy one.
Interpreting Barack Obama’s standing rather than sitting position, the experts have noted the two candidates frosty relationship and that the president is not sitting down to talk to his rival.
More obviously the president’s fingers are pressed to one of his ears, which may suggest that the room in the hotel is very noisy and that his re-election team have erupted in rapture.
Immediately after the telephone call, Mitt Romney began preparing his concession speech, having admitted beforehand that he did not have one ready expecting to win.
In his concession speech, Mitt Romney said that on the call with the president, he wished Barack Obama well, along with his family and staff.
“This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation,” said Mitt Romney.
During his acceptance speech, President Barack Obama also referenced his crushed rival, saying he “just spoke with Governor Romney and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a hard-fought campaign”.
“We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future,” said Barack Obama.
During his widely praised concession speech the former Massachusetts governor lost the race after nearly 17 months of fighting, including a prolonged primary race against rivals like Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain and the eventual runner-up Rick Santorum.
The Republican said that he and his vice presidential pick “left everything on the field”.
“At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the nation’s work,” Mitt Romney said.
He added: “I believe in America. I believe in the people of America. And I ran for office because I’m concerned about America. This election is over, but our principles endure. I believe that the principles upon which this nation was founded are the only sure guide to a resurgent economy and to renewed greatness.”
In his defeat, Mitt Romney maintained that the only way for the country to succeed is if elected officials give politics a rest.
“We look to Democrats and Republicans in government at all levels to put people before the politics,” Mitt Romney said.
“I believe in America. I believe in the people of America… I ran for office because I’m concerned about America. This election is over, but our principles endure.”
Of Barack Obama, Mitt Romney said: “Ann and I will pray for him as he continues to lead this nation.”