Some observers feel the political career of Mitt Romney, the multi-millionaire businessman who has spent the last six years running for the powerful position of president of the US, ends here.
Romney has conceded defeat in the US presidential election contest on Wednesday.
“I just called President [Barack] Obama to congratulate him on his victory,” he told supporters at his campaign headquarters in Boston.
“His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations,” he added before saying he would pray for Barack Obama’s success in leading the nation.
He said, “This election is over, but our principles endure.”
Romney thanked his running mate Paul Ryan, saying the Wisconsin congressman had a bright future in the Republican Party.
Romney lost nearly all the major battleground states to Obama, including Ohio, the hardest fought prize.
In a frank and genuine statement, the former Massachusetts governor said it was time to put aside partisan bickering and work together for the good of the country.
Obama, meanwhile, tweeted to supporters, “This happened because of you. Thank you.”
Obama was chalking up additional victories in states that the polls had said could go either way.
After winning Virginia’s 13 electoral votes, he had a margin of 100 electoral votes, 303 to 203, with just Alaska and Florida still to count.
Florida’s result remained too close to call, hours after the polls closed.
Despite Obama’s sizable margin in the electoral vote count, he held just a slim advantage in the popular vote.
One for three
Romney has now run for office three times and won only once.
First he failed to unseat Democratic legend Ted Kennedy from his senate seat in Massachusetts in 1994.
He was called on to save the scandal ridden Salt Lake City Winter Games giving him a national profile.
Moving back to Massachusetts, Mitt Romney turned his Olympic success into a political one.
With moderate positions on social issues like abortion and healthcare, he ran for Governor of Massachusetts.
In an overwhelmingly Democratic state, he won a big victory for Republicans.
He faced criticism he ran the state like he had run a business and was not really interested in politics.
He turned his attention from the State House to the White House and declared he wanted the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, but the party picked John McCain to face, and ultimately lose to Barack Obama.
For two years, Mitt Romney kept a low profile. But the White House was the prize he wanted most.
Al Jazeera’s Alan Fisher reports from Boston.