Page last updated at 15:18 GMT, Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Voters' Views: Catherine Anne Smith

Barack Obama has been elected the first black president of the United States.

Here Republican and Democratic voters from across the US reflect on the results and look to the future.

Catherine Anne Smith Administrator | Democrat

Change will come, but it will be a lot slower than some of Obama's young supporters anticipate

Catherine Anne Smith
Age: 58
Lives: Decatur, Georgia
Occupation: Administrator
Last election voted:
In 10 words or less: Unconventional, quick-witted, communicative, optimistic, humanistic, feminist, family-oriented, fun, diligent

"I feel cautiously optimistic about the upcoming years. The nomination of Barack Obama symbolises a renewed hope in our country. With the majority of both Houses leaning left, I anticipate at least four years of better government.

The mood here in Atlanta, Georgia is of jubilation. People feel they are taking back their country from the robber barons. We have re-defined what it is to be American.

For the first time in many years, I feel hopeful about our country's future. The world of women and girls will probably improve, as issues such as reproductive rights, pay equity and employment discrimination are more palatable to the left.

Our reputation has suffered these last eight years. As most of the world's people who voiced an opinion saw Obama's candidacy positively, his winning may be the beginning of less bellicose relationships.

We need to repair the serious damage we have done, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am hoping that we dramatically reduce our military budget so that we can restore funding programs empowering women and girls here and throughout the world.

I am excited that both Houses will be majority Democratic. But Democrats are much more diverse than Republicans, so policies will be enacted more slowly than they were with Republicans who, until recently, voted lock step with Bush.

Change will come, but it will be a lot slower than some of Obama's young supporters anticipate. Hopefully, the voices of those who voted for McCain will be welcomed in Obama's administration.

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The readers' panel has been selected from as wide a cross-section of people as possible and may not be representative of wider US public opinion.

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