UPDATED: Breaking news: Barack Obama, 44th president, re-elected to a second term

UPDATE: Here's my story in today's paper:

THE SEQUEL is never as entertaining or surprising as the original.

And so President Obama - who dazzled the nation four years ago - earned a second term Tuesday by grinding out a solid, workmanlike victory on the ground, turning out just enough of his 21st-century coalition of black and Latino voters, young adults and educated professionals in enough key states to turn back Republican Mitt Romney.

Crowds in Obama's hometown of Chicago and in New York's Times Square erupted in a flag-waving celebration and danced to Aretha Franklin's "Respect" at roughly 11:15 p.m., when the major TV networks called the hard-fought race for the president. Fittingly, it was Ohio - the Midwestern, middle-of-the-road, microcosm state that sucked up so much of the candidate's time and money - and its 20 electoral votes that put the 44th president over the top.

"We're all in this together," Obama said on Twitter late Tuesday night. "That's how we campaigned, and that's who we are. Thank you."

Explaining the lack of blog posts recently, I also wrote articles about "the fiscal cliff" and other challenges of Obama's second term.