Breaking News: Barack Obama is the next President of the United States!

Jake Turcotte

Hey, how about this.... Vice President Cheney spoke and hundreds of Congressmen jumped up for a standing ovation today. And most of the crowd were Democrats!

Crazy talk?

He's just dreamy

Nope. The outgoing Vice President of the United States (who currently has a chilly approval rating of 29 percent) stood amid thunderous applause, shouts of encouragement, and looks of pride.

It was almost as though he was Leif Garrett in a 1976 Tiger Beat magazine.

His secret? Barack Obama.

Joint session

The Vice President announced in front of a joint session of Congress that Barack Obama would be the next President of the United States.

No, Cheney didn't just get the memo. It's a constitutional thing.

What the Vice President did today was to confirm the results of the election.

It's official

In case you weren't paying attention. Barack Obama won.

He and Joe Biden received 365 electoral votes while John McCain and Sarah Palin recorded 173.

Electoral College

As the Associated Press explains, the announcement today is all apart of the stately electoral college process that has flummoxed high-school civics students for generations.

Congress fulfilled "its centuries-old constitutional duty to certify and tally the electoral college vote from each state"

"The 12th Amendment, ratified in 1804, directs the electors chosen by the states to meet and vote for president and vice president, conveying the results to the president of the Senate.

"That was accomplished Dec. 15, when the electors, in a largely ceremonial rite preordained by Obama's Nov. 4 victory over McCain, gathered in state capitals to cast their votes. As on Thursday, the tally was 365 for Obama, 173 for McCain.

"The electoral college is made up of 538 electors, with each state getting its equivalent in the 435-member House and the 100-member Senate. The District of Columbia gets the other three electors."

It's inauguration time

Bottom line: Barack Obama won.

Next stop, the inauguration. The swearing-in ceremony will occur on the West Front of the US Capitol at 12 noon on Jan. 20.

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