Shortly before 1 a.m. EST on Wednesday, Mitt Romney appeared at the Boston Convention Center to deliver a concession speech.
He was greeted by cheers and whistles in anticipation of what he'd say. Senior aides filed into the ballroom as Romney prepared to take the stage; visibly emotional, they shared hugs with each other as they watched.
Upon Romney's announcement that he had called President Barack Obama "to congratulate him on his victory," the raucous crowd redoubled its noise.
"This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray the president will be successful in guiding our nation," Romney said.
He thanked his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, earning big applause.
Referring to his wife, Romney said: "I also want to thank Ann, the love of my life. She would have been a wonderful first lady."
— Steve Peoples — Twitter http://twitter.com/sppeoples
— Kasie Hunt — Twitter http://twitter.com/kasie
EDITOR'S NOTE — Election Watch shows you Election Day 2012 through the eyes of Associated Press journalists. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.