Well, after about 18 months of campaigning, including the Republican primary season, a lot of political rhetoric, nearly three billion (yes, with a B) dollars collectively spent by both campaigns, three presidential debates, dirtier attack ad after dirty attack ad, countless robo-calls to countless households, not to mention all the political mailbox clutter and front door hangers, plus much angst on all sides of the political spectrum, the 2012 presidential election is finally, thankfully over. And the result after all that? Well, aside from all the robo-calls and mailbox stuffers finally and mercifully stopping, it’s status quo ante — pretty much the same as things were before.
So, Obama’s back in the White House, Democrats made small gains in retaining control of the Senate and Republicans made small gains in retaining control of the House. What’s new, Pussycat? All and sundry will claim this election gave them a “mandate,” but although Obama tromped Romney in electoral votes, the popular vote difference of only about two million votes, yielding a mere margin of 50 to 48, and 58 million-plus Americans voting against Obama, despite this year’s turnout being overall less than in 2008, all means no one really has any kind of mandate.
Obama will say, as he already has, that his winning means “the American people approve of my approach” and that he has a mandate to perhaps go even more liberal crazy than we’ve already witnessed. House Speaker Boehner will say, as he already has, that the American people still want fiscal responsibility and less big government interference. Obama will play his hand as if he and his ideology have been validated by winning reelection, whereas Boehner and Republicans would be wise to confront Obama with the fact that now he must make changes to get any cooperation from them and to enhance his presidential “legacy.” Obama’s first four years were largely spent on retaining his own job. His next four years, if he serves all of them, will determine how he is remembered as a president.
Political pundit and former Bill Clinton advisor Dick Morris, who predicted a Romney blowout, now says this: “Obama is the first president in modern times to win re-election by a smaller margin than that by which he was elected in the first place. McKinley, Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, and Clinton all increased their re-election vote share significantly. Obama’s dropped from a 7 point margin over McCain to a 1 point margin over Romney. That he could get re-elected despite his dismal record is a tribute to his brilliant campaign staff and the shifting demographics of America. This is not your father’s United States and the Republican tilt toward white middle aged and older voters is ghettoizing the party so that even bad economic times are not enough to sway the election.” Gee, Dick, wish you could have told us all this before the election. Then, we would really believe you had a crystal ball.
“Because if you don’t have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare voters. If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things.” (Barack Obama, Democratic Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speech, Denver, Colorado, August 28, 2008).
Exactly what Obama denigrated in that 2008 speech is what he, in fact, did to win the 2012 election. He never offered any fresh ideas, only incessant attacks and fear mongering about Romney. He knew he didn’t have a real record to run on, so he hardly mentioned it, instead distracting the public with this or that shiny object, making the election about small things — Romney’s taxes, Romney’s wealth, Romney’s wife’s horse, Big Bird, Binders of Women and Bayonets.
I don’t know if Obama’s success in getting reelected is due as much to his “brilliant campaign staff and the shifting demographics of America,” as Dick Morris said, or, more sadly, to the dumbing down of the electorate who are so easily distracted from the real issues by this or that shiny object and seemingly so increasingly enthusiastic about entitlements and “free stuff.” JFK’s “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country” seems not only long ago, lost in the media’s mystical mist of a Camelot which never really was, but also all but forgotten in today’s entitlement tipping point society.
The only “good” things about Obama getting reelected are that all and everything which Team Obama and its compliant, complicit, liberal lamestream media kicked down the road or hid until after the election are all back on the table now, out from behind the curtain now, and Obama’s got four more years to have to deal with them, while at the same time now having to worry more about his “legacy” as a president than his previous concern of constantly campaigning just to hang onto his own job.
The anemic economy he has to deal with now is his own economy, no longer Bush’s, if it ever really was instead of that of the 2006-2008 Democratically controlled Congress, and Benghazi-gate looms on the congressional investigation horizon and is even finally creeping into the liberal lamestream media coverage, especially now that it’s taken the salacious turn of CIA Director Petraeus’ alleged affair and subsequent resignation, the evolving details of which are equally as conflicting and confusing as Team Obama’s ever-changing Benghazi-gate story.
It’s a shame, after Fox News’ Pulitzer prize worthy and consistent reporting on Benghazi-gate over the last two months, that it seemingly required Benghazi taking a “bimbo turn” for the mainstream media to start showing some interest. Of course, the other reason was that they had to wait until after Obama was reelected, but now they will try to treat it more as a mere sex scandal than the national security breach and possibly criminal negligence incident that it actually was. Just watch the slant of their coverage to see what I mean.
However, I personally don’t think Obama will get to serve out his second term, but we’ll see. Remember, though, you heard it here first as an early “prediction.”
And, if you want to get more “down in the weeds” about why Obama won and Romney lost, Real Clear Politics gives a pretty good and objective rundown of 21 reasons at: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/11/07/21_reasons_for_obamas_victory_and_romneys_defeat_116090.html.