Many are rejoicing, about 49% are commiserating, and some are just saying, “Thank God it’s over”. So, before we move onto the Next Best Thing in our fast-paced lives. Here’s a quick sum up of the drama that was the 2012 U.S. Election
The election came down largely to 3 states where it was 260,000 individual votes (out of 17million voters) that swung it. That’s not a huge landslide (as the final 303 Obama to 206 electoral votes suggest). It was close and this narrow margin persisted for many hours during the collection of poll data. Hence, Karl Rove disagreed with all other pundits (inc. his employer, Fox News) when they called the election for Obama so early in the voting day:
However, with Obama, and his fellow Democrats’, questionable record of the past 4+ years (official unemployment still at 7.8% but real up at 19.9%, debt ceiling from $6 trillion to $16 trillion, 3 massive Quantitative Easings, annual Deficit from $160 bil to $1 trill), it was Romney’s to win. He didn’t though, so why?
Here’s a couple of very good and insightful, post-match, synopses videos. If you want more vitriolic opinions choose the CBC, CNN or CBS networks. They emphasise the Race Card, namely that “Romney was not Latino enough”, which is a fair point, but marginal and disseminating. If you want deeper soul searching choose Laura Ingraham or Bill O’Reilly of Fox News (Romney’s soul backer among the big US media networks). Race is an issue, but minor and one that the Democrats push constantly to deflect interest from uncomfortable, “real” issues such as the failing economy and unpopular Obamacare. Romney should have answered Race issues, yes, but moved the dialogue back to the serious real agenda. He, and his team, failed there:
Ingraham says: lack of focus by Romney on unpopular Obamacare
“Romney avoided pressing the president on certain issues, including Obamacare, “So, in the end, we were left with a businessman who had a Bain experience that the Left was able to caricature.”
Ad hominen, caricaturing is the Democrats forte and admittedly the Republicans are terrible at responding to it. Thus, it was very effective in influencing the perceptions of the electorate. A win to the perhaps hilarious, but essentially meaningless, ad campaigns. Poor old Big Bird just ended up being collateral damage in one particular favourite.
O’Reilly says: lack of focus by Romney on the Benghazi cover up
“Romney failed to press the president on the Libya attack. “It’s not just about Libya. It’s about honest representation in the Oval Office and it’s about effective anti-terror measures… Hurricane Sandy is [also] to blame, because it took Romney off the news cycle in the days leading up to Election Day. If Mitt Romney had a guy as smart as Obama’s chief strategist David Axelrod, the governor would be celebrating tonight”
The window of opportunity was open to Romney for a short while from the 3rd Presidential debate until Hurricane Sandy. Obama was saved by the Sandy bell, it took the heat off the politic issues and gave him a chance to look presidential in a crisis. However, during that window of opportunity if Romney struck home and put Obama’s credibility under serious scrutiny by pushing home the Benghazi cover-up. Voting and history, in general, may well have been different…
Romney and his campaign team played it safe and low-key. Presumably in the hope that the American public were just looking for a viable alternative to vote for instead of their under-performing incumbent, President Obama. Don’t make any big mistakes and the protest votes and desire for a new direction to solve the US economic malaise will hand you victory. However, this softly softly approach may have made Romney look indecisive and the fact that pretty much all natural disasters are good for leaders swung it for Obama in the last few days.
It looks like we’re going to get more of the same from America. Unfortunately, unless President Obama dramatically changes tact, I can see this GFC unnecessarily lingering on for a while to come.