2012 Election Final Thoughts


Obama is in for hell 2012-2014

The incumbent won by 100 electoral votes, but his victory on November 6th absolutely doesn’t guarantee any of his policies going forward will be equally as victorious.  Just as it was in 2010, the 2012 elections delivered America a Democratic president, a Democratic led Senate, and a Republican led House.  This is the first “status quo” election since 2004.  The lingering memory of the 112th Congress was petty gridlock, asinine partisanship, and a complete lack of any compromise.  As pathetic as it was, possibly nothing could change in the 113th Congress since all the major players are exactly the same.  Part of Obama’s campaign platform was promises to tackle the vexing taxes issue (increased taxes on the rich with no changes to those in the middle class), implement a few spending cuts, and reform the entitlement programs (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security) without adversely affecting their dependents.  If the two parties don’t become more civil, and very quickly, he’ll be lucky to pass even the smallest bill during his second term.

 

Let the games begin!

 

Romney was the worst candidate ever for 2012

I think Mitt Romney is a good guy who means well, but he was the absolute worst candidate to run against Obama in 2012.  Obama was one of the most vulnerable incumbent presidents in history, and it took a major undertaking by the GOP to not defeat him.  Let’s look at Romney’s warts:

  • He is a multimillionaire corporate tycoon when the country is in the midst of a major recession
  • He pays less of a tax rate than most common citizens at a time when people think they pay too many taxes
  • He is the head of a party that has recently said some very discouraging things about women in a period when women have never been more upward mobile and independent
  • He is the face of a party that hasn’t embraced the country’s largest growing demographic … Hispanics
  • In an era of who can talk the loudest and be most controversial, he is steady, even tempered, and calm

None of those things are his fault, but they all add up to reasons why some people just could not see themselves voting for him.

 

 

Only a few states matter, this is sad

Thanks to extreme partisanship, the presidential election was decided by a handful of swing states.  If one didn’t live in Florida, Ohio, Virginia, or Pennsylvania, their vote was a bit less than sought after.  It’s somewhat sad that pundits can know years before an election which states will have any bearing on the final outcome.  In addition, candidates spend the majority of their time and money in a few localized areas, so the campaigning isn’t truly national anymore.  The Electoral College is necessary because a straight popular votes just wouldn’t work, but in some sense it’s much like a college student studying to pass a test, not to actually gain a better knowledge of insight into the material.  Citizens in swing states know Obama and Romney’s platforms up and down, but everyone else is left out in the cold.

 

GOP primary did Romney no favors

As most of the country becomes more and more moderate, GOP candidates have to counter-intuitively become more conservative to win their party’s nomination.  Romney’s track record shows him to be a moderate Republican, however he had to change his tune to even get a chance to take on Obama.  On several issues he had to position himself further right than Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, and/or Rick Santorum.  This works well when talking to the party’s base, but did him no favors on election night.  Losing the Hispanic vote by about 60 points is all tied into his remarks made during the GOP Primaries.  His stance during the national race was far more center based, but he couldn’t erase the self-deportation stance he took during the debates against his own comrades.  Moreover, the damage the GOP candidates inflicted upon themselves was ample ammunition for the Dems to pounce on once they had an opponent.  Most of the homework done to disparage Romney’s status (about his taxes, his tenure at Bain, his immigration stance, and the Massachusetts healthcare bill) was done during the primaries, not by the Democrats.  I image for the 2016 election, the GOP will significantly reduce their debate number from a bloated 20 to something much more reasonable.  Lastly, Romney couldn’t spend any RNC money until he officially won the party’s nomination.  This unceremoniously took much longer than it should have as Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul refused to admit defeat when it was all but certain.

 

Sifting through this mess of candidates may have cost Romney the election

 

Talk of GOP demise extremely premature

The Republican party is far from dead.  They lost the presidential election popular vote by only 2.2%, they still own the House, and have a healthy majority of the nation’s governors.  Looking forward to 2016, the GOP seems to be better poised for success than the Democrats.  Politicians are not foolish people.  Leaders of the GOP will find a way to attract Latins and females in the coming elections because they know they need to.  Courting blacks was never necessary because it is a minority group that is neither growing nor influential.  The same cannot be said for Hispanics, and single women.


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