It is amazing how close the anecdotal survey mentioned at the end of my last post came to predicting the 2.2% popular vote plurality for Obama (only a tenth of a percent off). I wonder how many professional polling pontificators were as accurate! Assume Florida is finally called for Obama, and that seems most likely at this point, the final Electoral College tabulation will be 332 for Obama vs. Romney's 206. Here the survey of 289 vs. 249 was too pessimistic, although calling the winner.
This was no mandate for Obama, nor should it be. His political campaign of 2008 underestimated the depths of the economic crisis and the ability of a mere President to affect meaningful economic change. Too many promises were made, indeed. Perhaps he has a more sober view of reality with the onset of his second term.
Looking at the results vs. 2008 clearly shows that the American public is dissatisfied with the status quo. Obama's popular plurality in 2008 was 52.93% or 2.63% more than 2012. That doesn't sound like much except when you look at the absolute vote itself, with Obama getting 9.6 million less votes than in 2008. Less people voted, showing the disenfranchisement of the country as a whole. We are all sick of the shenanigans of both parties.
But if Obama is listening, hopefully they are across the aisle as well. Senate's Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's gave an ominous post election speech saying, "They [the American public] gave President Obama a second chance to fix the problems that even he admits he failed to solve during his first four years in office, and they preserved Republican control of the House of Representatives...Now it's time for the president to propose solutions that actually have a chance of passing the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and a closely divided Senate, step up to the plate on the challenges of the moment, and deliver in a way that he did not in his first four years in office...To the extent he wants to move to the political center, which is where the work gets done in a divided government, we'll be there to meet him half way."
It sounds like more of the same. Will Senator McConnell and Representative Boehner get the message as well? Boehner said "The American people also made clear there's no mandate for raising tax rates." Doesn't sound encouraging that Boehner is still drawing a line in the sand that there can be no tax increases in any compromise. Another game of chicken with the fiscal cliff and the debt ceiling? Any sane person knows this cannot be merely addressed with spending cuts. There will have to be some tax increases, a more progressive tax scale such as in the Clinton era. Our economy did fine then, why not now? Ok, guys, time to compromise. The election results seem to be shouting that message.
Antidote du jour...