Tag: 2012

Four More Years

 

A week after the 2012 election, things feel back to normal. There
are no more TV ads telling us the other guys are all awful, no pollster phone
calls or political e-mail blitzes (Don’t worry, Black Friday is coming soon!),
no more Facebook virtual throw downs and no more questions about how much we
love America.

 

But in one important respect, I think things are really
different. For the past four years, I’ve had people telling me that Barack
Obama’s election was a fluke or an accident or a bizarre mistake. Yes, lots of
things went Obama’s way in 2008. Yes, he had some good luck. But I’ve tried
convincing folks that electing a Black man named Barack Hussein Obama President
of the United States went way beyond any Providence. I have always believed
2008 was a harbinger of things to come. I think that’s even clearer now.

 

For four years, Obama has been lied about, ridiculed,
threatened and slandered more than anyone could have reasonably anticipated. Questions
about every aspect of his life have been raised and accepted as fact by large
swaths of the public even when the questions were internally inconsistent, even
when they literally could not have been true. Americans had to see their
President demeaned and belittled, not because of what he did but because of who
he is.

 

The easiest, simplest way to stop all that would have been to elect Mitt
Romney last week. America could have gone back to having a President who looks
all the other Presidents. We could have stopped the hate parade in its tracks
and breathed a sigh of relief that the vicious, race based attacks would go
away for awhile. We could have said, ‘Okay, enough.’

 

Instead, we re-elected Obama. Despite the dire predictions
from the left and the overwhelming confidence
of the Romney campaign, Obama won a decisive victory. (I call it a Nixon
landslide.) America chose to go in the direction of the man who sings Al Green, embraces
gay marriage and welcomes
the children of undocumented immigrants. I am convinced that this election was
about more than Democrats and Republicans. It was about more than changing demographics
and the 47%. It was even about much more than Romney and Obama.

 

This election was about the future of America. A future of less
division and more integration. A future of fewer lies and
harder truths. A future of holding hands but not clenching fists. This is the
future we need. This is the future we want. And this is the future we are
choosing.

 

So no, thank God, things are not back to normal. But I think
I’m gonna like the new normal a whole lot more.

 

 

FDO

 

 

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Four Days Out

 

I’m
lucky enough to work in an environment in which politics gets discussed
frequently, thoughtfully and kindly. One consequence of that environment is
that I’ve been asked to update my Electoral College prediction for next week’s
Presidential Election so here it is: I see the most likely outcome as Obama
332- Romney 206. That margin of victory would decisively outpace the popular
vote difference between the candidates by reflecting many close wins for Obama in
swing states but Romney landslides in deep red states.

 

I
think Obama’s EC vote total could range anywhere from 277 to 358. That’s a
lotta swing. I’m on the high end of this projection because I anticipate the
most important late leans are all moving toward the President. Early voting, Hurricane
Sandy, first time voters, Romney's rebuke by the auto industry and the unpolled masses… if there will be voting
benefits from any of those realities, Obama will get them.

 

332
reflects my thinking that states like Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin
will almost certainly go blue. New Hampshire, Colorado and Iowa are very likely
to do so as well. And states like Florida and Virginia have a decent chance to
stay in the President’s column. Even North Carolina and Indiana have an outside
chances of sliding away from Romney in his worst case scenario.

 

Today,
Politico’s swing state map suggests that the
race will end up 290-248 for Obama. My guesses that both Virginia and Florida go
for Obama lead to my 332 prediction. Three things stand out to me in looking at
this map.

 

One-
This map is only about polling averages. No other factors are used.

Two- Florida and
Virginia are gravy states for the President. A few months ago, everyone assumed
those states would be critical battlegrounds. In fact, Romney announced his
choice of Paul Ryan in Virginia for that very reason.

Three- Perhaps, most
amazing, Politico’s current projection means Obama could lose Ohio and still
win the election!

 

Had you told Mitt Romney six weeks ago that he would win
Ohio but lose the White House, he would have been heartsick. If my prediction
holds up, at least he won’t have to wonder if he could have done something
differently. There’s always a silver lining.

 

 

FDO

 

Free the Libertarian!

 

It was reported last month that Gary Johnson had decided against creating a 3rd party candidacy as a Libertarian. I was surprised that Johnson would rule out that option because it seemed clear that Johnson’s one chance at a prominent national position is creating a 3rd party campaign. Now, apparently, that’s all changed and Johnson will run after all. It’s going to make the 2012 election more interesting to have Johnson involved.

 

Gary Johnson won’t win the Presidency this year but that’s ok. What he needs is not a win but relevance.  As a 3rd party candidate, Johnson will have a chance to receive increased media attention, substantial fundraising, a debate presence and the potential to launch a 2016 GOP candidacy with a chance of success.

 

I’m convinced many Ron Paul supporters will shift their allegiance to Johnson (and that Paul will encourage them to do so) as a Libertarian and he will gain more than 5% of the national vote next November. If that happens, Johnson will be the primary frontrunner for the GOP nomination in 2016 (followed up by Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Marco Rubio/Bobby Jindal), a position impossible for Johnson to achieve without making this run.

 

Now, Johnson’s run will cement Obama’s re-election bid next fall but will also supply the GOP with a ready made excuse for failure.  The GOP will be so desperate to regain the White House in the 2016 election cycle that Johnson will be warmly welcomed back into the fold. At this point, there’s virtually no downside for Johnson and lots of potential gain.

 

I imagine Johnson’s candidacy will also help enhance the 2012 campaign conversations involved in determining the direction of national issues like human rights, education initiatives and drug policies. Considering the present likelihood of personal attacks and partisan views in one on one debates, I’ll be excited to have Johnson’s voice moderating the tone of the political conversations.

 

Well, I can hope at least!

 

FDO