The election has been over and the fights have already begun. The pundits and the leading political players have been at it for quite some time offering their views of the election, why Barack Obama won and what is the roadmap ahead. I have also seen some commentary in the Orble Community.
I begin with this retrospective the President shared with his Election Team to share his thoughts on Victory:
For a normally reserved man, the strain had shown. The campaign was well run on all fronts. David Axerlod, Jim Messina & David Plouff understood what needed to be done and executed a flawless strategy that focused on the States and assessed through a concerted turnout strategy. This was an snapshot that was done by the Republican Polling Firm Resurrgent Republic:
When Resurgent Republic reported on this analysis, it did not account yet for the formal win In Florida. The total count by the President was 332 Electoral Votes. It was a definite win. As Erick Erickson noted, "....
He did not win by stealing the election. Voter irregularities always happen. It is one reason we support voter ID rules. But even in the worse scenario of reports out there, there were not enough tales of voter irregularities to matter nationwide. .." What I found kind of refershing is how the acknowledgement of the huge win by the President was acknowledged by all. Even Roy Blount, the no.3 US Senate Republican Leader, acknowledged how they were all wrong in how they assessed the election. He won fair and square--and that's the bottom line that all have noted.
After the euphoria of the re-election, it was of course back to work as the United States is facing the so-called "fiscal cliff" of tax increases and spending cuts. The day after saw the beginning of the postmortems. I have seen a realization by some of the leading lights in the Republican Party about how they have to change fully realizing that America has changed. Many of the so-called pundits (including Newt Gingrich and DIck Morris) recognized how wrong they were. However, Karl Rove has not seemed to understand that and has even doubled down. His Super Pac spent over 150 Million Dollars and had basically nothing to show for it. His saving grace was that it could have been worst.
Some leading lights lost. One of the stalwarts of the Tea Party, Allen West, lost his seat. The Mack Family (both Mary Bono Mack and Connie Mack) lost their seats. If the 2010 redistricting had not occurred, The Democrats would have taken the House Back. They were able to increase their hold on the US Senate though. Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader, was not in real trouble--but as Joe Scarborough of MSNBC's morning Joe noted, he has a lot to think about since Virginia was won by the President.
Some of the apparent aspirants to the Office in 2016 have begun distancing themselves already from the failed election of 2012. Bobby Jindhal, the Governor of Louisiana, has begun this process by noting that the American Electroate must not be divided and Republicans have to be an inclusive party. I have seen statements like "stopping being the stupid party" which provides further hope that there is this opportunity for a transformation and a genuine attempt to transform the Republican Party. Michael Steele, the former Chair of the Party, was as frustrated as any Republican as I had seen. David Frum, George W. Bush's former Speechwriter who was deemed a RINO (Republican in Name Only) for years noted how the so-called Conservative Entertainment Complex had taken over the Conservative Movement as epitomized by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.
Some of the players in the House seem to think that many of the ideas the Republicans campaigned on continues to hold water--despite the election. Paul Ryan noted as such as he said that the Country voted for "divided government". John Boehner has also again signaled that he is not ready for a deal on Taxes. Boehner noted how "reasonable" he was and how the President knew it. I laughed at it in light of what they did when their unwillingness to negotiate drove the US to the edge of default. I also am amazed by Mitch McConnell. He seems not to have realized that there was an election. Peter Hartcher of the Sydney Morning Herald noted how Superman (aka Barack Obama) had 54 days to save the World and how his biggest challenge was to deal with the terrorist cell otherwise known as the US Congress. Although I have profound reservations about calling the US Congress a Terrorist Cell, I wondered after the latest rhetoric coming out of US House especially as they staked out their positions in anticipation of discussions on the "fiscal cliff". MItch McConnell may also have a fight on his hands if Ashley Judd decided to challenge him for his Seat in 2014.
As the "Civil War" within the Republican Party has begun, Mitt Romney held a conference call where he noted that the reason the President won was because of the "Gifts" he had given to key constituencies. Romney managed to antagonize everyone. What was striking is how he did not realize his own shortcomings throughout the campaign. The audio was captured and played on US Media. Many leading Republican Lights rejected the notion and underscored again how it is the Republicans who have to change as the Country has changed.
The World has breathed a sigh of relief when the election was decided. . There are many challenges that continue to remain though. The Middle East right now continues to burn. China is in the midst of a leadership transfer and presents profound challenges to the United States. Congressional hearings on Benghazi have begun and there are calls for a Select Committee to investigate it all. David Petreaus, the former Director and retired General, is slated to testify after having resigned due to his personal indiscretion. I caught excerpts of the hearing whereby the Republicans are claiming that the Obama Administration lied.
It is going to be quite a show..
Released to http://www.outsiderviews.com 11/15/2012