Dickerson on Obama

John Dickerson in Slate:

A few theories of political science were upheld. Debates didn’t change the outcome and late deciding voters don’t break for the challenger. Nine percent of voters said they made up their mind with three days to go, and they broke for the president, 51 percent to Romney’s 44 percent.

In the end, Romney was right. It was all about the economy. But Americans seemed to want more than someone who cares about fixing the problem; they want someone they think cares about them. It was the empathy, stupid. When voters were asked which candidate cared more about then, Obama won more than 80 percent of those voters…

Regardless of what happens in the second term, the president won an enormous victory by protecting his first term’s achievements, particularly the Affordable Care Act, which Romney had promised to repeal. Although he won by slimmer margins, he held on to all but two states he won in 2008. That’s an incredible accomplishment when you consider the economy he has governed over for the past four years. (And the two states he gave back—North Carolina and Indiana—were always expected to fall back into the GOP column.) Politically, there is no reason to believe his second term will be easier than his first. Republicans will call it a tactical victory and look at the close national vote tally to convince themselves that there’s nothing in this election that should cause them to concede ground during the coming budget fight.

Barack Obama won in 2008 as a man who floated above the vast great nation. In 2012, he remade himself into a determined, street-level fighter for the middle-class. During his first campaign, Obama quoted Martin Luther King Jr., who said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” He was the first African-American president in the nation’s history. Now he is the first African-American president to be re-elected. Now that he is freed of the constraints that come from having to get re-elected, the president who put his grand visions on hold to survive, can get back to working on that bend.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: