WASHINGTON, November 11, 2012 – Since Election Night, Mitt Romney’s loss has been discussed, criticized, excused and reviewed from every angle. But it may not have been the loss, but the win that is the story.
President Obama’s win can be attributed to a supportive media, saavy social networking, an energized base on the ground, and the eerie timing of a game-changing natural disaster.
Then there are the things that eroded Romney’s ‘not too bad chance’ to win – his immigration policy, the women’s vote, and Hurricane Sandy.
President Obama received 71% of the Hispanic vote compared to Romney’s 27%. Romney’s poorly defined and articulated immigration policy cost the Hispanic vote, while Obama’s campaign wizards crunched the numbers, canvassing the voting districts, and producing, once again a brilliant ground game, especially with the Hispanic vote.
Then there are America’s clearly changing demographics that seemed to determine elections outcomes far more than political ideology. Romney-Ryan’s sexual and social politics hurt them badly, causing them to lose the affection of moderate, and even center-right women.
Many agree with the conservative impulses and efforts to recover from the harm wrought by a long era of relativism. But as the campaign unfolded, it became impossible for Romney-Ryan to articulate toward sensitive women’s issues, like, abortion, in the broken atmosphere spawned by the likes of Akin and Mourdock.
The poisonous line of thinking from these men alienated the Romney team from women, particularly younger women.
At the end of the day, Hurricane Sandy did the most to save Obama, earning him a second term in office.
While Sandy destroyed lives, killed Americans and, to this day, nearly two weeks later, still has residents of New York and New Jersey living in hell, it was a photo op and distraction tailor made for a candidate needing to divert public attention from recent failings.
1. Sandy allowed Obama to look like a savior for the destitute, giving the gift of photo ops of big hugs and bigger smiles. Platitudes about getting out of the mess “together” combined to help tilt the undecided vote his way. Interesting to note, the President has not returned to New Jersey, or the previously ignored New York with the Staten Island and Rockaway neighborhoods.
2. Sandy allowed Americans to feel positive about the role and necessity for big government as Big Government appeared to be there to save the day.
3. Sandy took the voters minds off of “the issues,” the economy and Benghazi to name two, reverting the vote back to “personalities” while giving Obama photo-ops that any politician could only dream of.
4. Chris Christie, the appointed heart and soul of the Republican party, became an eloquent and exquisite pitchman for Obama. It is possible that Governor Christie did more for Obama than Bill Clinton did. Christie and Sandy allowed Obama to don the identity of great conciliator, “rising above partisan politics,” and “reaching across the aisle.”
5. Finally, the overwhelming extent of Sandy’s horrors and devastation, handily removed from the public’s attention from the atrocious and grievous Benghazi scandal, and did so right at election time, when steady and continued scrutiny would have caused damage with the undecided.
Again, a break that Obama could only dream of.
All in all the election seemed influenced by matters beyond either candidate’s control. Romney-Ryan did well to make the poor record of Obama’s first four years clear to voters. They were polite but strong on the problems that abound in Obama’s both domestic and foreign policy.
And they did not shy away from bringing forward scandals of the very serious sort that cast dark shadows over Obama.
But who could have guessed that a darkness of a very different sort, the clouds of Sandy, and the powerless homes in New Jersey, would give the incumbent all that a politician could ever hope for.
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