Election 2012 Recap

Well, that was fun! Especially the part where Mitch McConnell’s stated goal of “making Obama a one-term president” went up in a popular and electoral college cloud of smoke. By the way, the best line of the night for me was Megyn Kelly on FOX News to Karl Rove when he futilely argued against the network calling Ohio for Obama: “Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better?” Priceless.

I said it when President Obama kicked off his re-election in April 2011 and when the Republicans began jockeying for the nomination: 2012 was going to make 2008 look like a walk in the park and the Republicans, believing that the economy was the key to defeating Obama, weren’t going to risk what they truly felt was a good chance to regain the White House on anyone but Mitt Romney (even though I initially thought Tim Pawlenty would be a formidable contender). And that’s exactly how things played out leading up to Election Day 2012. By the way, just for fun, Romney should go on Letterman now and bring along copies of his tax returns for the last 10 years.

Sony Studios; Culver City, CA

Who can remember such names as Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels and clown-ass Donald rhymes with Chump actually giving serious thought to running for the Republican nomination? Desperate party leaders and fundraisers even pushed the idea of Jeb Bush aka the “Smart Brother” but he knew that his last name would doom him so soon after ‘Dubya’s sterling run (and maybe forever) and eliminate any chance of victory so he wisely sat it out.

Only the economy, lingering racial anger and a still curiously poor performance in the first debate by President Obama kept this race as close as it turned out to be. I mean, if they had tried, could the Republicans have come up with a worse group of primary candidates than the ones that ran this year? Take a stroll for a moment with me down Memory Lane as we could consider the motley crew of GOPers who actually ran for president this year: Michele “Skills” Bachmann, Herman “Where Da White Women At?” Cain, Newt “Three Wives and Counting” Gingrich, Jon “Benedict Arnold” Huntsman, Ron “Senior Crazy” Paul, Tim “White Bread” Pawlenty, Rick “Oops” Perry, and my personal favorite because he was just flat-out insane with righteous anger and indignation, Rick “The N-Word Wants To Send Your Kids To College” Santorum. The sight of angry white people applauding Santorum when he, a man with THREE COLLEGE DEGREES, derided the idea of Americans going to college was sad and hilarious at the same time. Forget the fact that he lied about what President Obama actually said about higher education and training; what struck me then and stays in my mind now was the outrage shown by his supporters that a black man would actually be in favor of their children getting an education beyond high school – “Nobody, especially not a black man, is going to tell me what my kids need to do!” Unfreaking believable and believable at the same time.

The fact that President Obama was re-elected with relatively weak economic numbers is a testament to his overall goodness, decency, competency, political skill and likability as much as anything. Sure, he didn’t accomplish everything he promised or talked about during the ’08 campaign, but his steadfastness in doing such things as healthcare reform, saving the auto industry, ending combat operations in Iraq and moving to do so in Afghanistan, stood in stark contrast to Mitt Romney’s craven and desperate attempts to convince Republicans that he’s a “severe conservative” during the primaries and then con Americans into believing that he wasn’t during the general election. You may not like everything Barack Obama’s done and believes in, but at least Americans know what he stands for and believes in.

Sarah Palin in ’08 and Paul Ryan in ‘12. Somewhere Dan Quayle is kicking back with a cold one and laughing his dumbass off. “You people thought I was unqualified to be VP? Ha! These two nitwits make me look like a Roads Scholar.” (Misspelling intended).

I hated the fact that President Obama needed to be validated to some white people by Bill Clinton, but hey, winning this election was so important that I can overlook the irony of America’s least moral president in modern history vouching for the most moral one.

Then there’s this. Most Americans love the Obama family and that meant a lot in this election.

Barack and his Angels

Michelle Obama was a much more likable and relatable surrogate for her husband than Ann Romney was for hers. Ann Romney’s occasional flashes of anger and contempt for the average American, coupled with Mitt’s general discomfort and distaste with everyday life, made them the least likely First Couple this country could have ever had.

Today, the GOP is facing a crisis within its ranks as it tries to figure out which way to go from here. While many elected officials, leaders and pundits call for a different approach that includes reaching out to Latinos, women and younger voters with a new message of inclusion and less focus on social issues, some insist that Republicans must not change their core principles ever. House Speaker John Boehner is trying to get his membership to-fall-in-line but no one, not even he, knows how that will turn out. Boehner’s biggest problem is that truth be told, he’s not as conservative as he’s been forced to act and he’s not the future of his party in the way that Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio are (or hope to be).

Karl Rove and his Super PAC ilk, unleashed by one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in modern history, threw a LOT of money at President Obama and while they did succeed in retaining the House, they lost seats in the Senate and gained absolutely nothing with women and minority voters across the country. Demographically, they’re losing ground with every single group except white men over 50 and that’s a rapidly shrinking base. More women and openly gay candidates were elected last Tuesday than ever before. Somewhere, somehow, the GOP has to figure out a way to remain relevant on a national basis and do it before the mid-term elections of 2014.

On the other side of the aisle, Democrats face the task of identifying the successor to Barack Obama and in my opinion, that doesn’t include Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton. We’ve seen our last “old” (over 60) president and Democrats, unlike the Lakers who are apparently going back to the future with Phil Jackson once again, need to look forward with up and coming leaders such as Andrew Cuomo, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Deval Patrick. The Congressional Black Caucus needs to identify up and coming new leaders across the country who can appeal to voters beyond the traditional black districts which are also shrinking.

The best and most important thing about Tuesday’s results is that they proved that ’08 wasn’t a fluke after all. Voting for Obama four years ago was easy and thrilling. Who didn’t want to be a part of history? But 2012 was a grind-it-out re-election campaign that featured an incumbent struggling with economic recovery and job creation that wasn’t big and fast enough for many. And the fact that he won against a businessman with a track record of wealth creation if not job creation is simply amazing, even with all of Mitt Romney’s weaknesses.

Every single future office seeker would be wise to learn Spanish and support the Dream Act, embrace the rights of gays and lesbians, accept a woman’s right to choose, be digital media savvy and support affordable college and vocational education for all Americans. Or get left behind.

I am heartened and relieved by the re-election of Barack Hussein Obama II because I truly believe that America and the world are better off for it.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

David Petraeus – pussy claims another victim.

Is it just me or does Katie Holmes look “normal” again?

Lakers can’t and won’t be saved by re-hiring Phil Jackson because the path to the NBA championship no longer runs through Staples Center.

ONE LAST TIME JUST FOR THE HELL OF IT

FINALLY

Dear America, thank you for keeping at least one black man employed this year. I, the girls, my mom and Bo really appreciate four more years of government housing and food, chauffeured ground transportation and private flights on Air Force One and Marine One. Peace out, Michelle Obama aka FLOTUS.”

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