I do congratulate President Obama on his re-election, and since graciousness is the better part of valor, I do hope that President Obama has learned that being the victor in the battle for the presidency, that he doesn’t carry forth with the phrase he used after he was first elected in 2008 by stating that “we won, you lost”, and that he and the Republicans can reach some sort of bi-partisan consensus for the good of our country. To the other phrase, “to the victor goes the spoils”, that can be used by him as he is the winner, but if he really wants to heal a divided nation, that’s where graciousness comes in and meaningful leadership follows.
My analysis of how Romney grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory, might go something like this.
Romney had to go through a bruising primary contest whereby some of the arguments used against him by his fellow Republicans were picked up and used by Obama in defining Romney, rightfully or wrongly. The characterization of Romney as being a heartless, evil, venture capitalist businessman, who couldn’t relate to the “average Joe” seemed to have taken hold and for which Romney was unable to shake for the rest of the campaign.
Since Obama’s lackluster record or performance as president was not mentioned by Obama (which was the right thing to do on his part), he went after Romney personally in all the battleground states, where millions of dollars were spent in attack ads on Romney. Unfortunately for Romney, it seemed to have worked.
After the first debate, it seemed that the tide had turned and Romney was shown to be not the “monster” he was portrayed to be, besides being very knowledgeable about the issues. He had Obama on the ropes, but, looking back, he mistakenly tried to carry that positive advantage throughout the rest of the campaign by not confronting Obama on his vulnerabilities, like Fast and Furious, Benghazi, and his adversarial relationship with Israel. Since he didn’t remind the voters of these negatives about Obama’s performance, or lack thereof, he couldn’t rely on a probing unbiased media to do that job, as they were “in the tank” for Obama, just like they were in 2008. Once he left Obama off the hook, we had a natural disaster, named hurricane Sandy, which hit the East Coast and caused a tremendous amount of damage. This tragedy was ripe for the President to use the office of the presidency to act like a president should look, by showing concern and compassion. Unfortunately for Romney, his campaign went off the radar, and with his most valuable surrogate, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, praising Obama profusely and embracing him for his assistance in getting aid for his state, that gave Obama’s image an enormous boost as being a competent president. I don’t blame Christie for thanking Obama for getting aid to his devastated state, but his over-the-top effusive praise was not what Romney needed.
Of course, we can all be “Monday morning quarterbacks” and point out what coulda, shoulda, or woulda been done differently, but that’s how the cookie crumbles. The Obama campaign of appealing to all minorities and mobilizing them to get out and vote, the rallying of the 18 to 30 year olds, and his somewhat dubious “war on women” to attract women in general and single women in particular, by using fear in claiming that Romney wanted to do away with a woman’s “reproductive rights”, turned the tide for Obama against Romney. Also, the two Republican senatorial candidates who made some unfortunate references about women, didn’t help Romney one bit. It doesn’t matter whether it was true or not, it worked and it gave Obama four more years in the White House.
Although I don’t like the outcome of the election, I must accept the result and hope that Obama now realizes that you can get much more accomplished with “honey” rather than “vinegar“. For the sake of our great country and my family, I hope he is successful during his second term.
Conservative commentary by Chuck Lehmann