It’s now a week after a heart-breaking loss to a president who, above all else, knows how to campaign. And he knows how to divide and, unfortunately, he knows how to quilt. The president quilted together disparate elements to make enough of a majority to get himself re-elected.
It was the ugliest campaign I ever saw, but it worked. At what cost? That has yet to be determined. Certainly he has degraded the process of running for this highest office. I’ve seen some vicious mud-slinging for congressional seats, but I’ve never seen a president declare of his opponent, as Obama did, “he’s not one of us.” And that was one of the nicer accusations he made.
So the president won, though he did it with almost 8 million fewer votes. He did it by attacking Romney with such dark abandon that he scared moderates away. Democrats voted in this election. Republicans voted. Moderates stayed home. That was the dark genius of the Obama 2012 campaign, demonize, demonize, demonize and suppress voter turnout. As Michael Medved has asserted, low voter turnout almost always favors the incumbent.
But President Obama now faces four more years in a job that he didn’t particularly seem to enjoy. Except for the golf.
Not only that, he is losing his Secretary of State, his Director of Central Intelligence, and many of his most senior advisers. He faces the fiscal cliff, which is not going to be an easy situation to resolve, and he faces an economy that is in a decided downturn. When new taxes kick in next year and Obamacare in 2014, he may be facing an economic disaster.
Yes, the president won re-election, but that doesn’t mean he should celebrate. There’s a lot of work to be done, and I don’t believe he’s up to the task. We’ll see.