Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Did Sandy Prove The Election Was Never About Romney?

Tales would like to submit this contrarian theory of the reason for the election victory by president Obama.  This is not put out with 100% confidence, but just as a very plausible theory on the results of 2012 presidential election.

Because of the very bad economic conditions in the country, conditions in which no president [who faced even close to those conditions ] since the great depression had been re-elected,  the popular theory was that the country wanted to make a change but they had to be convinced that the challenger Romney could stand up to the job [i.e., look presidential in the eyes of the electorate]. They used as their model the Ronald Reagan vs. Jimmy Carter election.  Jimmy Carter had similar bad economic conditions in the country when he ran for election. The consensus then was that the people were ready to make a change  but they weren't convinced that challenger Ronald Reagan was up to the job.  After an awesome debate performance by Ronald Reagan they saw that the challenger was definitely up to the job as he looked very presidential.  Ronald Reagan never looked back as he won in a landslide victory.

Forward to 2012. In most polls [as reflected by the Real Clear Politics listing of polls] president Obama had a close but clear lead [in the popular vote and electoral college vote] before the first debate between Mitt Romney and the president.  Pundits said the people were holding back their support for Romney waiting to see if he could present himself as a plausible alternative to President Obama. So, when Romney gave an amazing boffo performance in the first debate, the pundits said that's what the American people were waiting for. That theory was bolstered by the polls that followed that first debate as Romney began to surge and he actually took the lead over Obama.  Some people forget that on October 18, just over two weeks before the election Romney had finally and for the first time taken the electoral lead [206-201] in the Real Clear Politics average.  He also took a slight lead in the popular polls. And we have this from Fox News.com: "The national Gallup survey, which is based on a seven-day rolling average and was updated Thursday, showed Romney leading 52-45 percent. At the start of October, he was tied with Obama at 48 percent each".   This proved, many said, that what happened with Ronald Reagan was now occurring with Mitt Romney as he has presented himself as a reasonable alternative to president Obama and the people were given a reason to change the president who was presiding over such a terrible economy. The country wanted a change and now they had someone to turn to.

If that is the case, then why did the country re-elect president Obama? Romney made himself look presidential in that first debate and he did nothing to change that perception during the rest of the campaign. In fact, if you can remember the great Dr. Charles Krauthammer had made comments to the effect that Mitt Romney was making this a campaign about big issues and president Obama was being very small.  If, because of the bad economy, the country really wanted to make a change in leadership, then Mitt Romney would have won the election. 

That is why I would like to submit this contrarian theory: The American people who had made an historical election in 2008 [foolishly in my opinion] by electing the first black president of the United States, were not looking to make a change in 2012 [because of the economy]. They were instead looking for the president to give them any reason to re-elect him.  In other words, the electorate did not want to fire the first black president of the United States whom they had elected four years earlier.

The American people, in my contrarian theory, didn't give a boost in the polls to Romney because of his great first debate performance, but rather they demoted president Obama because of his incredibly weak performance. They wanted and were hoping to see anything from the president so they could keep him on.  He failed to give it to them and unless he could change that perception, they would reluctantly [in the words of Clint Eastwood] "have to let him go".  To put it another way, everyone was thinking the public was looking for Romney to make himself look presidential in order to make a change. Rather, a majority of the public was looking for president Obama to make himself  look presidential so they could keep him in office.

Then just a week before the election came Hurricane Sandy. Now, in my opinion, the president did nothing special or great in regards to Hurricane Sandy except show up for a photo op in New Jersey but, unfortunately, this was not the opinion of the majority of Americans.  They looked at a president who finally looked presidential and with the help from words from Republican NJ governor Chris Christie, did a "wonderful, magnificent" job.  Finally the people were given something that changed the perception of the president from the first debate and they could do what they wanted to do all along-i.e., re-elect him.  President Obama had finally looked presidential in their eyes.

If the "Tales" theory is correct than this election had nothing to do with Romney, and it had all to do about Obama.  I think all of the criticism of Romney from all sides is unwarranted because the election was out of Romney's hands.  The country that turned the 2008 into an historical election, were not about to admit their mistake in 2012 by firing that guy they had put in there unless they had to.  To me and most conservatives in this country there was way more than ample reasons to fire president Obama, but unbelievably and agonizingly that was a minority view. I believe a majority of the American people made a foolish decision that will prove to be very detrimental to this country [now and in the future] and those same people that made that decision will be harmed by their choice, but it is the choice they made.

Everyone, including me, talked about the demographics of the election; but those groups that voted for Obama in 2008 election, in such high percentages, blacks, Hispanics, youth, unmarried woman and very surprisingly to me-Asian Americans did so again in 2012.  They did so, in my opinion, not because of the weakness of Romney in giving them a reason to vote for him, but because they did not want to fire the first black president they had put in there just four years earlier.

The left and the liberal Republicans say if only Romney had changed his message to be more "moderate" he could have won more unmarried women and Hispanics.  Oh, really?   Is there anyone who thinks if Mitt Romney had come out in favor of abortion at any time that would have changed one woman's vote?  Or if Mitt Romney had come out with full amnesty and citizenship for all illegal immigrants that would have changed the Hispanic vote?  Then you have those on the right that say if Romney was just more articulate in his conservative views he would have brought out conservatives that refused to vote for him because he wasn't conservative enough.  I think that is just as crazy thinking.  If there was any conservative who didn't vote in this election because they didn't think there would be much difference between an Obama presidency and a Romney presidency, than in my opinion they were not really conservatives and nothing Romney could have done would have brought them out to vote. You might have had some libertarians [who try and say they are conservatives] not come out and vote for Romney, but some of their positions are closer to liberal positions than conservative.  Romney was for a strong military and strength in foreign policy, and those libertarians that didn't vote for Romney would have never supported him because of that.

So, to answer the question posed by "Tales" in the title of this post, I do think that Sandy proved that this election was never about Romney and it was always about Obama.

If this theory is correct than that gives great hope to the GOP and conservatives in future elections because never again will there be such an historic election [as in 2008] or having to fire the guy from such an historic election again [as in 2012].

Well, that is unless the GOP nominates Senator Marco Rubio for president in 2016.   Then maybe history will be on our side.


Anonymous said...

I'm thinking with the Rhino pundits that are aging with Bill Kristol's out there the GOP has no you know what's. Am not hopeful 4 the GOP and stand on Conservative values. When our nation hits the point of devastation, which it looks will happen sooner than later. I think you are correct in your article. But the pain won't really come until it starts hitting everyone. And until I see the Dems begin to push a candidate for 2016, I am not expecting Obama to leave office. I think it's become a real Culture war and that we've lost a generation. Like terrorists, the Progressive movement has been patient. :-(
Krissy in ATX

Big Mike said...

Do I agree with you about Bill Kristol-- he is really upsetting me with some of his comments on Fox News Sunday.
Keep praying Krissy- like Churchill we must never give up- never surrender to the leftist in charge right now.