Congratulations to President Obama for being only the 2nd Democratic President to win re-election in the last 40 years. The first being “Bubba” aka Billy Clintock aka Bill Clinton. Also, I commend Mr. Romney for giving a pretty good concession speech after what was proving to be a contentious night over the Ohio voting results. So contentious that Karl Rove (The “Crossroads GPS” founder) and former adviser to President George W. Bush almost staged an on-air coupe on the Fox News set last night in total disbelief that his efforts to buy an election failed… again.
The House and the Senate are pretty much unchanged. The economy is still sputtering along. The mortgage market is still showing signs of a possible recovery. Unemployment is under 8%, but long-tern unemployment and underemployment is higher than it’s been in the last 40 years. The national debt is still high and sequestration is around the corner. The country is still split down the middle in what direction it would like to see the leadership head. What now?
No matter who won the election, these issues were going to face the incoming President. The direction laid out by the Obama administration is now in play. However, will that solve America’s ailing woes? My opinion, I don’t think it matters really that much. The one thing that economists and bipartisans agree upon, the American economy is going to start moving in a positive direction unless some uncontrollable, outside force weighs that growth down. What force? Well, there’s the European financial crisis for one. Europe seems to be making some right moves to prop up Greece, Spain and Italy but there’s a slowdown in German and Europe, in general, is in bad shape.
Also, this sequestration issue is nothing to sleep on. This WILL hurt the US economy and now Obama basically has to go back to the same cast of characters to work a deal out to avoid the fiscal cliff that we’re approaching. The House isn’t less partisan, it’s more partisan than ever. The Republicans could easily succumb to the spiteful tactics of the last 4 years to do anything to discredit the current administration. However, this is (somewhat) a new day. The tactics of the last 4 years may not fly anymore. The demographics are not one their side of policy right now. This is a much more feminine, ethnic, less religious and youthful America – and getting more so by the year. They still have mid-term elections to think about in 2014 and then there’s still the possibility of getting a Republican President in the White House in 2016. Do they want to be forever labeled the “Party of No” for another 4 years? Do they want to be seen as the architects of pushing the US of the fiscal cliff? Do they want to be marginalized as the extremely radical, aging and overwhelmingly Caucasian party of xenophobes? I’m not so sure about that. Forget soul-searching, the GOP needs to redefine the message. Right now, they are losing the message war, but they can recover some face by actually acting like they’ll work with President Obama in the short term.
Let’s also not forget that people are still looking for jobs. Beacon Economics, Oxford Economics, even Moody’s sees around 11-12 million new jobs over the next four years regardless of the administration. Thus, the upside still looks promising and this makes Romney’s assertions not look so crackpottish after all. However, it’s going to be an uphill battle for President Obama and he’s going to have to show a level of ferocity and dexterity that many Presidents don’t have to show. He’s going to have to work with his very bitter Republican members and get his Democratic allies to fall in line. This will be a very interesting, but pivotal four years for the U.S.
I think the President is up to it, but… the fireworks are going to be spectacular.