Last week, our nation re-elected Barack Obama as President. With over 330 electoral votes and nearly 52 percent of the popular vote, it was clear the country was ready to move in his campaign’s direction: Forward.
The last four years in the United States have certainly been a struggle. With unemployment hovering around eight percent, small businesses sputtering along and arguably the worst housing market in history, there was good reason to believe Obama wasn’t going to win the election. After all, no one in history faced with an economy in this rough of shape had.
He did, though, have a direction that the country could believe in.
This entire political campaign was marred by talking points and ‘gaffes,’ the newest political buzzword. To say it was the most harmful campaign in history is uninformed, but to say it wasn’t harsh would be irresponsible.
All that being said, there were a number of moments that seemed to define the election on election night, both negative and positive. As for negatives, Mitt Romney’s flip-flopping and ‘47%’ quote certainly were key. Obama’s first debate was his biggest negative, showing apathy toward the entire event.
There were, however, a number of positives as well. This is where the election moved in Obama’s favor. Between his final two debates, clear foreign policy expertise (at least compared to Governor Romney) and apparent across-the-aisle work with Chris Christie in New Jersey, there was a lot more momentum going to Obama as the election grew closer.
Which makes you start to think… how much value did all of the posturing have before the election?
There were over 32 million people that voted early in the 2012 election. Of those, most likely had their minds made up. Realistically, most who voted in general probably knew whom they were voting for before they entered the voting booth or mailed in their ballot. The one-liners probably didn’t have much of an impact.
So what were the two candidates fighting over? The undecideds. The independents. The people that hadn’t made up their mind.
To that point, it truly seemed like the President elect had that best final few weeks. He did well in the last debate. He responded during ‘Superstorm Sandy,’ receiving praise from Christie, a Republican governor. Unemployment dropped under eight percent for the first time he was president. It just seemed like momentum, especially in the last few weeks, was on his side.
That’s my biggest takeaway from this election. For the literally billions of dollars spent on who would claim the nation’s highest office, all it took was the final two or three weeks to make all the difference. Is he the one right for the job in the next four years? I suppose time will tell. But did he win the last push? Absolutely.
It’s what it took, and takes, to win the presidency.