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Obama calls election

Posted by: Staff writers | 7 November, 2012 - 2:25 PM
4 more years

4BC News:Barack Obama wasn't supposed to win re-election.

The hope was gone, critics said, evaporated by endless partisan gridlock in Washington and a jobless rate that hovered above 8 per cent for much of his first term.

Yet a relentlessly focused campaign, a flicker of economic good news - witnessed in rebounding consumer confidence - and a prolonged assault on his opponent persuaded voters to give the Democrat who made history in his 2008 election another four years in office.

In campaign stops across battleground states, Obama pressed for patience, arguing that he'd prevented an economic collapse and that the economy was beginning to recover.

In every speech, he laid siege to his Republican rival, cautioning that Mitt Romney would return the US to the same failed policies that plunged the economy into a downward spiral.

A survey of voters as they left polling places showed six in 10 voters believed the economy was the top issue, with unemployment and rising prices hitting voters hard.

But about half of voters said former President George W. Bush was more responsible for the economic challenges than Obama, according to preliminary results of an exit poll conducted for The Associated Press.

In the end, Romney failed to convince enough voters he was on their side - a storyline the Obama campaign pursued with a single-minded focus before Romney had even clinched his party's nomination.

The portrait of Romney that emerged was of an elite executive who led a private equity firm that drove jobs overseas and cut employment in the United States.

"They've done a stellar job running an exceedingly personal campaign against Mitt Romney," said Whit Ayres, a Republican political consultant. "It's been challenging for Romney to overcome."

Obama's campaign also succeeded in determining early which states would make up the election map. Those included the battleground states of Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado and Nevada.

Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said the president had succeeded in rebuilding a similar coalition to the one he had in 2008 after focusing on several key states.

"We wanted to chart multiple paths to victory, a Southern route, a Midwestern route, a Western route," he said.

Democratic strategist Tad Devine said Romney had made a "huge mistake" in letting Obama define the map and in waiting until the last minute to campaign in Pennsylvania and Minnesota.

Democrats say Obama was able, despite the sluggish economy, to point to achievements.

He trumpeted success at preventing the economy from hitting bottom with a stimulus plan that ploughed government dollars into hiring.

He achieved health care legislation, enacted a firewall to prevent a relapse of the Wall Street fiasco, backed a federal bailout to save auto industry jobs, ended the war in Iraq and oversaw the raid that ended in the death of Osama bin Laden.

"Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive," Vice President Joe Biden suggested as an Obama campaign bumper sticker. "That about sums it up, man."

At the close of the election, Obama was boosted by a crisis beyond any candidate's control.

As the massive storm Sandy barrelled up the East Coast, Obama suspended his campaign appearances to tend to the emergency response, projecting an air of confidence and compassion and avoiding the criticism that plagued former President George W. Bush in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

As Obama toured the hard-hit New Jersey coast with the state's Republican governor Chris Christie he drew effusive praise from the rising Republican star and previously sharp-tongued critic.

Christie just a week earlier had assailed Obama's leadership skills.

With polls over the summer suggesting white voters were leaning Republican by a sizeable margin, Obama's campaign dispatched surrogates like Biden to stem the loss by courting the white, working-class voters Obama had a harder time reaching.

The campaign also relied heavily on former President Bill Clinton to reach that voting bloc.

Obama gave Clinton a starring role at his convention where Clinton delivered a dazzlingly powerful endorsement for a second Obama term.

In addition, Obama benefitted from the fact he'd done it before. After the 2008 election, the campaign never left. Through Organising for America, an arm of the Democratic National Committee, Obama maintained ties in swing states, continuing to hold events and build support.

By contrast, Romney clinched his party's nomination this past spring after a long primary battle, leaving him far less time to build up an organisation.

Although powerful outside groups backing Romney raised more money, Obama's campaign held its own, according to the Centre for Responsive Politics.

Obama's campaign still managed to raised $630 million as of mid-October, significantly more than Romney's $390 million.

Obama returned late Monday night to Iowa, the battleground state he credits with starting it all.

His voice hoarse, his eyes wet from emotion or the cold, he asked the crowd to keep the faith, acknowledging, "sometimes it's been hard. Sometimes it's been frustrating."

But, he added: "I'm not ready to give up on the fight. I've got a lot more fight left in me."

Blog comments Your Say

  • I do believe Mick that Roger is holding a Marxist Leninist Communist tea party on Sunday for Bob Lord, JamesW and co.

    CRY FREEDOM Saturday 10 November, 2012 - 1:56 PM
  • Bob Lord, i believe Mick is hosting a " Tea Party " for Dick and Pete B on Sunday arvo.

    roger Friday 9 November, 2012 - 3:05 PM
  • James W, also posting as Bob Lord, roger and other Imbeciles you are not only a clown you have lost your mind you mindless Labor Sheep, $15 Trillion in the US & $250 Billion here in Australia do not ring any bells within your feeble mind do they, say no more.

    Peter B Friday 9 November, 2012 - 2:43 PM
  • @Bob, If people with right wing views are loonies, what collective term do you use for the lefties.
    Don't know why you are intested in U.S. policy anyway.
    Your champion, Julia has labelled anyone producing nuclear weapons as pyscopaths.

    Richard Friday 9 November, 2012 - 12:27 PM
  • SP index up 53% whilst Obama has been in office an indicator that business is performing well and is expected to continue performing well.

    James W Friday 9 November, 2012 - 9:50 AM
  • This can go two ways. Full scale war within a very short space of time. Or a half inch hole in Obama followed by revolution. They plan these possibilities like chess grand masters decades and centuries ahead. Either way they win. Without radical change under the control of the people and only the people WW3 is inevitable. But what they want most of all and what will certainly occur at some stage is revolution. That allows them to remove all human rights and exercise absolute control. That allows them to wipe the slate of law clean. Personally I will be surprised if Obama is standing for longer than a couple of months. If America does not provide an unattainable ultimatum to Iran within a couple of months. Maybe the two events will be used in unison like 911. The Republicans are not the only war party and the Democrats are not the only debt party. They are both the bankers parties. Until we eliminate the bankers it will be a non stop party for them and a continual erosion of freedom and quality of life for us. The power of the bankers is an illusion. We could eliminate them in a few months and there would be no more war and no more threat of destruction. BUT DO NOT GET SUCKERED INTO REVOLUTION. Occupy Switzerland nationalise all banks EVENLY nationalise all bank assets EVENLY and put all bankers to the sword. Lets begin again without the monkey on our backs.

    Nothing is left to Chance Friday 9 November, 2012 - 9:28 AM

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