Elections Leave Obama Unsupported

The Republican party picked up at east 10 governorships Tuesday and may gain even more by the time the final votes are tallied in all 37 Gubernatorial races. With a GOP dominated House and a (barely) Democratic Senate, what lies ahead for the next two years?

In the days leading up to the election, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, said “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

That sends two distinct messages. First, that tells us that Obama has made some serious enemies during his brief two years as the 44th President, and he has a long way to go to regain their confidence. Second, it says that the end goal is the fall of Obama, not installing something better. It is a common trend in recent politics to primarily bash unsuccessful policies, and secondarily provide vague plans for substitutes. I would much rather see a well thought-out, detailed plan of action laid next to the current policy than a well thought-out critique.

Voters are upset, clearly unsatisfied with Obama’s transformational ambitions. This election has left the President facing a hostile House and a weaker majority in the Senate. In the next two years, Obama will have to find a balance between bold and conservative actions to reassert authority and secure a reelection in 2012. The more time passes, the more similarities are noticeable between this presidency and its immediate predecessors. Thirty-seven percent of voters in exit polls on Tuesday said they cast their vote to express opposition to Mr. Obama, compared with 24 percent who said they were trying to support him — almost identical to the numbers for Mr. Bush four years ago. Both Mr. Bush and Mr. Clinton suffered in the mid-term elections, but were able to push for reelection. It has yet to be seen whether or not Mr. Obama can garner that kind of support.

Peter Baker of the New York Times asks important questions, some that Mr. Obama will have to ask himself: “Was this the natural and unavoidable backlash in a time of historic economic distress, or was it a repudiation of a big-spending activist government? Was it primarily a failure of communications as the White House has suggested lately, or was it a fundamental disconnect with the values and priorities of the American public?”

One Response to “Elections Leave Obama Unsupported”
  1. Karen says:

    Repudiation of big spending AND a disconnect with the priorities and values of the American people. I can spend my own money just fine; I don’t need to give it to the government because I think they can make better choices than I.

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