Barack Hussein Obama was reelected the 44th President of the United States -- convincingly. His hard won victory capped three years of Republican obstructionism that was launched days after he became the first Black American to win the White House in 2008. Back then Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell famously boasted that his mission was to make "Obama a one-term president." That was followed by comparison of the president to Jimmy Carter and casting him in a light that portrayed him as indecisive, inexperienced, fumbling and lacking leadership skills.
Boy, how wrong can you be. On November 6, 2012 Barack Obama was re-elected with a whopping 303 Electoral College votes convincingly pummeling Mitt Romney and inflicting serious body blows in the Senate races that will result in the largest number of women in the US Senate -- ever. A spectacular Democratic ground operation blew away Mitt Romney and the Republicans.
The day after Republican talking heads and pundits, especially those on Fox and Friends, were still in a state of shock, depression, and awe all rolled up in one. Rabid anti-Obama loudmouths like Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and Rush Limbaugh et al were scrambling to find out what went wrong coming up with answers that ranges from the insane to the outright idiotic. The vaunted Republican political strategist, Karl Rove, whose super Pac spent nearly a billion dollars for Ole Willard, struggled to prevent a political apoplexy. In fact, for the rotund Rove, the melt-down started at exactly 11:15 am on Tuesday, November 6, when ALL of the major networks called the election for President Obama.
So the next day out came the parade of infantile, snotty-nosed brats carping about all kinds of idiotic fantasies about what happened. Karl Rove the much overrated Republican political strategist who was chortling before that about a "Romney wipe out" looked stunned, dazed and displaying a real propensity to run for the nearest bathroom -- and I don't mean to regurgitate. And as they suddenly continued to doubt the Electoral College's numbers I wondered silently if the party of Abraham Lincoln would ever regain its sanity.
Political Mental Illness (PMI), especially the kind caused by fanatically believing in a long-dead GOP icon and consistently trying to solve 21st century problems with a playbook written by that 19th century icon, is further aggravated by an acute sense of entitlement because of personal wealth, is a disease of white "frat men" going through mid-life crises of identity and relevance. In its really acute stage the disease manifests itself by extreme narcissism and delusions of grandeur in a Peter Panist attitude that America is still in the 1950s a la bobby socks and stockings.
Unable to make anything stick to a Teflon President, including a member of the U.S. Congress calling him a Liar during a State of the Union Address; consistent and angry bellowing about him being a socialist; not American born, and every kind of nasty, partisan vitriol, Republicans decided to support Mitt Romney, the best of a really crappy bunch of out-of-date and out-of-touch candidates. A deeply flawed man whose wealth made him insensitive to the plight of the ordinary American, Romney is now famous for running for the President of the United States for over six years and still the ordinary voter does not know who he is.
And after nearly $1 billion, and a royal trouncing by President Obama, Americans still don't know who he is or what he stands for. The man is a political chameleon. So why did President Obama win? Well, for starters he took a page out of the Good Ole Republican playbook and bested them at their own game. Darn! That's why this win had them so knotted up with rage and anger. And it's no use blaming Ole Foot-in-Mouth diseased Mitt. He was the GOP's candidate so these guys had better live with that.
In 2008 President Obama was elected on a slogan of hope and change. Americans believed back then that he was the right guy for the job in a clear-cut contrast with McCain the Dinosaur and Palin the Vapid. But in 2010 the president and his party presided over the worst recession in US history since the Great Depression, two foreign wars, record high unemployment, and a hostile, obstructionist Republican House of Representatives that politicized everything in their reckless quest to make him a one-term president.
And while things are getting better today, in 2012, running on his record would have been tough going to convince the American voters to exercise more patience, belt tightening, and give him a second chance. Worst yet, he'd gone and passed the Affordable Healthcare Act that Republicans made the centerpiece of their campaign attack against him. Mitt Romney and his Tea Party backers vowed to repeal so-called "Obamacare" and each and every night commentators and sundry "experts" lambasted the president about his handling of the economy and the ills of the Affordable Care Act.
So what's a president to do in these circumstances? When a cocky GOP and its moneyed bankers were sure that their Man Mitt was going to win and their money would buy his way to the While House?
Simple, triangulate. Go Republican on the Republicans. Clinton did it and won re-election. So why not Obama? All that he had to hope for was that those narcissistic, bombastic, puffed up buffoons would never catch on -- until it was way too late. Remember their guy trying to "out Obama Obama" in the end game?
So President Obama and his campaign team went after Romney -- hard. They made him the wrong guy and the face of suffering and failed political policies. They successfully hung George W. Bush around his neck as a millstone. And as Romney struggled to stay afloat, even in a sea of money, he committed gaffe, after gaffe, after gaffe. Few of his GOP "friends" campaigned with him as he changed his positions like a Geisha girl.
"Obama won by thoroughly and completely trashing Mitt Romney and his reputation," Republican pollster Whit Ayres whined. "It is the classic definition of winning ugly."
No, that's not "winning ugly." It's winning -- period. I got to hand it to the president. He and his campaign skillfully turned what should have been a scorching referendum on the economy and the social pain in America into a debate on Romney's character. Day after day, just as the senior George Walker Bush did during the Willie Horton dirty campaign tactics, Obama and his campaign mercilessly hammered away at Romney forcing him on the defensive and making him look as "an angry white man."
And Carl Rove never saw it coming and failed to see the broader strategy. Instead, like good ole white frat boys they took offense that a Black man, even one that is the president of the United States, dared to speak to a white man, a very rich white man at that, in those kinds of tones. Romney and his backers complained bitterly about how the president was attacking him -- even as they did it relentlessly. Remember Romney's "attacking me is not a policy?"
Night after night Sarah Palin, Rove, Hannity, Limbaugh attacked the president for attacking Romney while failing to tag him to the bad economy. In the end, in a campaign reminiscent of former President Bush's Swift Boat Veterans takedown of John Kerry's military record in 2004, Romney was not only stripped of his greatest asset in a race about how to stimulate economic growth, it became a liability. The Obama campaign made him untrustworthy, selfish and arrogant.