Stayed up till 5 am here in the UK, but once Iowa looked set for Obama not Romney it was clear he was going to win the electoral college. He has done so 303 to 206 with Florida still being counted; that is academic as the finishing post was 270. It was unclear when I went to bed if he would win the popular vote. This may have led to claims of lacking a moral mandate – something which did not seem to hinder George W Bush in his first term. However at time of writing it stands 50.3% to 48.2% for Obama. Symbolically this matters.
Though euphoric that he won, I am aware that his second term may not deliver. The fiscal cliff needs to be managed with what has been a hostile House of Representatives (still controlled by The Republicans). Whilst they may have been playing politics, they will still have an eye on the White House in 2016. We can hope they will work in the interests of the economy and the environment (these things impact on me too in the UK). Obama may be able to deal more robustly with Syria without electoral concerns; Turkey’s request to NATO for patriot missiles to be deployed along the border a first test of this.
I hope the better nature of ourselves can come out now the election is over. We cannot afford politics as normal. With climate change, global macro economic turbulence, and poverty an issue at home and abroad the world needs to forget about rivalry whether domestic or foreign.
We need a politics for a new era. That change starts with us because the issues are so critical, and we must make our elected representatives realise this.
In short politics never sleeps whatever the electoral cycle. Stay awake, and do not just dream.
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog