Best and worst outcomes from the 2012 election
Voters across the political spectrum could find something to celebrate or decry, especially those of us here at The Times' Opinion Manufacturing Division, where we follow elections with a fervor that verges on the unhealthy. --Dan Turner
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Best: The reelection of President Obama( Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press )
Pundits have presented a lot of reasons why voters gave President Obama another four years in the Oval Office: His get-out-the-vote campaign was more effective than the ads put up by Mitt Romney's outside spending groups; he captured the Latino voters who make up a growing share of the electorate; he bought the election by promising handouts, yada yada yada.
Actually, Obama won because Romney is an empty suit with a demonstrated capacity to say absolutely anything to try to get elected, whether he believes it or not, and whether his positions contradict each other or not. It can't have escaped voters that Romney's "solutions" to the deficit and joblessness problem were illusory and based on fantasy mathematics. The few times Romney's true ideas could be glimpsed past his polished campaign veneer, they were revealed to be insulting and poisonous, such as when he implied that 47% of American voters are essentially freeloaders.
For a president as unpopular as Obama to win in the face of a serious economic downturn is a tribute to the quality, or lack thereof, of his opposition. Yet Obama, at least, is proposing real solutions to the country's problems and has shown slow but steady success. He will make a much better leader than a former Massachusetts governor who couldn't even carry Massachusetts.
Above: Obama waves to supporters at his election night party in Chicago.