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Table of contents Election Day Who will be American President
How the election unfolded Who said what during the US presidential elections US Elections 2012: Check out this real-time Facebook map Full text: Mitt Romney’s concession speech Full text: Barack Obama’s victory speech Not just in US, Obama’s victory celebrated across the world In Obama’s Kenyan village, locals celebrate reelection and progress Guess who Obama called right after winning? Are Republicans being sore losers by crying media bias? 04 05 07 08 10 14 16 18 19
Day After: How and why Barack Obama won
Obama won because his gut instinct was right Why Brand Obama trounced misbranded Mitt Romney The new Republican party: old, white and entirely blind ‘Sluggish’ economy gets Obama second term Volunteering in Chicago: It was about the people, not the president How Obama won: with help from ‘Dubya’ Obama’s victory shows a more liberal, tolerant America 22 24 27 30 32 34 36
What Next - Obama's Challenges
Man without a mandate? The challenge of Obama 2.0 Fiscal cliff issue top priority, says Joe Biden Obama must show bravery in the next 4 years: Washington Post 38 40 41
What this means for India:
President Obama’s win means great bonhomie for India Wrecked by Barack? IT captains hope for a softer Obama All said and done, Obama a hard-nosed leader who is good for India Indo-US ties to be stronger with Obama re-election: FM What India can teach the US about electoral process Obama, Romney, whoever: Why do we even care? 43 46 48 50 51 53
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Election Day Who will be American President
Copyright © 2012 Firstpost
How the election unfolded
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Who said what during the
US presidential elections
“Obama stands for most of the same things I do. He inherited a mess and he needs more time to fix it,” said a first time voter in Ohio.
Reuters, Nov 7, 2012 I’m also looking forward to tomorrow, because tomorrow we’re going to start the work.” John Boehner, Republican speaker of the US House of Representatives, on Republicans maintaining House majority: “The American people want solutions and tonight they responded by renewing our House Republican majority. With this vote, the American people also made clear there’s no mandate for raising tax rates. Americans want better solutions that will ease the burdens of small businesses, bring jobs home and let our economy grow. We stand willing to work with any willing partner… who shares a commitment to getting those things done.” Scott Brown, Massachusetts Republican, on losing Senate seat to Democrat Elizabeth Warren: “We stood strong in the fight and we stand strong now even in disappointment… You all sent me to Washington to be my own man, and I’ll be returning my own man. And for that, I am very, very proud.” Sarah Palin, former Republican vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor:
mericans went to the polls to vote for president on Tuesday after a tightly contested race between incumbent Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney. Below are some comments made by the candidates, observers and voters: Obama, tweeting after MSNBC projected his victory: “This happened because of you. Thank you.” Obama, speaking to WJLA TV in Washington:
“We’ve laid out the choice very clearly for the American people, and now the question is going to be people showing up to the polls. … I want to make sure people show up to vote and if you do — whatever the outcome, that’s how our democracy works. And I think we’ll all come together to move America forward.” Romney, speaking to the press in Cleveland: “This is a great day with great opportunity, but
“I just cannot believe that the majority of Americans would believe that incurring more debt is good for our economy, for our children’s future, for job creators. I cannot believe that the majority of Americans would believe that it’s OK not to follow the Constitution and not have a budget. And I can’t believe that the majority of Americans would say it’s OK to rely on foreign sources of energy instead of drilling and mining our own natural resources. It’s a perplexing time for many of us.”
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call-center worker in Nevada. I am fortunate enough to have a job. Romney didn’t seem like he cared that much. retired mathematics professor and Obama supporter in Florida. … I felt like throwing stones at my TV. first-time voter supporting Obama in Ohio: “Obama stands for most of the same things I do.Symone Villalona. about issues and specifics.” Paul Dirks.” Melanie Katsur.” Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . Romney backer in Washington. He inherited a mess and he needs more time to fix it. the middle class. but I know a lot of people who don’t. We used to have statesmen. on this year’s ad barrage: “It’s been the ugliest campaign I’ve ever seen in my life and I’m 71 years old. Democrat voting in Nevada: “Elections used to be about stuff.” Noreen Taylor.” Lyda Swogger. first-time voter who backed Obama: “I like someone who’s for the people. Now we just have salesmen. attorney. DC: “I think that the rate with which the deficits have grown is not acceptable.
But Facebook has gone a America is voting. social region. Here’s why you must check out this map. Twitter etc are also seeing a huge amount of activity. Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . statewide voters and the peak time for voting in that particular state. The information displayed on Facebook Stories have on a graph just below the map. FP Staff. The map is definitely worth checking out media sites such as Facebook. It also shows the number of male and female voters who been anonymized and aggregated. According to Facebook. Facebooking about votes is also a given now. that it’s not about voting anymore. The blue bubble bursts continue and the map shows you the number of map here. step ahead and created a real time map which shows how America is voting in this presidential You can also click on a state and the map zooms election. Nov 7.US Elections 2012: Check out this real-time Facebook map Facebook has gone a step ahead and created a map showing in real-time how America is voting in this presidential election. The size of each burst It’s clear from the continuous activity on the map. You can check out the Facebook voting into that particular state. Instaas it gives a very cool macro perspective of how gram. but don’t know who they voted for! A The cool thing about the map is that you will see a blue bubble bursting as people share the fact they’ve just voted. 2012 matches the number of people voting in that s America goes to vote today. voted and have shared their story on Facebook and has a pie-chart of the different age groups Which means of course you know they voted. the map is a representation of people on Facebook who clicked an Election Day prompt to share with their friends Facebook has also broken down the votes polled each hour for each region of the United States that they’re voting in the 2012 US election. who’ve done the same.
His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations.Full text: Mitt Romney’s concession speech FP Staff. applause) — and for our country. but particularly the president. I wish all of them well. applause. Thank you.) And I trust that his intellect and his hard work and his commitment to principle will continue to contribute to the good of our nation. (Cheers. Nov 7.) She would have been a wonderful first lady. Thank you. Thank you so very much. applause. applause. (Cheers. the love of my life. Besides my wife Ann. (Applause. and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation.) I also want to thank Ann. Paul is the best choice I’ve ever made.) She’s — she has been that and more to me and to our family Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . (Cheers. (Cheers.) This is a time of great challenges for America. (Cheers. Thank you. applause. I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory. my friends. Thank you. applause. the first lady and their daughters. T I want to thank Paul Ryan for all that he has done for our campaign — (cheers.) Thank you. 2012 hank you.
for the resources and for the prayers. as you know. (Cheers.) You guys are the best.) They have made an extraordinary effort. I believe in America. charity. applause. (Cheers. and God bless America. is at a critical point. and thank their wives and children — (cheers. We have given our all to this campaign. applause.and to the many people that she has touched with her compassion and her care. for in the final analysis. the surrogates — I don’t believe that there’s ever been an effort in our party that can compare with what you have done over these past years. Thanks. We look to our pastors and priests and rabbis and counselors of all kinds to testify of the enduring principles upon which our society is built — honesty. (Cheers. applause. applause. the donors. the fundraisers. We look to job creators of all kinds. We count on you not just to teach. And we look to Democrats and Republicans in government at all levels to put the people before the politics. everything depends on the success of our homes. to step forward. (Cheers. Thank you. I believe in the people of America. But the nation chose another leader.) (Transcript courtesy the Federal News Service). You’ve been the very best we could have imagined. and you inspired us and you humbled us. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work. (Cheers. You gave deeply from yourselves and performed magnificently. At a time like this. applause. but our principles endure. Paul and I have left everything on the field. Like so many of you. We’re counting on you to invest.) I want to thank Matt Rhoades and the dedicated campaign team he led.) I so wish — I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction. Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . integrity and family. guys. I believe that the principles upon which this nation was founded are the only sure guide to a resurgent economy and to a new greatness. for the speeches and appearances. The nation. applause. Thank you so very much. we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. (Cheers. (Cheers. Thank you so much.) Thanks for all the hours of work. applause) — for taking up their slack as their husbands and dads have spent so many weeks away from home. And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion. This election is over. but to inspire our children with a passion for learning and discovery. And to you here tonight and to the team across the country — the volunteers. We look to our parents. I thank my sons for their tireless work on behalf of the campaign. And so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation. We look to our teachers and professors. for the calls. Thank you. to hire.) And I ran for office because I’m concerned about America. not just for me but also for the country that we love. applause.
Audience members: (Chanting.Full text: Barack Obama’s victory speech FP Staff. From ‘everyone can make it in America’ catchphrases that prop the American dream up again to aww-worthy till-death-do-us-part ones for wife Michelle. we have fought our way back. we have picked ourselves up. the American people. 2012 Tonight. reminded us that while our road has been hard. Nov 7.) It moves forward because of you. Thank you. Following is the full text of the speech. the task of perfecting our union moves forward. Thank you so much. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression. while our journey has been long.) O Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . applause. (Sustained cheers. but the American President still seemed to have saved the best punchlines for this one address. the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope. applause.) Four more years! Four more years! Four more years! Four more years! Four more years! Four more years! Four more years! Four more years! President Barack Obama: Thank you. and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people. you. more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny. Obama’s speech was stuff Hollywood scriptwriters dream of. (Cheers. (Cheers. the best is yet to bama’s victory speech might not have packed as much punch given the context and the generally sober victory. and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America. we are an American family.) Tonight. applause. in this election. the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams.
(Cheers. just like your mom. applause. applause. applause. (Cheers. From George to Lenore to their son Mitt. and some of you have been at my side since the very beginning.) I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small.) To the best campaign team and volunteers in the history of politics — (cheers.) Let me say this publicly.) Sasha and Malia — (cheers. (Cheers. Thank you for believing all the way — (cheers.) I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you too as our nation’s first lady. (Cheers. applause. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. when we make big decisions as a country.) Whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone — (cheers. applause. stirs up controversy.) And I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago. And that is a legacy that we honor and applaud tonight. applause. (Cheers. you’re growing up to become two strong.) I just spoke with Governor Romney and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a hard-fought campaign. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. That won’t change after tonight. (Cheers. America’s happy warrior. but it’s only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future.) In the weeks ahead. (Cheers. applause) — before our very eyes. (Cheers. smart. to every valley. These arguments we Copyright © 2012 Firstpost .) And you will have the lifelong appreciation of a grateful president. (Cheers. we have to fix that.) You’ll hear the deep patriotism in the voice of a military spouse who’s working the phones late at night to make sure that no one who fights for this country ever has to fight for a job or a roof over their head when they come home. applause) — to every hill. applause. It’s not small. And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics who tell us that politics is nothing more than a contest of egos or the domain of special interests. applause. We have our own opinions. But if you ever get the chance to talk to folks who turned out at our rallies and crowded along a rope line in a high school gym or — or saw folks working late at a campaign office in some tiny county far away from home. (Cheers. (Cheers. And it shouldn’t.) You’ll hear the pride in the voice of a volunteer who’s going door to door because her brother was finally hired when the local auto plant added another shift. applause) — whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign. applause.) I want to thank every American who participated in this election. the Romney family has chosen to give back to America through public service. Michelle. applause. (Cheers.) But all of you are family. No matter what you do or where you go from here. the best vice president anybody could ever hope for. But I will say that for now. applause.) You lifted me up the whole day. (Cheers. applause. (Cheers. applause) — the best — the best ever — (cheers. and I will always be grateful for everything that you’ve done and all the incredible work that you’ve put in. (Cheers.come. And when we go through tough times. applause. it’s big. I also look forward to sitting down with Governor Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward. (Laughter.) We may have battled fiercely. (Cheers. you made your voice heard and you made a difference. applause. That’s why elections matter.) I want to thank my friend and partner of the last four years. you’ll discover something else. (Cheers. applause. I have never loved you more. (Cheers. applause. one dog’s probably enough. beautiful young women. Joe Biden. applause) — some of you were new this time around. applause. it necessarily stirs passions. You’ll hear the determination in the voice of a young field organizer who’s working his way through college and wants to make sure every child has that same opportunity. applause.) Whether you voted for the very first time — (cheers) — or waited in line for a very long time — (cheers) — by the way. applause. you will carry the memory of the history we made together. (Cheers.) That’s why we do this. It’s important.) And I am so proud of you guys. That’s what politics can be. even silly.
(Cheers. What makes America exceptional are the bonds Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . applause) — that’s the future we hope for. most of us share certain hopes for America’s future. we will disagree. through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self. applause) — but also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being. but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores. I have learned from you. (Cheers. applause) — to the furniture worker’s child in North Carolina who wants to become a doctor or a scientist. (Cheers. And you’ve made me a better president. applause. As it has for more than two centuries. We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt. applause. and we can never forget that as we speak. And with your stories and your struggles.) That’s the vision we share. (Cheers. (Cheers. A decade of war is ending. applause.) But that doesn’t mean your work is done. But despite all our differences. But that common bond is where we must begin.have are a mark of our liberty. applause. applause. in a compassionate America. applause) — with all of the good jobs and new businesses that follow. applause) — a country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation — (scattered cheers.government. but that’s not what makes us strong.) A long campaign is now over. By itself. This country has more wealth than any nation. reforming out tax code. We have the most powerful military in history. applause) — the chance to cast their ballots like we did today. in a tolerant America open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag — (cheers. the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock. it’s about what can be done by us together. not ours. (Cheers. I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do and the future that lies ahead.) That’s where we need to go. applause. about how to get there. resolve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward. We’ve got more work to do. freeing ourselves from foreign oil. people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter — (cheers. America’s never been about what can be done for us. We believe in a generous America. That’s the — (cheers.) You elected us to focus on your jobs. an engineer or an entrepreneur. sometimes fiercely. applause. that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet. fixing our immigration system.) Tonight you voted for action. applause.) That’s the principle we were founded on. Our economy is recovering. (Cheers. (Cheers. our culture are all the envy of the world. That’s where we need to go — forward. I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together — reducing our deficit.) And whether I earned your vote or not. It’s not always a smooth path. applause) — to the young boy on the south side of Chicago who sees a life beyond the nearest street corner — (cheers. progress will come in fits and starts. It’s not always a straight line. The role of citizens in our democracy does not end with your vote. We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers — (cheers. (Cheers. a nation that is defended by the strongest military on earth and the best troops this — this world has ever known — (cheers.) We want to pass on a country that’s safe and respected and admired around the world. but that’s not what makes us rich. not politics as usual. And in the coming weeks and months. I have listened to you. (Cheers. applause. that isn’t weakened up by inequality. Our university.) Now. applause. a diplomat or even a president.
And I know that every American wants her future to be just as bright. (Cheers. and forever will be. it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love (ph). I’m not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight. (Cheers. I believe we can build on the progress we’ve made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunities and new security for the middle class. applause. the idea that if you’re willing to work hard.) America.) I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. applause. applause. (Cheers. (Cheers. President! President Obama: I’m not talking about blind optimism. despite all the hardship we’ve been through. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. (Cheers.) You can make it here in America if you’re willing to try. I’ve seen it in the family business whose owners would rather cut their own pay than lay off their neighbors and in the workers who would rather cut back their hours than see a friend lose a job. so that the freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights. Ohio. (Cheers. applause. (Cheers. And when he spoke to the crowd. despite all the frustrations of Washington. (Cheers.) I have never been more hopeful about America. (Cheers. the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the road blocks that stand in our path. applause. that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching. God bless these United States. to keep working. the belief that our destiny is shared — (cheers.) Thank you. I’ve never been more hopeful about our future. applause. to keep fighting. (Cheers. And I ask you to sustain that hope.) God bless you.) I am hopeful tonight because I have seen this spirit at work in America. (Cheers. applause. That’s the country I’m so proud to lead as your president. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor. That’s who we are. applause. Audience member: We got your back. gay or straight. (Cheers. (Cheers.) And together. applause. I’ve seen it in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb and in those SEALs who charged up the stairs into darkness and danger because they knew there was a buddy behind them watching their back.) I’ve seen it on the shores of New Jersey and New York. That’s what makes America great. disabled. and among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. applause. applause. We are. listening to that father’s story. the United States of America. I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists. despite all the evidence to the contrary. I believe we can keep the promise of our founding.) And I saw it just the other day in Mentor. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. every parent in that room had tears in their eyes because we knew that little girl could be our own.) And tonight. applause) — that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations. Mr. applause. abled. America. we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on earth. applause.) (C) 2012 Federal News Service Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . with your help and God’s grace.) I had an opportunity to not just talk to the father but meet this incredible daughter of his. where a father told the story of his 8-year-old daughter whose long battle with leukemia nearly cost their family everything had it not been for health care reform passing just a few months before the insurance company was about to stop paying for her care.that hold together the most diverse nation on Earth. where leaders from every party and level of government have swept aside their differences to help a community rebuild from the wreckage of a terrible storm.
Obama’s victory celebrated across the world Students hold a poster of US President Barack Obama as they watch the US election vote counting at SDN 01 Menteng elementary school that he was once attended in Jakarta. AP Indian students celebrate Obama’s win outside the US Embassy in New Delhi. AP Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . Indonesia.Not just in US.
In Kenya. AP Obama supporters celebrate in Singapore. step-grandmother of President Barack Obama. AP Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . waves her walking cane towards supportersin celebration. Sarah Obama.
“This is more meaningful because it is the decision of the American people after seeing his work. and remembers the celebrations four years ago. The development comes mostly from local Kenyan government eager to Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . hoping to capitalize on a minor tourism boom. 2012 ogelo. In Obama’s Kenyan village. where the president’s father’s family lives. third wife of Obama’s grandfather. “This road was very bumpy in 2008. Though some locals recall larger parades in 2008. the election repeat is as sweet here as the first. white. a subsistence farmer. Kenya: In Barack Obama’s ancestral village.locals celebrate reelection and progress At a brief press conference Mama Sarah says this year’s election is even better than the first. Nov 7. people have seen real change ever since Obama’s ascendency put the tiny hamlet on a global stage. We had no electricity. But in Kogelo.” In addition to paved roads and power lines. pushing aside doubts about villagers’ support for Obama. the rural western Kenyan village has a new police station by the house of Mama Sarah. Some Kenyans have criticized Obama for not visiting the country as president. locals held election watches Tuesday night and jubilant celebrations after his reelection.” Jason Patinkin. danced all night in a floppy red. and blue hat while watching the polls. “Now we are getting them all.” he said. And a new upscale resort employs seventeen people. K Crispin Ochieng.
thinks Kogelo will receive more benefits because of the reelection. she is focused on celebrating after a sleepless night watching the polls. where police carefully guarded the ninety-yearold matriarch from the hundreds of cheering well wishers. and the crowd began clapping for each state victory.” she hopes. By 11 pm. Roads and the local school in Kogelo are named after Obama.” Nearly everyone here supports the village’s most famous grandson. many villagers stayed home. most people danced to a Luo drum group instead of watching. “I’m going to slaughter a sheep. “We have our own lives. Malik drew on his half-brother’s fame to open a community center and restaurant in Kogelo called the Barack H Obama Foundation. Still. More villagers filtered in. only a few dozen people sat in rows of plastic chairs.” Indeed. holding their chairs aloft and pouring into the street as a cadre of reporters recorded the euphoria. And others are disappointed in his African policies that they say focus on fighting terror rather than poverty.” Oyengo said.” Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . “Also since he was elected he hasn’t come to Kenya. An elder named Sylvans Joseph Oyengo explained Obama’s absence over the past four years. Still. The crowd paraded to Mama Sarah’s house. but he is quick to point out that the town’s association to Obama can be overstated. and bulls were slaughtered here. the election parties are smaller than in 2008. But thunderstorms and power outages limited the festivities Tuesday afternoon to one outdoor gathering at the resort.promote their association with America’s first black president.” There were three election watch parties planned for Tuesday night in Kogelo.” she said. Razick Magak is a cousin of Barack Obama who remembers the parties last time. shouting “thank you! thank you!” to the adoring crowd. In a mock election that took place by the village market Tuesday morning. restored electricity allowed steady viewing of election coverage on flat screen TVs. Oyengo hopes Obama will find time to visit in the next four years. though. “I don’t know if [the connection] has helped much other than the link in name.” This year. even if the celebrations are smaller. Yet in Kogelo there was little if any bitterness. he said. “The field was full of big crowds at Mama Sarah’s place. “We may even get clean water in the villages. By dawn. Today. “Maybe there was fear he won’t claim presidency. Obama traveled to Sub-Saharan Africa just once in his first term. explaining that the foundation does not rely on Barack. he beamed and waved. when Obama took a lead in the electoral college.” he said. where due to the time difference the first polls didn’t close until after midnight. At a brief press conference Mama Sarah says this year’s election is even better than the first. to Ghana in July 2009. Obama beat Romney 146 votes to twelve. “He was a little busy. everyone leapt to their feet and broke into traditional songs and dancing. This is a big and very happy occasion. “This is more meaningful because it is the decision of the American people after seeing his work. Mary Achien. When Barack’s half-brother Malik drove past. watching results on a single screen.” This year. “I rate this one higher because it was euphoria that brought him to office the first time. and everyone beams with joy over the “son of this land. a mother who owns a small general store. With the announcement of reelection.
He even made the election out as some sort of a way to overcome the failures of the past. however. Obama then hung up the phone (Romney’s call) and immediately dialed Clinton to thank him for his work on the president’ re-election campaign. was traversed successfully. by calling Barack Obama ‘My President’ to working for the ‘future of America’. Nov 7. who was elected to office for a second term. Clinton and Obama From the impassioned appeal that he made at the Democratic National Convention. thanks to former president of America and fellow Democrat Bill Clinton. when Clinton called the first Obama campaign the “biggest fairy tale” he’d ever seen.Guess who Obama called right after winning? The first call Barack Obama made after winning the election was to someone who had been the backbone of his poll campaign. 2012 fter taking a call from Mitt Romney. The ‘hard road’ Obama referred to in the speech. No wonder it was Clinton who got the first call from the re-elected American President! Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . The President. as many would agree. as Firstpost editor Sandip Roy points out. said more than once in his victory speech that the several stretches of his last term was ‘frustrating’. The warm embrace between the two presidents is a far cry from four years ago. Bill Clinton gave the campaign the zing it was missing when it started. ‘depressing’ and ‘difficult’. FP Staff. There’s little doubt about the fact that the mood around Obama’s win was one of relief more than overwhelming euphoria. the first congratulatory call that Barack Obama made to anyone – was addressed to Bill Clinton. Fox News reports: A are now the last two Democrats to win two terms.
By leaping into the fray. but pro-Republican news outlets are still licking their wounds and blame the liberal media for the party’s loss in the elections.Are Republicans being sore losers by crying media bias? Conservatives have decried the liberal media as one of the reasons for their candidate’s loss in the presidential election. something they didn’t do as much for Obama. Nov 8. Noyes said that the lib- eral media had gone after Romney when it came to hunting for facts or making him sound like he’d made errors. at times going out of their way to bail the president out of uncomfortable spots: Moderators are supposed to ensure both sides get a fair hearing. Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . not pick sides. Fox News carried an editorial written by Richard Noyes of the Media Research Centre. 2012 M itt Romney may have been gracious in his defeat in the presidential elections and called for an end to partisan posturing. In a scathing editorial. in which he came up with five reasons why the liberal media’s alleged bias against Romney could be one of the main reasons the Republican candidate lost. Candy Crowley epitomized the media’s itch to tilt the scales this year — again. Do they have a point? FP Staff. He also argues that the moderators in the televised deabtes fought more in favour of the President than his contender.
I personally got an enormous amount of irrational grief (and actually lost twitter followers!) because I dared to write about how I thought Obama would win. Even Thomas Friedman from The New York Times was of the same opinion. There is absolutely no doubt that partisan outlets (which now describes about 100% of the media) do far better with their audiences when they tell them what they want to hear.” They need to have their own reformation. or it is going to be a minority party for a long time Perhaps Ziegler and Friedman have a point. But according to John Ziegler.in Obama’s favor. but our base is crazy.P. as much as the conservatives were unwilling to accept the truth that their presidential candidate needed something special to swing the elections in his favour. It is not enough for Republicans to tell their Democratic colleagues in private — as some do — “I wish I could help you. The center-right has got to have it out with the farright. In an age when voters depend as much on social media. The fact that I was correct will mean absolutely nothing to my detractors because credibility no longer has any currency in this celebrity driven culture. He also pointed to the media ignoring Obama’s poor handling of the economy and the incident in Benghazi. Boosted by the media? Can Obama’s victory really be attributed to the media? AP Conservative media outlets have been seething at what they see as biased coverage of the presidential poll throughout the campaigning. perhaps the Republicans need to be looking closer at why the ignored the message that was being given to them. Libya. Instead of merely shooting the messenger. has lost two presidential elections in a row because it forced its candidate to run so far to the loony right to get through the primaries. as much as understanding why the party lost. after the Obama win he wrote: The G. dominated by its ultraconservative base.O. a conservative commentator on Huffington Post. and said the loss should perhaps encourage the Republicans to embrace an attitude that is more centre of right in order to stand a chance in the next election. where the US ambassador was killed. even though my predictions were actually more optimistic than what the Left was tending to portend. In his editorial. it wasn’t so much that the liberal media was against Romney. that he could not get close enough back to the center to carry the national election. Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . He also felt that blaming those who said Romney would lose isn’t the answer. In his blog on the site he wrote: Related to this is also the commercial aspect of the modern news media. to foist the blame for an electoral loss on the liberal media is a little too easy.
Day After: How and why Barack Obama won Copyright © 2012 Firstpost .
He certainly got this — a second term and saved himself from that special “binder” meant for one-term presidents. Seema Sirohi. non-fussy way of governing won him more support than Romney had imagined. But Obama maintained his pace. Nov 7. too close to call and a toss up were all terms that were repeated breathlessly in the wall-to-wall coverage by cable news networks. 2012 ashington: “I got this” will be Barack Obama’s most famous words. hastening it in the last phase to reach the finishing line rather Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . Americans voted and despite Sandy’s immense W fury. stood for hours in long lines in Florida and braved innovative voter intimidation tactics in Pennsylvania by enterprising election officials.Obama won because his gut instinct was right He focused on regular Americans — the middle class and the poor — while Romney dissed them as the 47 percent who didn’t matter. Razor thin. His cool. They went to makeshift tents in New Jersey. It is a phrase he has used to calm his supporters and his team when they thought he wasn’t all there or having a bad day.
AP The world is relieved since almost all the countries polled by the BBC recently came out in favour of Obama. Obama four years later is not the soaring orator Americans had elected in 2008 but over the past four years they saw he performed under tremendous pressure. middle class voters decided another term was necessary for his policies to really take effect. Hispanics and African Americans voted overwhelmingly in his favour. Women. He focused on regular Americans — the middle class and the poor — while Mitt Romney dissed them as the 47 percent who didn’t matter. The coalition was a clincher. Obama had a rather un-revolutionary message to deliver — stick with me and things will steadily get better. Many pundits had it wrong. He can also try to “earn” his Nobel Peace Prize. His cool.comfortably. A collective sigh of relief could be heard from Europe to Asia. In the end ordinary. There will be more White House invitations and golfing rounds. tried to whip up anger against Obama by repeating horror stories from victims of Sandy. There was no rush to rash decisions. It is safe to wager Obama will govern differently in the second term. Obama four years later is not the soaring orator Americans had elected in 2008 but over the past four years they saw he performed under tremendous pressure. This resonated. a pro-Republican channel. In the waning days of the campaign. non-fussy way of governing won him more support than Romney had imagined. It seemed New Delhi was also holding its breath. No sooner had Romney conceded the Indian government warmed up the communication lines. Yes. He will reach out to Republicans in the US Congress who had made it their aim to limit him to a single term. especially those speaking from the Republican side. Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . Obama won because his gut instinct was right. They should not get a second term. Fox News. He will meet and greet more — no more Mr Aloof guy who sees deal-making as alien to his brand of politics. Even the Chinese preferred him to Mitt Romney. It did not work. Remember the Middle East peace process and the Palestinians? The plate is full. In his first term he is said to have played about a 100 rounds and only one with a Republican leader. The alacrity with which congratulatory messages flew from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pranab Mukherjee was record-breaking.
He has never wavered from these three basic principles. What do you think is Obama’s story? l Ries is a marketing consultant who coined the term “positioning” and is the author of such marketing classics (along with Jack Trout) as The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing and Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind. Nov 7. 2012 What are the three characteristics that you would attribute to him? Consistent.” And the major changes he promised include creating jobs. He is also the co-founder and chairman of the Atlanta-based consulting firm Ries & Ries with his partner and daughter Laura Ries.Why Brand Obama trounced misbranded Mitt Romney Barack Obama won the battle of perception because he got his political message and branding right. Along with Laura he has written bestsellers like War in the Boardroom and The Origin of Branding. Brand experts talk about a strong story accompanying a brand. and (3) Consistency. The three characteristics I would attribute to Barack Obama are (1) Consistency. In this interview he speaks to Vivek Kaul and analyses why brand Barack Obama emerged stronger than brand Mitt Romney. How would you define Brand Barack Obama? A Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . He took office promising “change. (2) Consistency. says marketing guru Al Ries FP Staff. reforming the health-care system and reducing the deficits by increasing taxes on the wealthy.
” was also a two-sided slogan. you can make the name mean whatever you want it to. It says something positive about Mitt Romney. a unique and different name unrelated to coffee. Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . A country that made him wealthy and world famous.His story is his climb from poverty to a law degree from Harvard.” So he used the slogan “Forward. On the stock market today. Yesterday. But he lost the election because he was handicapped by the negative reaction to the eight years of the previous President. “Change we can believe in. a unique individual with many stories.” Mitt Romney’s slogan. The American economy is in bad shape. With the Republicans in power. The best he could do would be to imply that he would do the job “better than Bush. But the competitor was Starbucks.” because that would offend his base. Could you give us another example from business to substantiate your point? Google is a typical example. Forward is a great slogan because it cuts both ways. When it comes to brand names the brand name Obama is fairly different from the usual. Barack Obama doesn’t believe in America? Highly unlikely. It’s a nice thought. Starbucks. Which is the brand that you think comes closest to Brand Obama? Virgin might come close because it’s a brand associated with Richard Branson.” a high-end coffee chain launched in America. who was defeated by Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential elections. His best approach was to plead for more time to “finish the job. This created a tremendous amount of sympathy for him. John McCain’s story is the five-and-a-half years he spent in Vietnam as a prisoner of war and the torture he endured. but their marketing strategy was bad.” What are the things that went wrong for Obama? Nothing. John McCain couldn’t exactly advocate “change. How does that work/not work? What many companies forget is that a brand name should be “unique and different. but it’s a one-sided slogan. What is Seattle’s Best Coffee? And they are likely to say.” but he couldn’t claim much progress on this issue because of the economy. Bush. This makes two in a row for Barack Obama. Google meant nothing. What does Obama believe in? The number one issue among voters is “jobs. A typical example is “Seattle’s Best Coffee. George W.” A two-sided slogan is like a two-sided knife. Google is worth $220. Very few politicians have a story quite like Barack Obama. It says something positive about your brand and something negative about the competition. A country that elected him to the Senate and the Presidency.1 billion. Could elaborate on that? Take “Believe in America. Ask people. Google means “search” and it’s become one of the most valuable brands in America. He is unique. When you start with a unique name without any specific meaning. What are the right things that Obama did to build brand Obama in the run up to the elections? His entire campaign was built around a single idea and he expressed it with a “two-sided slogan. It cuts both ways. which is a generic name. Today. One exception is John McCain. one black and one white. The Republicans should have won in an easy election.” And what did that imply? His “Forward” slogan implied that Republicans want to go backwards to policies that failed in the past. His 2008 slogan. Starbucks is a far better name than Seattle’s Best Coffee. but what does it say about his opponent? That Barack Obama doesn’t believe in America? A country that educated him at Harvard. It includes his birth to a Kenyon father and an American mother. our most-prestigious university.” The biggest mistake companies make is trying to create a brand name that says something about the product or service they are offering. Deficits are enormous.
reduce expenses and find a way to avoid taxes (legally. What about Brand Romney made it attractive to the white American male? And what is it that made him unattractive towards everyone else? The white American male is focused on becoming a business success. Stupid. is about marketing – about projecting and selling an image.” Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . He expects to work hard and be rewarded when his hard work pays off. A search for “Barack Obama. “Keep it simple. What are the branding mistakes that Romney make? How difficult was it to beat an incumbent President who was struggling with the economy and most of everything else? Mitt Romney spent most of his time attacking Barack Obama. moving people to identify.) You have always said that marketing and branding are all about focus. (2) Reduce expenses. The white American male resents having to share the rewards of his hard work with the government in the form of higher taxes. while entering “Mitt Romney” has resulted in ads for Obama.” Mitt Romney was focused on attacking Obama for the lack of jobs and the high deficits. but that’s a losing political strategy. it might turn off others. It’s what I call the KISS approach. Which is the brand (or even brands) of a product or a service that you think comes closest to Brand Romney? And why? You could list almost every American corporation from IBM to Microsoft. Romney has used a similar tactic on Facebook.” for instance.” I was reading somewhere that both Obama and Romney employed a technique called brand hijacking in the elections. a company should adopt something similar. and consume. That’s why many of them voted for Barack Obama. evangelize. not reality. So who do you think had more focus Obama or Romney? And why? Barack Obama was focused on just one thing: “Let me finish the job. I was reading an article on Fast Company and it said “politics.” That idea was expressed in his slogan “Forward. (Barack Obama has never worked in the private sector). It’s all about perceptions. Bill Clinton became famous for running a campaign which his consultants dubbed: “It’s the economy. What a politician needs to do is to offer a positive concept first (business experience) and then point out that his or her opponent lacks this concept. creating positive perceptions in the minds of consumers. Stupid. How does that help? Would you advocate something like that in the future? I would not advocate something like this. It should have been easy to beat an incumbent President with his track record. Businesses should (1) Make money. People who type one candidate’s name into Google’s search box in some markets have seen ads for his opponent. I think Mitt Romney should have focused on his business experience and then used a slogan like “Let’s run the government like a business. That’s what marketing is all about. What are the branding lessons that companies can learn from Obama’s successful campaign? Years ago. of course. (3) Avoid taxes legally. has yielded ads for Romney. While it might be effective with some people.How would you define the Brand Mitt Romney? What are the three characteristics that you would attribute to him? Romney is a “business” leader and the attributes voters attribute to him are all based on his business experience. A politician needs to first have a “positive” focus.” Would you agree with something like that and why? Absolutely. All true. stoking aspirations. The general perception is that companies want to increase profits. after all. That’s the wrong strategy.” Today. Women are more family oriented. They don’t mind sharing with less-fortunate individuals.
They will not blame conservative principles. Still others will opt for denial — like Karl Rove having mini meltdown on Fox News over Ohio turning blue. others on Romney. conservatives of various stripes will ponder the mystery of Obama’s victory. the Republicans had to cede the numbers. In the end. And never mind that he won the majority of the popular vote — contrary to rightwing prediction — conservative commentator Tunku Varadarajan underscores the real lesson of this unambiguous victory: “Let’s not forget: HALF of America did not reelect Obama. the isolation of large portions of the American electorate. 2012 n the days to come. Birthers will offer colourful conspiracy theories that explain why America voted for a Muslim/black man/foreigner not once but twice. He needs to digest that. conservatives of various stripes will ponder the mystery of Obama’s victory. Whatever the path of blinkered reasoning. wrong conclusion: Rightward ho! Lakshmi Chaudhry.old. Voters have weighed in tonight and both the Republicans and Obama have to respect their view. it leads to the same. it will lead to the same. but they will be damned if they’ll give him a victory.” Whatever the path of blinkered reasoning. Nov 8. or Copyright © 2012 Firstpost .” says old Democratic hand James Carville. “An election has to have a consequence. the party’s reaction will be stinging. wrong conclusion: Rightward ho! The day after is exactly as Brookings Institution scholar John Hudak already predicted: If Governor Romney loses on Tuesday. Some will blame it on Sandy. a patently absurd idea that House Speaker John The new Republican party: I Boehner was quick to dismiss. white and entirely blind In the days to come.
they will blame Moderate Mitt for the loss. Far better to insist that it’s Obama who has to worry about losing out on all those white folks in Indiana and North Carolina — the only two states he lost this year compared to 2008. “Demography is destiny. the party will claim their mistake was nominating a man who lacked truly conservative bona fides—a candidate who once supported gay rights. The hyper-patriotism that reenergised the base also demonised and alienated everyone else with its virulently white brand of xenphobia. Barack Obama owes his victory to three constituencies: women. people of colour. Mitt Romney and the Republican party were defeated by the very same constituencies.” observed CNN pundit Gloria Borger. An error the conservatives seemed determined to commit once again — even though those very same Tea Party candidates have cost the GOP at least six seats in the Senate. but it is preferable to acknowledging that far more frightening truth. Sen. The calendar may say it’s 2012. … Ultimately. What ought to have been a reality check for the conservatives drove them ever loonier. A Romney loss will ignite passion within the GOP to move ever rightward. and will be in the years to come for the Republicans who find themselves saddled with the grand old white man’s party. But why join the “reality based community” when it’s easier to pretend. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) read out the writing on the wall: “The demographics race we’re losing badly… We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term. and wore its pro-life beliefs lightly. but to double down. Over the past decade. bringing out in the open the Birthers. An error of interpretation reinforced when the Tea Party candidates won big in 2010. rural whites. Tea Partiers.” One Donald Trump shrieking “revolution” does not a winning coalition make. Then 9/11 happened and the Republican party — Bush included — collectively lost its mind. The traditional Democratic bastions such as the Latino vote were suddenly under threat. and outright misogynists. and fiscal conservatives. as Bush advisor Ari Fleischer. Compassionate conservatism was consigned to the history books. but the party’s most prominent and visible leaders are still partying like its 1955. Or to put it differently. that the 50-plus white guy is a ticket to the White House. driven and defined by the Bible belt. and the LGBT community. And the reason they lost their vote isn’t hard to discern. They drew exactly the wrong lesson from Obama’s victory: The Republican party needed to move further to the right.” says David Gergen. the Republican rhetoric has moved backward in time. and universal health care. And so it is. “It’s extremely unhealthy for the nation to have one party that relies primarily on whites for votes. abortion rights. it’s certainly unhealthy for the GOP’s electoral prospects. Back in August. A lost war and burgeoning deficits made the impossible possible — a black president with a foreign-sounding (read: Muslim) name. George Bush entered the White House in 2000 with the promise of a compassionate. Doubling down on a losing hand may seem like madness. more diverse conservatism — the kind that flaunted Condi Rice and Colin Powell. Never again will the most vocal in the party settle for a moderate candidate. Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . A truth that New York Times‘ commentator Ross Douthat spelled out: “The age of Reagan is officially over. Instead. and Bush’s victory in 2004 seemed to confirm every white conservative’s wet dream of a Rightwing nation. What appeared to be a long conservative boom turned out to be a mirage. and the Obama majority is the only majority we have.” Say farewell to riding into the White House on the coattails of born-again Christians. and the other is based on inclusive big tent politics. Well. The path to Republican presidential success will not be to redefine its appeal. promised immigration reform. and the Donkey became the symbol of outdated identity politics — the kind that relied on sops and quotas to keep the minorities in line. a selfidentified right-of-center conservative.the inability to convince voters of a suitable plan for economic recovery.
ie the African Americans. and none have a solution to GOP’s biggest problem: The base is growing more conservative. Rather than changing with a changing nation. Well. To rephrase one Democratic consultant. The next generation of Republicans — i.The American people have spoken. Just don’t expect it to happen any time soon. except by lopsided Republican standards. It will not disappear nor divide. In time. Because the morning after the morning after.O. Some are predicting a “civil war” within the GOP. angry G. Jeb Bush. biology.P. Marc Rubio. lesbians et al. but also the youth. That search may come up empty. Republicans will do some soul-searching. Latinos. Tim Ryan etc — are not exactly moderates.” while Romney lost with “the America of the past. It’s not just about geography. Obama is winning “the America of the future. the morning after an election defeat. Rare Republican analysts like Margaret Hoover have already seen the writing on the wall. For all the talk about “introspection” and “selfcorrection. candidates too fake to be elected. writ large in the seismic shift in party identification among young Americans: “This generation is lost to the Republican party. they will realise their path to survival. Hispanics and gays and lesbians — all at the same time. but those are the optimists like Tom Friedman: Granted. And party identities solidify over time.O. It will come to grips with the realities of a changing society. the Republican Party will reflect the proverbial definition of insanity… The Republican Party is not doomed.” The Republicans have lost not just the women. physics. It will learn that a changing electoral map will work against them in the future—no matter the outcome of the 2012 election.” crush or separate themselves from a radical base that has forced Republican candidates into a war against math. gays.P.e Bobby Jindal. Republican primaries throw up candidates that are too rightwing to be elected — or as in Romney’s case. G. good luck with that. it’s about demographics. hard-liners would surely vow to obstruct Obama more than ever. mayors and business leaders would see where the country really is and finally do what needs to be done: either Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . The result is a party that is out of touch with mainstream America — a charge once smugly leveled at liberals by the very same party. while the country is steadily moving towards the centre. And we’re not counting the ones they never had. governors. but the Republican party seems in no mood to listen.” it is likely that Hudak’s assessment will hold true: In the immediate aftermath of a second Obama term. I’m not afraid.
That pattern appears to have held for Obama.” The Democratic president took major steps to boost the economy. while the gap between rich and poor widens. But historically. President Barack Obama won the re-election on the issue that was supposed to send him packing: the sluggish US economy. ashington: In the end.‘Sluggish’ economy gets Obama second term In the end. and employers are barely adding enough jobs to keep pace with population growth. Reuters. The United States is still digging out from the deepest recession in 80 years. Nov 7. 2012 year. but they did not seem to help him much in the eyes of voters. “But it was always his race to lose. voters have given a second term to incumbent presidents who preside over even modest economic growth during an election W “It was never going to be a landslide. it improved steadily over the course of the year. his Dodd-Frank financial reforms and the Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . If the economy is not exactly roaring ahead. Polls show deep divisions on the merits of his 2009 stimulus. President Barack Obama won the re-election on the issue that was supposed to send him packing: the sluggish US economy.” said John Sides. Trillions of dollars of household wealth have vanished in the housing bubble. a political science professor at George Washington University.
a slice of the electorate that Romney won heavily elsewhere. who advised Republican nominee John McCain during the 2008 campaign. Romney had to overcome lingering suspicion from conservatives during the drawn-out battle for the Republican nomination. The attacks drew unflattering comparisons to Obama’s historic 2008 run for office. Obama enjoyed more reliable support from members of his own party than his Democratic predecessors Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.auto industry bailout. “The line is going to be. and he was unable to appeal to independent swing voters until the campaign’s closing month. said Brookings Institution fellow John Hudak. Obama’s campaign attacked early with a barrage of negative advertising that painted the multimillionaire former private-equity executive as a corporate raider with little concern about the fortunes of ordinary people. “A lot of middle-class white people who don’t have a college degree came to the conclusion that Romney’s just not one of us. he lost white men by only 12 points. For the second election in a row. but they discredited Romney in the eyes of many voters. If the Romney campaign wanted to focus the election on Obama’s economic stewardship.” said Taylor Griffin. Obama’s Democrats held on to the Senate. “There are just a lot fewer people who are going to shift from one candidate or another. but fewer moderates of either party will be in the mix. and the party could have an increasingly difficult time competing in national elections if it fails to make inroads among that rapidly growing slice of the electorate. That is a recipe for more gridlock and whiteknuckle showdowns over taxes and spending. Reaching consensus on even the most routine legislation will be difficult. Obama’s re-election poses uncomfortable questions. ‘See. where 1 in 8 jobs is tied to the industry. white voters.” The increased polarization may make governing more difficult.” said Princeton University history professor Julian Zelizer. In an age of intense partisan sentiment.” said Potomac Research Group analyst Greg Valliere. Obama lost white men nationwide by 21 percentage points. Obama was also helped by the fact that voters largely blame the recession on his Republican predecessor. According to Reuters/Ipsos exit polls. Obama made that a central part of his campaign message as he argued that Romney would bring back policies that precipitated the crash. Obama campaigned heavily on the auto bailout in Ohio. we shouldn’t have nominated a moderate. That may have helped him limit his losses there among white men. but it made campaigning easier for Obama.” he said. In Ohio. The party’s gravity center now rests in the House of Representatives. Obama’s narrow re-election victory will not strike fear in the hearts of Republicans.’” Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . But they made a difference in one important place. “There’s not going to be a lot of goodwill on the Hill. the Republican presidential candidate has been unable to win more than 1 in 3 Hispanic voters. who remain in control of the House of Representatives. “The party is going to move right. They face little incentive to compromise on issues like immigration reform that could anger their base of older. where many lawmakers represent solidly conservative districts. But many in the party are likely to conclude that they will be better off nominating a more conservative candidate next time. the Obama campaign wanted to make it a choice between two candidates. They’re just a lot more hardened on either side. For Republicans. Bush. “The party lines will be hardened after this election. President George W.
2012 ne of my secret goals of wanting to be in Chicago was to be involved in a personal capacity with the re-election campaign of President Obama. It started with an initial online donation and a merchandise O purchase mainly for the experience of understanding how these things work and then on there was no turning back. Not being a US citizen has its limitations but fortunately my office is adjacent to the Obama’s campaign headquarters and my zip code in their database came with some benefits. Social media skills were put to good use to keep up the momentum because in the 2012 election every little thing could make a difference. The two I could not do was working the phones and obviously voting. I did 4 out of 6 things I could do to support the campaign— the highlight being a fundraiser with Michelle Obama in June and canvassing in the neighbouring battleground state in Iowa. Nov 7. Benefits of being invited to exclusive opportunities to participate in some of the campaigns crucial activities. Amith Prabhu.Volunteering in Chicago: It was about the people. not the president One of Amith Prabhu’s secret goals of wanting to be in Chicago was to be involved in a personal capacity with the re-election campaign of President Obama. Thus began six months of interesting interactions with the Obama Campaign. Attending neighbourhood watch parties durCopyright © 2012 Firstpost .
It seems like business as usual and some aspects of the election are indeed fascinating – like the speed at which results come in and the fact that both candidates organise a rally – win or loss. So I walked to the reception of the campaign headquarters adjacent to my office building at lunch break and was pleasantly surprised to find out that my name was in the guest list by virtue of having volunteered and there I was with that prestigious credential all set to witness the absolute stunning finale to a battle well fought. The evening began with the national pledge. When volunteering to door knock we were not told about a possible opportunity of attending the election night rally. When the first family finally got on stage it began to sink in that Barack Obama had won a second term and drove people wild yet composed 9. It was about the people rather than the President all the way 7. national anthem and a very inspiring prayer which started getting people charged up 4. the elections and the dignity with which the leaders carry out their tasks.ing the convention and debates was another great experience. I think Obama had prepared a concession speech and Romney an acceptance speech from what I could gather 10. That shall be tackled in another post. The discipline with which people gather. Here are twelve thoughts from the night of 6 November 2012 (7 November morning to readers in India). There is so much to learn from the campaign. People walked in like they were attending a funeral or a prayer meeting for Sandy victims. special guests and honoured guests 6. So much to learn from the way America acts and reacts! Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . respect each other and assemble with dignity is really admirable 11. The not so good part was a thirty minute wait for the President with a filler in the form of a medley of songs at 12 midnight after Romney delivered his concession speech 8. 12. The best they say is reserved for last. The invitation-only event had three categories of passes – guests. 1. On the eve of the elections I realised that I must find a way to attend this once in a lifetime opportunity and as I have learnt — unless you ask you never get. I was glad I volunteered in Iowa – a battleground state that the President had to win in order to make up the big numbers and that act of volunteering was rewarded with a guest credential to attend the Election Night. There were large screens displaying news from different screens and when the news was not favourable they would play videos from the campaign trail which was a smart move to lift spirits 5. Lastly. It was a great decision to restrict crowds to a few thousands and have it indoors compared to the 2008 election rally which was outdoor in Grant Park 3. There was no festivity and the body language was giving it away 2.
presiding over an enfeebled economy. with unemployment running at over 7 percent for four straight years. As voters went to the polling stations on Tuesday. And in particular. exit poll surveys confirmed that the state of the economy was uppermost on their minds. Nothing else can account for how an incumbent President. it was the go-go years of the George W Bush years.with help from ‘Dubya’ By voting against a return to the flawed economic policies of the Bush era. And particularly after the 9/11 terror attacks on the US. and continued even under Democractic Presidencies). strikingly. 2012 How Obama won: M emories don’t leave like people do. they were “less likely to blame President Barack Obama for the economic troubles… than to point the finger at his predecessor. All during his term in office. as the Republican party keeps reminding them. Venky Vembu. could possibly secure re-election against a man running on his record as a successful businessmen who could create jobs. during which the rich got tax breaks. and the sentiment underlying the exit poll surveys. and has recovered marginally during Obama’s four years in office. Bush. that led up to the colossal crash-bang of the US economy in 2008. Bush blundered recklessly into war in Afghanistan and Iraq and ran up sky-high deficits. George W. And. and the poor and middle class got shafted. the same exit polls from Tuesday also confirmed that although many voters felt that the US economy had a long way to go towards recovery. Although the US economy has averted a repeat of the very real risk of another Great Depression. After all. reflects a rara sagacity among US voters that allowed them to frame the weak economy in the right context — in a way that seldom happens in the heat and dust of a combative election cycle. Bush also advanced the callous deregulation of the financial services industry (that has been going on ever since the Ronald Reagan presidency. he can be thankful for the persistence of memory. For millions of Americans. the previous President. which contributed to the Copyright © 2012 Firstpost .” Even though Obama secured far fewer popular votes and electoral college votes than during his election in 2008. his re-election today. US voters have sent a powerful message about their past and their future. That ought to have been bad news for Obama. it doesn’t feel like their country is on the mend. even the weak recovery has come at the cost of ramping up debt to unsustainable levels. even four years after he left office. Nov 7. that a sufficiently large number of US voters still remember George W Bush. And as US President Barack Obama steps up to rejoice in the success of his re-election. But. given that he has not had much signal success in fixing the economy in the four years since he inherited the mess from Bush following the financial meltdown of 2008. it is still on life support.
and the colourful fat-cat names he called them. particularly after the latter took control of the House of Representatives in 2010 on the strength of the far-right fringe Tea Party movement. said he would not. and the unwisdom of not making long-term investments in enhancing the skills and capabilities of the middle class. US voters have sent a powerful message about their past and their future. Romney. Obama’s campaign theme therefore revolved around the folly of returning to the old Bush-era ways of running the country. but it was a valid case nonetheless. particularly as they grapple to make the cutbacks necessary to lighten America’s debt burden. Obama has been fairly successful in winding down the US military machine overseas . Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . as happens during every primary race. It is another matter that for all his rhetoric. In his eagerness to pander to the extreme right wing. Given the arithmetic of the new Congress. one of the legacies of the Bush era. Romney was asked if he would agree to 1 dollar in tax raises on the rich in return for 10 dollars in entitlement cuts. But his efforts to roll back the fiscal excesses of the Bush era have been stymied at every stage by the Republican party. and despite the close nature of the race. in large part. centred around returning to the same Bush era template: of lowering taxes on the rich. and given that Obama returns to power a somewhat diminished President. Obama has not exerted himself fully in the cause of taming Wall Street excess. Mitt Romney’s economic philosophy was. But merely by voting against a return to the Bush era policies.collapse of the financial markets in 2008. It is a measure of the maturity of US voters that in large part. sufficient numbers of them were persuaded by the merit of the Obama campaign’s argument — and voted to exorcise the spectre of George W Bush. It may not have been the most persuasive defence of his own record in office. there is still a political battle ahead. and cutting back on social welfare entitlements for the poor and the middle class. During one telling moment during the Republican primaries. to his eternal shame.
right-wingers — and some pundits — have peddled the notion that the “real America”. human dignity for women swung votes the other way. all that really counted. instead. Krugman says that what this victory has done most significantly. guns. to which both parties must abase themselves. and gays didn’t swing voters into supporting corporate interests. But according to Nobel laureate Paul Krugman. Gods. Obama’s victory shows a more O Notice too that to the extent that social issues played in this election. and show that the country is becoming more liberal and tolerant. is debunk the theory of a ‘real America’ that consists of partisan white voters who are more conservative in nature. Read the full article here Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . Nov 7. it was the country we are becoming. changing demographics in swing states and even Hurricane Sandy. 2012 bama’s re-election has been attributed from everything to healthcare. Meanwhile. was the land of non-urban white people. In a blog post for the New York Times. but what his win signifies. they played in favor of Democrats.liberal. is debunk the theory of a ‘real America’ that consists of partisan white voters who are more conservative in nature. and increasingly tolerant too. the biggest story of Obama’s victory is not what helped him win. FP Staff. The 2008 Obama coalition wasn’t a fluke. and show that the country is becoming more liberal and tolerant. He says: For a long time. Krugman says that what this victory has done most significantly. the actual electorate was getting racially and ethnically diverse. tolerant America In a blog post for the New York Times.
Obama's Challenges Copyright © 2012 Firstpost .What Next .
Man without a mandate? The challenge of Obama 2. not politics as usual. This has become the kneejerk mantra of the punditry – the president without a mandate. “T . reducing a $16 trillion national debt. The Democrats hold onto the Senate. yesterday once more.” Barack Obama told a cheering crowd in Chicago in his acceptance speech. Barack Obama after winning the polls. Nov 7. 2012 perhaps with an additional seat or two.S. But now that the confetti has settled. If Mitt Romney was gracious in his concession speech the Wall Street Journal didn’t bother to hide its disappointment. Reuters. Well. That’s got to count for something. Democrats will hold the Senate. so their agenda was hardly repudiated. As political commentator James Carville barked on CNN: The man has won reelection. Mr. He faces a difficult task of tackling $1 trillion annual deficits. But the fact is the man won. Republicans remain in control of the House of Representatives. it’s politics as usual. Congress that kept the same partisan makeup. what does it count for? Copyright © 2012 Firstpost onight you voted for action. It’s back to square one for Obama says Reuters. In short. Obama will now have to govern the America he so relentlessly sought to divide—and without a mandate beyond the powers of the Presidency. But Republicans held the House comfortably. overhauling expensive social programs and dealing with a gridlocked U. a new day in America looks remarkably like well. Barack Obama remains president.0 Sandip Roy.
Obama 1. #WakeUpRepublicans. went heavily for Mr. He will need to hold fast to those principles as he takes up the issues he rattled through in his acceptance speech. Romney.Commentators think it means Obama 2.0 can make his case to the people and take his cues from them because he doesn’t have to worry about being re-elected. the Latino vote could turn Texas blue by 2020.0 needs to sit down with House Speaker John Boehner and work things out across the aisle. The New York Times points out: Significantly. I have listened to you. Obama has an ethical core that is his greatest asset. That needs to be at the centre of his second term. not focus groups. The chattering pundits think he is hamstrung because his party does not control the House. Freeing ourselves from foreign oil. Obama needs to get out in front of those issues. Obama is aware of that. We believe in a generous America. to position it along the “arc of justice.. alone. even in the middle of economic doldrums. Reducing our deficit. What Obama will need to remember in his second term is what the people think. I have learned from you. Obama 2. As he said: And whether I earned your vote or not. and you’ve made me a better president.0 floundered not because he didn’t reach across the aisle but because he spent way too much time reaching across the aisle. That’s one campaign promise he must keep. because they trusted his values even if they disagreed with his policies. But actually he can. Reforming our tax code. Only 35 percent said they should not be raised at all. naturally. He. The Republicans are waking up to the fallout of their intransigence on immigration reform because they realize that it’s costing them the Latino vote. 60 percent of voters said taxes should be raised either on the rich or on everyone. behind closed doors. The voters. that group. The Speaker has already signaled he hopes Obama is not thinking of raising taxes on anyone.0. People placed their hope in him. open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag. He can take on these issues and cast them as moral imperatives. consider himself unfettered. We’ve got more work to do… (an America) that isn’t weakened by inequality. that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.0 could not. including the very rich. and rather uniquely among politicians. “He self-deported from the White House. Mitt Romney lost the race in the primary. and trying to accommodate everyone from Republicans to lobbyists to blue dog conservative Democrats. has the ability to cast an issue in moral terms. They see it as a numbers issue and are worried that they are on the wrong side of it. if he chooses. Take taxes and the expiration of tax cuts for the very rich. Fixing our immigration system. signaled that they believe that the man is honourable and trying his best even if they didn’t think they were seeing results quickly enough. That he won reelection is a tribute to the stubbornness of hope.0 can be an Independent in the way Obama 1. Obama 2. That actually sounds a lot like Obama 1. or his own version of fireside chats.” Obama frames it differently. in a tolerant America. He can take them directly to the people through speeches. in electing Barack Obama to a second term in a bad economy.” But they don’t see immigration as a moral issue.” said Republican analyst Ana Navarro.” That is something he cannot squander. not just voting bank deliverables. Tunku Vardarajan tweeted “If the GOP isn’t careful. in a compassionate America. townhalls. Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . It’s time for him to prove that that’s not just empty words. Barack Obama came to be president on the audacity of hope.
“It’s possible you can bifurcate them. What judgment are they going to make? And having been a Democrat elected in 1972 by 3200 votes. 2012 ashington: Addressing the issue of “fiscal cliff” is going to be the first and top priority now. Responding to a question. there’s all kinds of potential to be able to reach a rational. And I still think that’s there.” he said. But I think people know we’ve got to get down to work and I think they’re ready to move. They’re going to have to take a look at – like we did back when I first got started — take a look at will the same formula work?” he said. But I’ve been talking to a lot of people.Fiscal cliff issue top priority. the relationship is the same. Biden said the Obama Administration is willing to compromise with the Republican leadership on key issues facing the nation. says Joe Biden PTI. And the House as well. Biden said his role is unlikely to change in the Obama Administration. It’s possible.” he said. We’re really anxious to get moving on. Getting down to the business. I know it takes a little time to kind of digest what’s going on. first of all. But it’s going to be an interesting – I think the most interesting caucus is going to be the Republican caucus. principled compromise.” he said. W calls.” Biden told a vice president poll reporter on Wednesday. I talked to the President. “I think it will be the same. made a lot of phone Biden said that they are prepared to work with Republican leadership to actually deal with the two overarching problems. I think we can do it. Take it or leave it. It’s not like we’re going to go in and say. not only the US President Barack Obama. “We’re going to have to compromise too. “My takeaway is that we’ve got a lot of work to do.the whole sequester piece and the other is the tax piece. the US Vice President Joe Biden has said listing out the priorities of the re-elected Obama Administration. Look I am. Nov 8. one where the president and I have become good friends and confidants. but also Biden called a number of top Congressional leaders to discuss with them the issues on hand and how to address them. wherein he would continue to play the same role as in the past four years. I think I’ll probably be asked to play a similar role on the debt issue as we did last time. The Vice President expressed optimism about addressing the issue of immigration reform and said that the administration is going to take adequate steps in this regard. we’re now 55 seats (in the Senate). this is our deal. this fiscal cliff. Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . “I think the real takeaway is what is the takeaway going to be on the part of our Republican colleagues. I’m not going to get into who. dealing with the first things first.
These. gridlocked Congress. “His dithering in Syria as 30. the Post said in an editorial. particularly Medicare. actually – to take on issues he ducked the first time around”. “Obama will have to ensure that gains in Afghanistan and Iraq are not erased in the aftermath of US troop withdrawals. and persuade a dug-in Republican Party of the need for increased tax revenue not based on the wishful assumption of faster economic growth. the prospect of four more years offers Obama a chance to conserve the accomplishments of his first term and to complete its unfinished work. the Washington Post said on Wednesday. and the ultimate assessment of his presidential tenure. it said.” W Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . lest the country veer back into recession. Nov 7. the president will have to pivot to the looming fiscal cliff of scheduled tax hikes and spending cuts. both in America and abroad.” The influential daily. which had endorsed Obama’s candidature. the Iranian nuclear programme will pose a fateful challenge. needed to get to work quickly. The re-elected president. an enterprise that Republicans would be wise to join if they hope not to be made obsolete by changing demography.” The Post said the American economy was recovering. one for which he could begin to make amends in the second. but far more slowly than anyone imagined in 2008. 2012 ashington: Now that he has won a second time. President Barack Obama needs to show “bravery” to take on issues he avoided the last time. “He will have to bring his own party along on entitlement reform. included reforming entitlements. “But Obama has had four years of seasoning. It will be more important to know “whether Obama will demonstrate more willingness – more bravery. there is no indication that the intransigence Obama encountered from the opposition party will diminish. possibly within months. “Still. it said. long-term combination of spending cuts and tax increases is the correct one. “Will an Obama second term allow him to transcend the ideological divides that he vowed to bridge but instead found so daunting? “That is a tough order in a partisan age and with a divided. he can fulfil some of the promise that made Americans so excited about his candidacy four years ago. and climate change… “Overseas. “At the top of the list are comprehensive immigration reform.000 civilians have been massacred is a particular blot on his firstterm record. and reducing the unsustainable debt. will be in whether. said there were other important pieces of unfinished business too. “Obama’s promise of a balanced. in a second term.” “But the real measure of Obama’s success. one question is whether he can demonstrate the political canniness and legislative finesse that too often eluded him during the first term.Obama must show bravery in the next 4 years: Washington Post IANS. “After the briefest of celebrations.
What this means for India: Copyright © 2012 Firstpost .
His 2008 campaign agenda remains largely unfulfilled. As one White House adviser put it: “India is one of our five most important interlocutors on almost every global challenge you look at whether it is combating terrorism. Obama sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on a charm offensive to India and he himself visited Mumbai and Delhi early in his presidency to elegantly and effectively dispel Indian apprehensions about an Obama administration. More to the point. More to the point. Obama has now built on the Bush era bonhomie with New Delhi so his presidency means continuity. 2012 N ew York: The race was tight from the start. the more his administration realises how much it needs India. building the G20 or helping to stabilise Afghanistan. particularly in the Middle East which was central to the final debate between him and Romney. Within the context of expectations created upon assuming the presidency. managing the rise of China. Nov 7. New Delhi may have sulked after Obama accused it of dragging its feet on Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . the longer Obama is in office. Obama overpromised and under delivered in foreign policy.President Obama’s win means great bonhomie for India Obama has now built on the Bush era bonhomie with New Delhi so his presidency means continuity. But in the end sitting President Barack Obama held on to win in key battleground states on Tuesday trouncing his Republican rival Mitt Romney. Then sensing a growing nostalgia for former Republican president George W Bush in New Delhi. the more his administration realises how much it needs India.” Earlier in the year. Uttara Choudhury. the longer Obama is in office. The Obama presidency even started off on the wrong foot with India when he initiated a courtship with China that was later abandoned.
“It is foolish to say there is no difference between Mitt Romney and Obama when it comes to Iran. that an aam admi can make it to the very top. Obama’s tough call against Pakistan is underscored by a surge in drone attacks.” said Kamdar.” she added. It’s the first time a Democratic candidate has bested a Republican candidate in India sentiment polls in recent memory. “It means that Obama’s unique trajectory. Even Obama’s critics don’t doubt his commitment to using military pressure on terrorist groups in Pakistan after the daring raid on Osama bin Laden. India and Afghanistan. The past four years have shown that Obama views military-dominated Pakistan with deep distrust and in this area his impulses are completely in synch with New Delhi. and what might be accomplished with India. “A second Obama administration will pursue the same foreign policy and economic policies as during his first administration. At the cost of sending Pakistan into a paroxysms of rage. as opposed to the formal frictions at the World Trade Organisation. The Obama administration wants India to fill up a post-US vacuum in Afghanistan and to play a bigger role training Afghan security forces as a Nato deadline to withdraw all its combat troops from that country by the end of 2014 draws near. including in India. I disagree with other analysts who have suggested there is a complete bipartisan conCopyright © 2012 Firstpost . for India. US policy toward Pakistan and toward Iran would not be pursued in a way that threatens fundamental Indian interest. a fellow at the World Policy Institute. They have certain expectations. resonates with people around the world who believe democracy can sometimes deliver unexpected victories. It is a known quantity. it means continuity.” Mira Kamdar. understanding of how India works. India-US total merchandise trade was $57. get closer every year. At least that’s what Obama’s victory meant in 2008. She added that although there may be small frustrations. the Obama administration has instituted a trilateral engagement between the US. according to estimates by the New American Foundation. told Firstpost. Tough line on terrorism emanating out of Pakistan Analysts say an older and wiser Obama is likely to tweak policy on South Asia and adopt a tougher line on Islamic terrorism emanating out of Pakistan. the India-US relationship is a sturdy one today. In 2012.” “The team that Obama has assembled knows how to deal with India. Forget aid.free-market reforms. But real economic ties between India and the US. As a result of these attacks. his being elected with the name Barack Hussein Obama. the US has been able to achieve at least 41 high value targets.80 billion in 2011 — making the US India’s third largest trading partner. his becoming the first black president of the US. Obama will want India to replace Pakistan in Afghanistan Overall. “Obama is the favoured candidate all around the world. who is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.” said South Asia expert Sumit Ganguly. Obama has maintained that deepening ties with India are a “first-order of priority. and author of Planet India. There is irony in the situation as the same US administration earlier wanted India to downsize its footprint in Afghanistan till a couple of years ago for fear of offending Pakistan. It is better than a new set of people who will have to acquaint themselves with Indian expectations.
most Americans will face a crushing tax bill on 15 April. he is now one of the most polarising presidents America has ever seen. Economists have warned that if the Bush-era tax cuts expire it could push the US economy back into recession. at least to date. Obama will have to learn to work with the Republicans Ultimately. Surprisingly. If the Bush-era tax cuts expire as scheduled in December this year. voting went down according to predictable fault lines and vote banks. which stands at 7. It was totally unclear what Romney intended to deal with Pakistan and Afghanistan. America’s bitterly divided Congress has to move swiftly to reach a deal after the US elections on Tuesday. No sitting president since Franklin D. “Obama’s victory in the bruising campaign marks a landmark in modern election history. Roosevelt in 1940 has won re-election with a higher unemployment rate. Americans are now hoping a second-term Obama will maneuver toward the centre.9 percent.” said The Wall Street Journal. Obama had the support of 93 percent of black voters and 69 percent of Latinos. Obama has been unable to make any headway with Republicans in addressing the fiscal cliff. and the looming deadline is spooking the financial markets. Despite lavishing $3 billion into attack ads. seek- ing compromise with Republicans on major issues as did his Democratic predecessor. Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . He has pushed through measures like Obamacare with no Republican support. Exit polls showed Obama won 55 percent of the female vote while Romney won 58 percent of the white vote. 2014. about $600 billion in government spending cuts and higher taxes which are otherwise set to kick in from 1 January. Four years ago. Obama become the first African American to win the country’s presidency after pushing a reformist message of change that resonated across America and well beyond its shores. because Romney made very strong statements about Iran.” said Ganguly. No there isn’t. voters in a handful of battleground states had the final say in what has been the most expensive presidential contest in history. They are hoping he might rethink his call for raising taxes on wealthier Americans to pay for deficit reduction and come to a compromise with the opposition on tackling the fiscal cliff in the interest of getting things done for the American people. World leaders urged the US this weekend to act decisively to avoid a rush of spending cuts and tax hikes. The fiscal cliff is the biggest short-term threat to global growth and has much to do with US taxes. Also controversial are his record government spending and what critics claim are Obama’s efforts to grow big government.sensus when it comes to India. who holds the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations at Indiana University in Bloomington. former President Bill Clinton.
as they cheered his re-election as a possible boost to the US economy. “We need to understand how much of the election rhetoric continues into 2013 and that will determine the full implications to us.” Murthy said in a statement.” Phaneesh Murthy.IT captains hope for a softer Obama India’s $100 billion IT services sector has seen a sharp slowdown in growth in recent quarters as Western clients hold back on spending. chief executive officer of iGate Corp. said in response to Obama’s victory.. Nov 7. 2012 Wrecked by Barack? N ew Delhi: India’s outsourcing chiefs crossed their fingers that Barack Obama would take a less hawkish stance on the industry during his second term. “Not the best news for India or the IT outsourc- . Reuters. and his administration has been criticised by outsourcing industry bodies in India for tightening visa rules. Commerce Minister Anand Sharma had criticised Obama’s administration for a hike in visa charges for companies that have the majority of their employees overseas as “highly discriminatory” and detrimental to the profitability of Copyright © 2012 Firstpost Obama sharpened his rhetoric against industries that move jobs out of America during his re-election campaign. ing industry.
Adi Godrej.” he told Reuters.Indian IT companies. outsourcing and economic matters. “Democrats and Obama … think you should not outsource more.” said Rahul Bajaj. “That translates into significant opportunities for the technology sector. executive co-chairman of Infosys Ltd said on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum on the outskirts of Delhi. “I would prefer Romney and the Republicans to Obama and the Democrats on trade policies. “I am hopeful that the US government will do the right thing. That is bad. President Obama stepped up his criticism of US firms ‘exporting’ jobs early on in his campaign. said in a statement that it hoped Obama’s second term would “uplift the business sentiment and lead economic resurgence in America”. these issues are raised. described that stance as “election rhetoric”. India’s fourth-largest software services provider. With unemployment a crunch issue in the election. seeking to tax them more and use that money to help those companies that keep jobs at home. said in response to Obama’s re-election.” India’s $100 billion IT services sector has seen a sharp slowdown in growth in recent quarters as Western clients hold back on spending. There Romney would have been better. “I think that there will be a lot of economic activity. Europe and the United States account for around threequarters of the industry’s revenues.” Kris Gopalakrishnan.” Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . But some Indian business leaders said Obama’s stance on outsourcing was a worrying trade issue. chief executive officer of Tata Consultancy Services . “I am hopeful … there will be more pragmatic approaches to some of the problems. “Every time there’s a US election.” N Chandrasekaran. the industry leader.” HCL Technologies . chairman of the Bajaj Group industrial conglomerate. president of trade lobby group the Confederation of Indian Industry.
would take the oath of office for his second term on January 21. Obama recently toured the New Jersey coastline ravaged by megastorm Sandy along with its Republican Governor. is a hard-nosed leader with an even-keel temperament. faces thorny four years ahead amid concerns over sluggish economy while his foreign policy may continue to focus on Asia-Pacific where India is being seen as a linchpin in the US strategy. Obama a hard-nosed PTI. 2012 disaster in a rare bipartisanship. the first ever US President to travel to India in his first term. the Democratic Party suffered historic losses in the mid-term polls in November 2010. Obama. however. with the Republicans appearing more determined than ever to promote their conservative agenda and stymie the President’s plans. 2013 as the Constitutionally-mandated January 20 inauguration date falls on a Sunday. who was awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. 1961 in Honolulu. On the foreign policy front. has endorsed New Delhi for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. he was elected the 44th President of the US on November 4. 2009. domestic compulsions forced him to raise his voice against outsourcing jobs to India during his election campaign. All said and done. 51-year-old Obama. Nov 7. 2008 after he defeated then Republican candidate John McCain and was sworn in on January 20. who defied a stiff challenge from Mitt Romney to win a presidential term again. who won a second term to the White House today against all odds. he faces a daunting task ahead.leader who is good for India ashington: Barack Obama. Obama. voters still remained loyal to him. with a slow job growth and the unemployment rate remaining over 8 percent. Born Barack Hussein Obama. The US economy has struggled a lot since Obama took office amid one of the worst economic recessions in decades. bringing the US war in Iraq to W A votary of strong ties with India. Jr. to whiteAmerican Ann Dunham and Kenya-born Harvard-educated economist on August 4. with the two leaders praising each other for their response to the Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . which claimed over 90 lives and caused an estimated economic damage of up to $50 billion. especially on the front of economy. Obama managed to earn crucial points by dispatching a team of commandos to kill al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in the Pakistani garrison city of Abbottabad. Seeking to bring in the “real change” in the US. Obama had reached the White House exactly 45 years after the Black civil rights leader Martin Luther King challenged Americans to embrace his “dream” of equality. However. Earlier. charismatic speaking skills and a knack for consensusbuilding. Hawaii. He earned praise from the public for his response to the disaster. Notwithstanding strong dissatisfaction with his handling of the struggling economy.
While many had scoffed earlier at Obama’s experience as a community organiser saying community work experience did not count in the making of a US President. in his first term. lay down new rules for Wall Street and the banking industry. overhaul the US healthcare system. Married to Michelle and father of two daughters Sasha and Malia. Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . Obama as president-elect had personally called the then Indian Ambassador Ronen Sen to extend his condolences over the Mumbai terrorist attack and vowed that the US would provide all help to bring its perpetrators to justice. After graduating. After completing his school. Obama went to Harvard Law School. A year later. but also endorsed India for the UN Security Council Permanent Membership. Obama’s first tryst with power came in 1996 when the low-paid community organiser on Chicago’s south side was elected to the state Senate of Illinois. the Democrats. he became the first US President to travel to India in his first term during which he not only declared India-US relationship as the most important relationship of the 21st century. recognising the growing stature of the country at the world level. Ahead of the Presidential poll. He was then raised by his grandfather. whose first name Barack in Arabic means ‘the blessed’. analysts felt that it had helped the black American leader to reach out to individual voters during his campaign for his first presidential election. Even before he was sworn in as the US President in January 2009. It was during his first term that the India-US bilateral trade crossed the $100 billion mark. During his childhood. Obama did not lose his patience and worked to a game plane and strategy. Obama spent some time in Indonesia where his mother moved after marrying Stanley Dunham. Obama showed the significance he attached to India-US relationship by hosting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his First State Dinner in November 2009.decade-old law banning openly gay Americans from serving in the US military. On the domestic front. have overcome Republicans’ opposition to pass an economic stimulus programme. Obama’s biological parents had divorced after his birth and his father died in 1982 in an auto incident. Obama along with other Democrats also overturned a two. He made it to the federal Senate in 2004 after a landslide electoral victory. that ultimately led him to win. was hard pressed to fend off rumours that he was a Muslim and said he was a practising Christian. and rescue the US auto industry from collapse. which he made his home town. who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to become Vice President at a local bank. where he was elected the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. He continued his legal work as a civil rights lawyer and professor teaching Constitutional law at the University of Chicago. Obama realised the importance of the US ties with India from the very first day of his presidency.a close and striking a new nuclear arms treaty with then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. he came back again to Chicago. and his grandmother. Obama moved to Chicago where he worked as an organiser to help rebuild communities devastated by the closure of local steel plants. Obama has appointed a record number of Indian-Americans to top positions in his Administration – including Raj Shah as USAID Administrator – and also personally lit the traditional ‘diya’ inside the White House to celebrate the Diwali. Obama. since Obama took office. who served in Patton’s army.
Obama won the election to get a second term as the US President overcoming a stiff challenge from Republican Mitt Romney. Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . A votary of strong ties with India. “I congratulate President Obama. he told reporters here. Nov 7. but some of them expressed concerns over the outsourcing issue. 51-year-old Obama. Leaders of India Inc too have welcomed the reelection of Obama saying that continuity would be good for bilateral relations.Indo-US ties to be stronger with Obama re-election: FM Finance Minister P Chidambaram today expressed the hope that economic ties with the United States would improve with the re-election of Barack Obama as the US President. scored the victory after a bitter and costly campaign running over months. the first black American to occupy the White House. 2012 N ew Delhi: Finance Minister P Chidambaram today expressed the hope that economic ties with the United States would improve with the re-election of Barack Obama as the US President. PTI. I hope that Indo-US relations (will) get stronger…especially economic relations”.
for instance) are using EVMs this time. First. Many states still vote on paper ballots. two-thirds of the voting will still take place on old-fashioned paper ballots. America is in the Stone Age. electronic voting.What India can teach the US about electoral process For all its technological prowess. Here are some of them. Copyright © 2012 Firstpost There are many good things that can be said about the US electoral system – its presidential debates. Our Election Commission can teach the Yanks a . In the US. while some states (Ohio. 2012 I s this any way to run an election in the world’s oldest democracy? thing or two. Nov 7. where every county or district can choose its own method of voting – paper or electronic ballot. the US is still in the stone age in terms of how it votes. India is 100 percent on electronic voting machines (EVMs). The reason: America has too much democracy. Several square miles of trees are still being killed in the name of democracy. its robust two-party system. its unique conduct of primaries that allow parties to choose their candidates. and its professional approach to campaigning – but when it comes to the actual act of voting. We use EVMs in every election. FP Editors.
the US does not have an independent election commission. which contains choices for other races beyond the presidential one. Yesterday. 6 November.Second. where states have a fixed share of electoral votes. give employees the right to take a day off if they want to. the Himachal elections are over. Six. however. some American states also allow voters to exercise their franchise before D-day. voting is often more tedious in America. all voters get a level information field. is not a national holiday. that ended up sending George W Bush to the White House in the closely contested 2000 elections. but still had to give up after waiting for two hours each time. Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . This year the Florida ballot runs into more than 20 pages – and TV interviewers talked to voters who said they had joined queues twice over two days. In America. Four. For example. Thanks to the system of electoral college. the voting queues are longer in the US. unlike India. Even in India. even losers can win. voting patterns in one place will not influence voting behaviour in other places. Five. there were seven hour-long lines in Florida. Thus. Tuesday. in the US presidential race. To enable people to vote. While some companies do give their employees a day off. But the candidate who wins in the electoral college could actually get less popular votes. changed the course of recent history. Indian voters get a holiday to vote. Our votes are counted only after the polling is over. who are often blatantly partisan. And that. This can completely change results in a close race since people may not bother waiting in queues to vote when it appears that their candidate has already won – or lost. For a country with less than a fourth of India’s population. but the results won’t be out till the Gujarat polling is over in December. He got more popular votes. it can be excruciatingly long. But in America. it is the candidate who crosses the halfway mark in terms of electoral votes (270 out of 538) who wins. American voters don’t. are given enormous powers to determine the outcomes of close elections. Results on the East Coast of America can be pronounced – or called – based on margins when Californians are still heading for the polling booths. This is one reason. especially given the cumbersome processes. States. but George Bush won more electoral college votes. poll results are declared in the early voting states even before people start exercising their franchises in states featuring in the later time zones. It seems it takes 15 minutes for each Florida voter to read and complete his ballot. queues can be long. as we all know. Al Gore in 2000 was one such case. A few counties in Florida put paid to Al Gore’s hopes. Third. Local officials. apart from a flawed paper process.
When Barack Obama strode onto the stage to give his acceptance speech a friend messaged me from Mumbai. I had not meant to be at that ballroom. When Obama spoke I cried. and an iPhone clamped to the other. “I cried. It was as if there was a kind of whoosh heard all over the world – the sound of millions of people. 2012 Obama. Nov 6. I was generally not that interested in being in a political crush whatever its denomination. But the man on the phone was not crying for that loss. finally exhaling. As Obama was giving his victory speech in Chicago. whoever: I have one indelible memory from election night 2008.” he hollered into the phone. But this is why it still matters. who had been holding their breath.Why do we even care? Why do people who have no votes in the US election care when barely 50 percent of American voters do? 2008 made history.” It was a bittersweet moment for him and many others in the ballroom. But this was one election that you just could not watch alone in your living room and then turn off the television and head to bed. voters in California were narrowly rejecting same-sex mar- riage. you just had to be Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . He was moved to tears by the jolt of possibility that rippled through the country when the televisions called the election. Sandip Roy. He had one finger in his ear to block out the bedlam inside. 2012 is just another presidential election. “Honey. Romney. If you were in America on election night 2008. A gay man was standing outside the grand ballroom of the St Francis hotel in San Francisco where the Democratic Party’s election result watching jamboree was in full swing in front of giant television screens.
“It’s out of my hands now. calling. bought in India. bleary-eyed. There will be election-watching parties organised by diehard expats. or at on least his Facebook status.outside.” I told a friend. I am 30 years old and in my lifetime I have not had an opportunity to vote.” It was a chilly night. named Barack Hussein Obama. that’s what’s eyeopening — the feeling that the aam aadmi holds the levers. I have worked this past weekend. But as I walked down the streets of downtown San Francisco. giving each other a thumbs up. I think it even rained. Pakistan. Or elect a man who came from nowhere. Obama in 2008 was making history.” Just reading it gave me goosebumps. especially middle-class Indians. Though I am not a US citizen. perhaps even with bagels and cream cheese to try and create a little makebelieve bubble of Americana. But it gives some hope that every four years ordinary Americans have the chance to throw the most powerful man in the world out of office and they often do. texting. you can finally hear the ticking heart of democracy. Next day was a working day but no one cared. a gay activist in San Francisco who wears his preferences on his sleeve. We think of elections as being rigged in Russia. The crowds at Union Square were hollering and shouting though the night was getting cold. Everyone was twittering. I set my clock alarm to watch the debates. Now I’ll set it again to watch the results. in my pajamas. not just in America but around the world.” Obama said in his final rally in Iowa this week. This election I will be watching from thousands of miles away. For many of us. In 2012 it’s just an American election whether Obama wins or Romney pulls a surprise. Who is better for India — Democrats or Republicans? Or is India so important now that it doesn’t really matter who sits in the White House? But still Swapan Dasgupta tweets out “If I was an American my vote would have gone to Mitt Romney in this election. The Mideast process has not inched forward. with no dynastic privileges or huge corporate coffers. But like the Durga Puja celebrations of NRIs in American suburbs they will have the feeling of rituals-in-a-box. “Let’s go to the St Francis. All of it depends on what you do. It will be morning in India and the world outside the bubble will not care. It is front page news because it’s happening in a superpower but the importance the world places on these elections sometimes feels a little misplaced in the post Cold War world. “It’s in yours. knocking doors in Nevada and calling voters to make sure we re-elect President Obama. People smiled at strangers. pre-packaged and trying a little too hard. It’s about a certain faith in the process even when that faith hangs on a chad.” Or take my friend Harsha. “Even if Obama wins again in 2012 it will never be like this time again. whether you were a voter or not. Why do people who have no votes in the election care when barely 50 percent of American voters do? Having watched the elections up close in America and now from far away in India. who grow up thoroughly disengaged from the political process. rubber stamped in Africa. erties is disappointing. trade deals. In India the elections are analysed in more mundane terms — outsourcing. In the deep hush that follows weeks of frenzied and rancorous campaigning and the relentless din of TV ads and robo-calls. there were long lines at the pizza joint. I think it’s not just about the candidates but also about the institutions. Critics complain that it doesn’t matter who wins — Obama’s record on civil lib- Copyright © 2012 Firstpost .
and a car seat (also in pink). To be honest. grandkids. “Because we are electing the President. American democracy was at work alongside two pink little girl bikes. It was 7:30 in the morning and people had brought their kids. I was looking at a sign that said Polling Place stuck on an orange traffic cone. Copyright © 2012 Firstpost . But in 2008 I realised it was really in little basement garages turned into makeshift polling booths. even a small fluffy white dog.” said his grandmother. I was a little flummoxed. “Why is this an important election?” asked a little curly-haired boy. I always thought the action was in Washington DC in the White House. a microwave oven on its side. I thought. Indeed. This didn’t feel like history in the making. And some of us outside America understand it better than many Americans do. That must feel special.When I watched the elections from India. It’s a feeling every country aspires to. Inside the garage.
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