Gerald Ford actually once quoted this great statement when a nation weary with the Watergate scandal hoped to return back to normality. And just about the same sentiments probably describe a nation weary of this long 17 month, $6 billion dollar election that finally ended last night with much the same outcome as we had before. President Obama won the election by a smaller margin than his 2008 thumping of Sen. John McCain, yet managed a substantial electoral vote margin and around a 2.6 million national popular vote win as well.
The campaign for president was often peppered with goofy moments when even Big Bird from the SESAME STREET children’s TV program became an issue for a few days. And, the Romney Campaign often failed to see their own absurdity, where Romney was an easy target for jokes by the late night comics and SNL. It is probably these late night comics that will most miss not being able to joke about Romney as a ridicule target. His campaign was often far more silly than many of his strongest supporters ever seemed to be able to visualize.
But, the president’s campaign was not without it’s faults as well. A weak performance by President Obama in the first presidential debate only shocked his supporters and seemed to give Romney some momentum for a time. But, this momentum seemed to stall and he was later blown entirely off the map by Hurricane Sandy, which gave the president the chance to work in a bipartisan manner with the popular Republican governor of New Jersey to appear compassionate and command all of the resources of FEMA to help with the disaster effort. Mitt Romney’s campaign efforts were put on hold for a few days, where Romney’s best efforts were collecting some cans of soup for a relief charity or else ducking reporters questions about his own support for cutting FEMA so that he could give more tax relief to the wealthy like himself. And that was part of Romney’s problem, he just never really connected with the average voter very well.
And for all of his claims about being such a great business manager, Romney just never managed his own campaign very well compared to the president’s organization. The Obama Campaign had something on the order of 5100 command centers in just the battleground states alone, that made sure their voters got to the polls while the Romney Campaign took a far more leisurely path that only spelled defeat for them in the end.
The Romney Campaign managed to specialize in gaffes and being on the wrong side of so many issues such as wanting to cut student aid programs, oppose the auto bailouts that not only saved both GM and Chrysler, but many tens of thousands of jobs as well putting interest income into the U.S. Treasury, and managed to alienate many African American and Hispanic voters. George W. Bush for example drew a 40% share of Hispanic voters, while Romney only managed just 27% support because of darn fool moments such as showing up at Univision in what appeared to be “brownface” and talking about illegal aliens in the sense that they should just “self deport” themselves. At the end of being on the wrong side of so many issues or so gaffes, the campaign looked perplexed at why so many voters were abandoning them and moving back toward the president.
If this all was some prize fight, some referee should have called a stop to this months ago. This doesn’t mean that all is well with the country, or that the country will have an easy path ahead. But, for Romney to ask voters to vote for someone who would have sent this country down the wrong path, who was much worse ever than the man he sought to replace was simply too much for most voters to stomach. It was asking too much.
Long ago, the people surrounding Romney should have seen that they lacked any real organization. That many of his political opinions simply alienated many voters, rather than attracted them and his almost nonstop outrageous nervous little cutting remarks about the president didn’t offer up any real solutions to problems. It was a mostly trivial campaign that he ran, with a one-note message that he seemed to be running for president to cut his own taxes, because he’s worth a quarter billion dollars. Much like Donald Trump, Romney only seemed to get people to listen to him because he had a lot of money, and not because anything he said made a lot of sense.
Romney certainly looked like a president straight from central casting. But, that was part of his problem. He was an empty suit, who wanted to be president, much like wanting some lifetime achievement trophy, but simply lacked any real vision for the country to actually get himself elected. His economic plans were weak medicine, and his foreign policy views were much weaker yet.
Thank God this is all now over, and Wizbang Pop can return back to the serious news such as half dressed celebrities.