Congratulations to the American voters who did the right thing and re-elected President Barack Obama. Now American will see if Republicans are finally willing to work with the president with his fresh mandate.
The election was a validation of Obama’s first term and a repudiation of a candidate who became convinced he could lie-and-spend his way into The White House. That would have been a terrible message to our children; that blatant lies can win the ultimate prize.
Obama was clearly the best of the two candidates. Obama was gracious in his acceptance speech after the challenger Mitt Romney finally got to making his own concession long after it was clear Obama had built an insurmountable lead. As we write this editorial in the early morning, projections have Obama winning 303 to 206 electoral college votes. The president swept all the swing states except North Carolina. He defeated Romney in Ohio, Virginia, Nevada, Colorado, Wisconsin, Iowa, and New Hampshire.
As we wrote he was even leading in Florida. President Obama’s first term was characterized by Republican caused gridlock. The party behaved most irresponsibly and allied itself with the radical and extreme Tea Party, which even encouraged racist attacks against the president. The party’s reading of the nature of the majority of Americans was simply wrong; there simply were not enough people who wanted to vote out Obama based on hatred alone as the results proved.
The Republican party simply refused to work with President Obama. Party leaders such as Senator Mitch McConnell openly declared, recklessly, that the party’s number one mission was to oust Obama after one term. The Republicans rejected healthcare reform, financial industry regulation, and job creation bills. The party rejected corporation on a whole host of issues. President Obama defied the odds. He pushed hard for billions of dollars in stimulus money, which the Republicans rejected. When President Obama was sworn into office, the nation lost 800,000 jobs in the first month.
The president managed to pump money into the economy, which created jobs. The president’s policies rescued the U.S. auto industry and the bailout of financial institutions prevented a run on banks which would have further damaged the economy. He managed to create about 5.6 million new jobs over the past four years. Last month alone, the economy created 171,000 new jobs.
The president’s signature achievement was passing the healthcare bill. The new law had to survive several legal challenges that reached all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Now the president must get back to governing with a responsible Congress. There is good reason why public approval of Congress hovered close to the single digits. Democrats will retain control of the Senate while Republicans will hold the House of Representatives.
President Obama has a clear mandate to continue the U.S. recovery and work towards “perfecting” the union as he likes to say. American voters have spoken. They want the president to continue the hard work. Hopefully republicans have learned that there is no reward for trying to paralyze governance, including job-creation simply for myopic partisan goals.
Congress must approve the jobs bills the president advocated for. Repairing the nation’s infrastructure will create millions of new jobs for all Americans regardless of their party affiliation.
Voters have spoken loudly and clearly. Will Republicans continue to obstruct or will they do the right thing?