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Mako, Channel 2 News, Israel

Obama’s Victory

By Udi Segel

Translated By Danielle Morris

7 November 2012

Edited by Gillian Palmer

Israel - Mako, Channel 2 News - Original Article (Hebrew)

A tougher victory this time, and not much remains of the hopeful feeling in the air four years ago, but the American president will remain in the White House for another term. What are the challenges facing Obama and what will happen to relations with Netanyahu? Udi Segel summarizes the U.S. election results.

Obama’s victory this time around is not the same as his victory in 2008. It is a less significant victory, and one which the president had to put much more work into. The air of hope and change that surrounded him four years ago has subsided.

On the other hand, Obama remains on the side of the minorities. In his inspiring and appeasing speech, he collectively embraced everyone, including the defeated Romney and his family, thanked all of his supporters and talked about America embarking on a new journey.

What is Obama going to do and which policies will he implement? This will become apparent in the coming weeks and months. The first challenge facing the president is the polarization of America, reaching out to the public that did not vote for him: white, Republican America. He has to try and convince them that he is everybody’s president. He covered this in his victory speech. The second challenge will be to thank those who, despite the power outages, stood in the cold and dark to vote for him.

Above these two challenges hovers the financial issue. This is the main challenge facing him, and the reason he was voted in. The president needs to attempt to continue in the course he already started: creating more jobs, reducing the deficit and putting America back on track financially — and internationally. Obama needs to project an image of strength and power and use this to attain the interests of America, here (Israel) and elsewhere in the world.

When analyzing Romney’s defeat, in retrospect, it seems that he did too much zigzagging for the Republican voters. To win the race, he had to turn toward the right to gain the support of the tea party. He then had to return to the center to attain the votes of the Republican majority.

Netanyahu’s Correction

The statistics show that America tends more toward Obama. This is the America of minorities, black and Hispanic communities, gays and lesbians, young people and those who want to be represented and have voted for him again, despite possibly already being let down by him.

So, what about the Israeli perspective? Prime Minister Netanyahu has congratulated Obama, stating that the ties between the countries are strong and that he will continue to cooperate with him. This is an attempt to reach out after what was viewed, at least in Washington, as an attempt by the Israeli Prime Minister to intervene in the American election. Netanyahu was perceived as a leader who supports Romney and the Republicans — something he will need to correct, and fast.

The American president may not have much regard for Netanyahu, but America, and in particular Obama, work according to their interests; it is not certain that we will see any retaliation. It seems that we’ll simply have to wait and see how things develop.



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