From Florida to Alaska, the News
Is Not Obama’s Defeat
But the Republicans’ Victory
By Gustavo Chacra
Translated By Perola Vieira
3 November 2010
Edited by Gillian Palmer
Brazil - Estadao - Original Article (Portuguese)
Barack Obama has seen his party be defeated in the elections in the middle of his term, as was expected. The performance repeats the initial failure of four of the latest five White House's occupants. Jimmy Carter (1977-81) lost; Ronald Regan (1981-89) lost; George Bush (1989-93), the father, lost; Bill Clinton (1993-2001) lost. Only George W. Bush (2001-2009) won.
And, among the four losers, two won the elections two years later — in Reagan’s case, winning 49 of the 50 American states in one of the most sweeping victories in U.S. history. Like Clinton, the former Hollywood actor is in the pantheon of the most popular U.S. presidents. Want more? Reagan was once again defeated in elections through his second term and 24 months later, his vice president (Bush Senior) was elected to succeed him.
It is interesting that the defeat margins of Carter and Bush Senior in the Congressional elections were well below Clinton’s and Reagan's. Despite the best results, both failed to win reelection. Therefore, Democrats’ bad performance may not be Obama’s death sentence.
In two years, Obama can be reelected regardless of the Democrats’ defeat in elections yesterday. Everything will depend on the economy. The same applies to almost every country in the world, including Brazil. If the economy does well, governors tend to win. If it does poorly, they lose. The American president, today, manages an economy with an unemployment rate of almost 10 percent. Obviously, his popularity is falling. And it has affected, in part, the Democrats’ results.
But instead of talking about Obama’s defeat, we have to affirm clearly that this was a victory for Republicans. We must remember that the opponents have campaigned better and been more organized. Moreover, the elections yesterday were local. States’ issues and the figure of the candidates also affect the result. The Republicans’ names pleased more voters. And the solutions proposed by the GOP to U.S. problems are in more in tune with most Americans.
According to analyst David Brooks, who despite being published in the New York Times follows a conservative line, there is a habit of thinking that the Democrats’ victory is “the hope” and the Republicans’ “the anger.” The Republicans won. Period. Like it or not, that was the result.
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