2012 election

Barack Obama’s foreign policy boast unravels after election

What a lot of things President Obama seems to have been holding back until after his re-election. Each day brings something new. There has been the news of an attack by Iran on a US drone in the Persian Gulf. Then there is the Petraeus affair – known about for months, but only leading to the CIA chief’s resignation immediately after Obama’s re-election. The Benghazi hearings are yet to come. And now another surprise. It transpires that the Iraqi government, a body which is only in power because of the sacrifice of thousands of American, British and other allied troops, is releasing from custody a senior Hezbollah terrorist who was

The Romney campaign meets electoral reality

When I worked in Washington, I was shown round the White House by a junior Bush administration staffer. As our group made it round the building we passed various photos of George W. Bush signing bits of legislation into law, at nearly everyone our guide would stop and tell us how many voters in various key states would benefit from it. When there was a picture of Bush with a governor, we’d be regaled with both sets of approval ratings. It was clear that whatever the administration’s flaws – and there were many – it had an acute understanding of the importance of data and the changing nature of the

The Democrats won more than just the Presidency on Tuesday night

The focus, of course, is on President Barack Obama’s resounding re-election — but there are plenty of other reasons why Democrats are celebrating Tuesday night’s results. In the summer, it looked like Obama’s party would struggle to maintain their Senate majority. Instead, they have extended it. Embattled incumbents held on in tight races in Missouri, Montana and Ohio. The Democrats also retained vulnerable seats in New Mexico, North Dakota, Virginia and Wisconsin despite the incumbents having retired. And they took seats off the Republicans in Indiana and Massachusetts, to take their total up to 54 Senators — and it could rise to 55 if newly-elected independent Angus King decides to

Alex Massie

Immigration is only part of the problem Republicans have with hispanic voters – Spectator Blogs

Lord knows there are plenty of people to blame for Mitt Romney’s defeat. One chap has not been mentioned often enough, however. Step forward and take your medicine Rick Perry! The Governor of Texas, who once persuaded otherwise sensible folk (and me) he was a more than plausible contender for the GOP nomination, played an important part in securing Barack Obama’s re-election. Perhaps the President should send him a set of Presidential-seal embossed cowboy boots. There are bound to be some left from the Dubya days. It was Perry who insisted that, if you had a heart, you should support Texas’s policy of not preventing the children of illegal immigrants

Oh say can you see, MPs on a jolly

Team Cameron, as my colleague James Forysth points out, are rather pleased with Obama’s victory. Downing Street’s finest have been pushing the idea that Barack Obama’s victory speech echoed, word for word, Cameron’s constant refrain that ‘we are all in this together’ and that the ‘inherited economic mess’ is slowly being overcome. Dave the Statesman, don’t you know? Obama has his admirers on the Opposition benches, as we know. The Labour Party was out in force at the two biggest victory bashes in central London last night: CNN’s opulent shindig at One Mayfair and the tackier affair at the US Embassy. I spotted Mr and Mrs Harriet Harman, Chris Bryant

Freddy Gray

US election 2012: do Conservative values no longer matter on the American right?

What’s happened to America’s social conservatives? Eight years ago, traditional ‘values voters’ were said to have been key to Bush’s victory. Karl Rove was credited with a strategic master stroke — by persuading the President to talk about ‘life’, not ‘abortion’, he was said to have motivated the conservative base while reaching across the centre to sympathetic undecideds. But now, Karl Rove is a GOP monkey on Fox News, and the electoral landscape looks very different. Indeed, Obama might have just played the 2004 Republican trick in reverse — by targeting the Republican weakness among women in swing states, he mobilised the left and appealed to moderate American ladies disturbed

Isabel Hardman

US election 2012: Obama’s victory is a relief for David Cameron

David Cameron welcomed Barack Obama’s re-election in the early hours of this morning, tweeting: ‘Warm congratulations to my friend @BarackObama. Look forward to continuing to work together.’ He later released this statement: ‘I would like to congratulate Barack Obama on his re-election. I have really enjoyed working with him over the last few years and I look forward to working with him again over the next four years. There are so many things that we need to do: we need to kick start the world economy and I want to see an EU-US trade deal. Right here in Jordan I am hearing appalling stories about what has happened inside Syria

Isabel Hardman

Obama keeps that hopey-changey thing going in victory speech

Even though Obama’s victory speech in Chicago was far less hopey-changey than his rockstar delivery four years ago, the re-elected president did still manage to sound a little as though he was delivering an address at a wedding, smoothing over the ugly bits and telling America that ‘the best is yet to come’. Both he and Mitt Romney made calls for co-operation between Republicans and Democrats, with Obama saying: ‘Tonight, you voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours, and in the coming weeks and months I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to

James Forsyth

US election 2012: the broadcast election

One product of the modern communications age is that we can all follow what US outlets and Twitter are saying while watching the BBC coverage’s of the US elections. This creates a whole host of challenges for the Beeb. Back in the day, few would have noticed that there was a gap between the US networks calling the key state of Ohio for Obama and the BBC catching up. But this time, it stuck out like a poor thumb. The other great challenge for any international broadcaster is the sheer quality of the coverage on US television. One can chuckle at NBC and their political editor having a ‘Command Centre’.

James Forsyth

US election 2012: Obama’s re-election

In the end, Barack Obama won re-election comfortably. The Obama political team again demonstrated its ability to get the vote out where it needed it. The margin might have been narrower than in 2004. But it was, in purely operational terms, a more impressive victory; triumphing against the backdrop of a still stuttering economy. For the Republicans, there’s much to reflect on. The party’s demographic problems are now too serious to ignore. In 2004, Bush won 41% or 44% of the Hispanic vote—depending on which pollster you want to use. But this time, Obama won 72% of Hispanics. Given that Hispanics are the fastest growing group in the US electorate,

US elections 2012: God Bless Negativity

Today, says American political journalist Michael Brendan Dougherty, ‘120 million Americans will choose who they don’t want to be president.’ Exactly — for all Mitt Romney and Barack Obama’s upbeat noise over the last few days, the 2012 US presidential elections have been motivated, entirely, by fear and loathing. The key questions: Are you so fed up with Barack Obama that you can bring yourself to vote for Romney? Or do you hate the Republicans enough to vote for Obama? With all its attack ads and its mudslinging, this election has been negative populism from the start. It’s not liberalism vs conservatism; it’s anti-liberalism vs anti-conservatism. Let’s not be pious,