Election not truly landslide

Spinnaker

A Democrat finally won the White House with a convincing majority for the first time since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. However, this election was not the landslide the media is making it out to be.

President-elect Barack Obama won about 53 percent of the popular vote – just one percentage point more than President Bush who won about 52 percent in 2004.

In fact, Obama’s margin of victory was razor thin.

In 2004, Bush won Indiana by 20 percent and North Carolina by 12.5 percent, while Obama squeaked by with less than a 1-percent margin in both this past election.

In Ohio, Florida and Virginia, the difference in Obama and Bush’s wins was 2 percent, 3 percent and 4 percent, respectively, according to a CNN report.

Obama was also billed as one who transcended old conceptions of politics. He was expected to swell the voter rolls particularly among the young.

But in the total number of popular voters, there was an increase from 2004 to 2008 of just five million people, which is nothing compared to the increase from 2000 to 2004 of about 10 million people, according to CNN.

Even more, the youth vote ­– 18-29 year olds – increased from only 17 percent in 2004 to 18 percent in 2008.

This election was not a mandate for Obama, but rather a mandate affirming how disgusted the American public is with everyone in Washington.

In 2004, Sen. John Kerry learned you couldn’t win an election by asking people to vote against the other guy.

You have to give people a reason to vote for you.

In 2004, the economy and the war were going well.

Bush got the credit, and Kerry came across as nothing but negative when he criticized a successful war and an economy.

But in 2008, there was Republican-fatigue, and the war took a back seat to the faltering economy.

Republicans and Bush got blamed, and Obama was able to make the campaign a referendum on Republicans while at the same time offering a counter plan: change and hope.

But he attached no substantive policies to these slogans.

He engaged in class warfare with lines such as “making the rich pay their fair share” and “no tax breaks for big companies;” however, these are simply more slogans, not substantive policies.

Had Obama told us his plans, he would have lost.

Even in liberal Minnesota, where Obama won by 10 percent, Republican Sen. Norm Coleman looks poised for reelection. This is because his opponent, Al Franken, ran honestly as the liberal he truly is.

When Democrats are honest about who they are, they will lose every time.

But Obama wasn’t honest and wasn’t substantive. Independent voters, worried about the economy, thought that Bush had gotten it wrong.

They looked for an alternative and Obama billed himself as that alternative – a blank slate.

But Obama will no longer be a blank slate in 2012, and voters will finally be able to vote for a record instead of rhetoric.

E-mail Robbie Foster at [email protected]