Politic365

 
 


Headline

12:12am November 6, 2012

A Winner’s Mandate?

mandate3

Many commentators ask if in an electorate as closely divided as America’s, is it possible that the winner will have a mandate? Pundits will say the winner is not receiving a clear and unmistakable message of what course Americans want the next president to take.

Pundits are asking the wrong questions and drawing the wrong conclusions.

The only way this will be a “mandate” election is if Mitt Romney wins. That would be an unmistakable message that the American public is upset with the direction of the last four years and has lost faith in the administration of Barack Obama. That is a mandate.

Instead, if the American public returns Barack Obama to the White House for four more years (as I predict they will with 290 Electoral College Votes), then the message is that the public is reaffirming the mandate approved in 2008.

In 2006, disgusted with the first two years of George W. Bush’s second term, Americans returned Congress to Democratic control in landslide Democratic victories in both the House and the Senate. When John McCain commenced on his tone-deaf campaign for the presidency in 2008, as if the 2006 elections never occurred, and then promised to continue Bush’s economic policies, he promptly received 7 million fewer votes than Obama.

That was a mandate, a mandate to use the federal government to pivot the American economy from catastrophe.

Even The Economist, no left-leaning newspaper, concurs. In its endorsement of Obama, the English publication wrote:

“His responses—an aggressive stimulus, bailing out General Motors and Chrysler, putting the banks through a sensible stress test and forcing them to raise capital (so that they are now in much better shape than their European peers)—helped avert a Depression. That is a hard message to sell on the doorstep when growth is sluggish and jobs scarce; but it will win Mr Obama some plaudits from history, and it does from us too.”

If you carefully listen to Obama’s actual words, which most pundits have not, then you know that he has campaigned in 2012 to continue the direction set in his first term. Unfortunately, for Obama, his television advertisements have mostly attacked Romney rather than articulating a more positive agenda. Should Obama lose, the top regret of his campaign team, I suspect, will be that the president’s campaign was not more presidential in tone and comport.

But, this is truly the effect of political campaign laws gone wild. Since the misguided decision in Citizens United led to even more money in politics, candidates must run campaigns to win, not the campaigns we wish to watch.



About the Author

Marvin King
Marvin King
Marvin King received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of North Texas and his B.A. from the University of Texas. Now, he is an Associate Professor of Political Science with a joint appointment in the African American Studies Program at the University of Mississippi. He conducts research into how political institutions affect African American politics. Marvin is available for public speaking engagements and you can follow him on Twitter @kingpolitics




 
 

 
Georgians Go To The Polls During Early Voting Before General Election

Election 2014: Georgia 1+2+3 = Modern Voting Rights Movement #GA123

Last week I participated in #GA123 — one of the most cutting edge civic engagement events this election cycle. This “cross-platform” social media conference attracted over a hundred political leaders from the southeas...
by Kirk Clay
2

 
 
sharpton_jackson_morial_121609

Leading Civil Rights Advocates Challenge FCC Rule Comprising Constitutional Freedoms

The nation’s largest civil rights groups recently wrote the Federal Communications Commission protesting a proposed staff recommendation that would require respondents to Commission proceedings to engage in “enhanced disclo...
by Kristal High
0

 
 
black_girls_code_tags

Black History Month Is Time to Get Serious about Black Kids’ Futures

By Jamal Simmons Jamal Simmons is co-chair of the Internet Innovation Alliance. His political commentary has been seen on several television networks. For most of American history Black youth had ready-made jobs on farms or in ...
by Guest Contributor
0

 

Advertisement
 
flags4

Election 2014: Governor Christie, McDonnell, and Scott – What Do They All Have In Common?

Three Things You May Not Know About Voters of Color in New Jersey, Virginia, and Florida. What does Governors Chris Christie, Bob McDonnell, and Rick Scott all have in common? They’re all from states rocked by scandal? No. Th...
by Kirk Clay
3

 
 
smartphones_rect

The Era of Commerce and Content Calls for a Communications Act Reboot

In 1996, people pronounced the word “content” with emphasis on the first syllable.  When the word showed up anywhere close to the word “telephone” it was usually in the context of whether you were content with the serv...
by Alton Drew
0

 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>