Wednesday 7 November 2012

Obama Retains the Oval Office

Last night two not-very-scientific predictions were proven correct: firstly, the local witch doctor in Obama’s Kenyan ancestral village who, using shells and bones, predicted that “Obama is definitely going to win”. Secondly, the US election outcome as forecast by the 7-Eleven coffee drinkers – adding to their running streak of four correct predictions in a row! With Barack Obama receiving 303 electoral votes to Mitt Romney’s 206 votes he subsequently wins the 2012 Election and retains his seat in The White House.

Obama’s victory came despite unemployment on the day being at 7.9%. Voters must have given him credit for rescuing (to a degree) the US car industry amongst other things, and maybe more importantly, the successful mission to Kill Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan last year. By gaining a number of important swing states such as Iowa and in particular the narrow victory in Ohio, a critical swing state, his re-election was sealed.

“Both candidates said this was a choice of two visions, America has chosen.”
Mark Mardell, North American editor

America has decided that continuity in the White House is the best thing for them and, on the day, the key issues and positions of Obama won. Amongst other policies, the American people have shown their support for a proposed increase in the effective tax rate paid by millionaires known as the “buffet rule”.

The Statistics

Last night was not solely about the election of the President, a number of members of both the Senate and House of Representatives were also elected:

  • The Democrats retained their majority in the Senate (51 seats to the 45 Republican seats out of the 100 available)

  • The Republicans remained in control of the House of Representatives (228 seats to 182 Democratic seats out of the 435 available).
We saw the effect the Republican dominated House had on Obama’s policy in his last term. So if Obama’s second term in the Oval Office is going to be more successful and his desire to keep America moving forward is going to succeed, he needs to re-assess his approach and directly lobby the Republicans more.

“Tomorrow from the granite of New Hampshire, to the Rockies of Colorado from the coast lines of Florida, to Virginia’s rolling hills, from the valleys of Ohio, to these Iowa fields, we will keep America moving forward.”
Barack Obama, final plea to voters of his 2012 re-election campaign

Effect on the UK economy?

It is hard to asses the effect Obama’s re-election will have on the UK economy, but the most obvious result is that continuity will lead to a sense of stability and the existing relationship with David Cameron will continue. The Prime Minister outlines his wishes whilst congratulating Obama: “We need to kick start the world economy and I want to see an EU – US trade deal.” The President's re-election should mean that there is no dramatic change of course in American policy towards the UK and the “special relationship” will continue as it has over the past four years.

I would have personally liked to have seen Mitt Romney win the election and the return of Sir Winston Churchill’s bronze bust to the Oval Office.

Toby Hannam

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