The day after the election, CNN headlined, November 7th, "Analysis: Why Romney Lost," and Peter Hamby wrote that Republican operatives from around the country expressed awe at the skillfulness of the Obama campaign organization, and they admitted to have been shockingly outclassed. Mitt Romney, who had claimed, throughout his campaign, that Barack Obama possessed no executive experience and was "just a community organizer," and who had bragged constantly about what a great CEO he, Romney, was, turned out to be instead a CEO dwarf next to the gigantic Obama. For example, "Democrats showed decisively that their ground game - the combined effort to find, persuade, and turn out voters - is devastatingly better than anything their rivals have to offer. ... 'When it comes to the use of voter data and analytics, the two sides appear to be' not even comparable," said one expert. "No party has ever had such a durable structural advantage over the other on polling, making television ads, or fundraising, for example," he said. "After the dust had cleared, the GOP field operation, which had derided the Obama operation, ... seemed built on a house of cards."
The next day, John Ekdahl, at his "Ace of Spades HQ," headlined "The Unmitigated Disaster Known As Project ORCA," and he, a web developer volunteer for the Romney get-out-the-vote operation, described Romney's astounding incompetence. He opened: "What is Project Orca? Well, this is what they told us: 'Project ORCA is a massive undertaking - the Republican Party's newest, unprecedented and most technologically advanced plan to win the 2012 election.' Pretty much everything in that sentence is false. The 'massive undertaking' is true, however. ... And perhaps 'unprecedented' would fit if we're discussing failure." It was an untested technological monstrosity that was incompetently applied, but Ekdahl's repeated efforts to communicate upwards in the organization in order to warn them of problems he found in it were "No response. I continued to do this for six straight hours. ... I even tried to call three local victory centers. All went straight to voicemail." He closed: "The bitter irony of this entire endeavor was that a supposedly small government candidate gutted the local structure of GOTV [Get Out The Vote] efforts in favor of a centralized, faceless organization in a far off place (in this case, their Boston headquarters). Wrap your head around that." That's what stood at the base of what CNN's Peter Hamby was calling the Romney team's "house of cards." Mitt Romney was massively incompetent as the CEO of a large and complex organization. He surrounded himself with sycophants, to such an extent he had no idea of any problems in his own organization. He was just a repeat of George W. Bush. Both were typical aristocrats.
It turned out that the braggart CEO Romney lied just as much about his executive skills as he did about most other things. Obama had won political victories not only because he was the best political campaigner in modern times, but also because he hired the best people in the country to run his campaigns. Obama was a crushing opponent, a great manager of a large organization.
Romney wasn't in Obama's league, and never had been. Romney was just a well trained buyer, stripper, and seller, of corporations, who knew how to game the system so as to rip off workers and business competitors, and how to play governments off against each other so as to evade taxes legally and leave the publics everywhere holding the bags after everything was stripped by this predator. Romney wasn't the libertarian mouth that politicians such as Ron Paul had been; he was the real thing, a John Galt character, a pure individualist: a functioning, and not just verbal, psychopath. That bully turned out to be simply outmatched by Obama's sheer skill.
Republicans' heads were now spinning; a new round of lying and faith would begin.
Also on November 7th, the Washington Post bannered "Life After Defeat for Mitt Romney," and Philip Rucker reported that Romney "tried not to cry" when meeting with his billionaire backers. "Some top donors privately unloaded on Romney's senior staff, describing it as a junior varsity operation that failed to adequately insulate and defend Romney." ("Defend Romney"? From himself?) The head of the staff responded, "Mitt never doubted his team." But amongst aristocrats, blame always goes downward; credit always goes upward. The aristocrats were blaming their hired workers, after all; but, whenever results turned out to aristocrats' satisfaction, they saw themselves as the "job creators," and their workers were just cogs in the machine aristocrats thought belonged 100% to themselves. It was a "heads I win, tails you lose" type of culture. These people weren't especially bright, but they had the advantage of being psychopaths whose focus was greed, so they were rich.
Theatlanticwire.com bannered, on the night of November 7th, "Rove's War with Fox's Nerds," and Elspeth Reeve recounted and presented video of the reluctance of Fox "News" to accept, and to report, the fact that Obama had won. Karl Rove and the rest of the Romney campaign refused to accept the fact. "When Bret Baier called Ohio and the presidency for President Obama, 'Fox phones lit up with angry phone calls and e-mails from the Romney campaign, who believed that the call was premature, since tallies in several Republican-leaning Southern counties hadn't been ... fully tabulated.'" They didn't care that the same was true in Democratic areas of the state, and that all of the professional projections took all of that into account, on both sides. But Fox was the Republican Party's operation, and the Republican Party refused to accept Obama's win. So, Roger Ailes decided to have his beauty queen walk over to the office of the professionals, the nerds, and to be followed by the camera, to challenge those people on their calling Ohio for Obama. A Fox "News" "insider" explained: "Anytime there's a chance to show off Megyn Kelly's legs they'll go for it." One of the reader-comments to this report noted: "The Romney campaign had a direct phone line to Fox News? Fair and balanced indeed." Another said: "Look at how often [Obama's man, David] Axelrod was on MSNBC last night," as if there were any equivalency there, or as if such interviews weren't appropriate in election coverage. The problem here was reality-denial, specifically at the sleazy operation of Rupert Murdoch and the Republican Party.
On November 8th, Murdoch's rag, the Wall Street Journal, headlined "How Race Slipped Away From Romney," and reported that "the lack of money earlier this year stalled his campaign, and he never really recovered." This propaganda-sheet said "Romney ultimately garnered some $800 million or more, putting him in close competition with Mr. Obama's robust fundraising effort." But they said this money wasn't enough, because of "their slim bank account" earlier. In other words: Not enough aristocrats threw enough money fast enough into Romney's campaign coffers - they had needed to invest still more in this incompetent than they did. But the same day, the Columbia Journalism Review bannered "WSJ Gets Lost in the Weeds with the Romney Campaign," and called that "a seriously flawed story."
Whom were the agents of the aristocrats trying to fool now, and how would they go about doing it?
This WSJ headline and "news" report were also featured at Yahoo News, where most of the reactions were condemnatory of Democrats and/or democracy itself, such as: "The balance has tipped and we no longer have a free democracy. When almost 50% of an uninformed electorate is dependent on government handouts (i.e. taxes taken from the productive to give to the unproductive) you can no longer have free elections." Unless such fascist ("libertarian") ideology were to be discredited as the lies that it is, progress would be impossible.
Also on November 8th, the AP headlined "Obama Wins the Way the Campaign Predicted." But apparently, the aristocracy still didn't think that Obama possessed the CEO experience necessary for the job of U.S. President - they cried for their Romney-loss.
The Electoral College result (still not reported as late as November 9th, even after 100% of Florida's results were in) was 332 Obama, 206 Romney. Obama beat the 270 required for a win, and he did it with 62 votes to spare, which was far higher than even the election-forecasters had been predicting (and than the networks still were reporting). Most of the pre-election national polls (other than ABC, NBC, CBS, and Pew) had been way off (and Gallup was especially bad), collectively showing a tied contest (with a miniscule Romney popular-vote lead); the actual vote-count provided Obama with a 3% victory-margin in the popular vote. Obama won eight of the nine battleground states (all but NC). Obama outperformed even the final election forecast from Nate Silver, of 313 Electoral College votes. Although all of the major election-forecasters had been predicting that Obama would beat the 270-vote mark required for a win, none had predicted he'd beat it by as much as he ended up doing. However, Romney was far less professional than the pros; basically, Obama outperformed all of the pros, and Romney underperformed them. CBS News headlined on November 8th, "Adviser: Romney 'Shellshocked' by Loss," and reported "'He was shellshocked,' one adviser said of Romney." Ann Romney broke down crying. And, "Running mate Paul Ryan seemed genuinely shocked, the adviser said. Ryan's wife Janna also was shaken and cried softly." All of these people who had been criticizing Barack Obama as being "weak" and "lacking in executive experience," were mashed into tears by him. Their lies had ultimately fooled even themselves, and not just their suckers - they were shocked.
On November 8th, Taegan Goddard at politicalwire.com headlined "Romney Planned Fireworks to Celebrate Victory," and linked to the Boston Globe story, and to the Boston Fire Department permit, issued November 5th, for a fireworks-display to be held on November 6th to celebrate Mitt's victory. (Obama did no such thing; he didn't need to do any such thing.)
Furthermore, instead of the Senate's passing back to Republican control as had initially been expected, Democrats won all but one of their seriously contested Senate seats, and Obama would now enjoy around a 55 to 45 Senate-majority backing, plus the VP in the event of any Senate tie. The House of Representatives was little changed from before.
Even after Citizens United, this was still Barack Obama's America, with his Republican friends controlling the House while representing the aristocracy publicly and unapologetically.
The conservatives' fantasizing would go on. November 8th offered two more good summaries of how bad it was. Politicalwire.com headlined "Rachel Maddow Has the Last Word," and Taegan Goddard linked there to her opening spiel the prior night, in which she strung together some of the major lies that conservative suckers believed about Obama. Huffingtonpost headlined "Jon Stewart Mocks Fox News' Election Night Meltdown," and Katia McGlynn linked there to video of the many Fox "News" reporters who had predicted a Romney/Ryan landslide, and who still refused to accept that they had been wrong.
Also on November 8th, thinkprogress.org bannered "Republicans Claim Obama Won Re-election Because Blacks and Hispanics Wanted More Handouts," and presented many examples of Republicans saying that greed by the poor and minorities was motivating the Obama-vote. For example, at 8PM on election night, Fox's Bill O'Reilly said: "The demographics are changing. It's not a traditional America anymore. And there are 50% of the voting public who want stuff. They want things. And who is going to give them things? President Obama. ... The white establishment is now the minority. ... You are going to see a tremendous Hispanic vote for President Obama. Overwhelming Black vote for President Obama. And women will probably break Obama's way. People feel that they are entitled to things, and which candidate, between the two, is going to give them things?" Bill O'Reilly was the giant of cable news channels, he had twice the audience-size of anyone on any other cable network; he beat even some of the broadcast networks, and yet he was unabashedly a fascist. The Republican Party knew their market; they just ignored everyone who wasn't part of it. Elspeth Reeve at theatlanticwire.com on November 8th headlined "A Continuum of Post-Romney Defeat Meltdowns," and he quoted Ann Coulter: "We have more takers than makers." In other words: the fascists blamed Obama's victory on greed by not "the Jews" like Hitler did, but instead: women, Blacks, Hispanics, and the poor in general. The aristocrats who had made out like bandits in the 2008 economic crash that they had caused were not to blame, at all. Instead, the crash's victims were to blame, and were too greedy. And yet Obama was so conservative that he agreed with the fascists, on this (despite his rhetoric to the contrary). Blacks and the poor suffered the biggest declines of income and wealth under his Presidency, and the top 1% received 93% of the income-gains - the largest-ever top-1% gains-share. But Obama's victims ended up voting for him, because the Republican Party so clearly hated and despised them. At least Obama was good on the rhetoric. Romney would have been a catastrophe in every way. Furthermore, Obama dwarfed Romney as CEO of a large organization. Romney was just an incompetent lying thug, and almost all poor people were terrified that such a person was supported by around half of the U.S. population.
The exit polls showed that, as usual, the Republican candidate was preferred by marrieds, seniors, white Christians (and especially by frequent churchgoers), upper-income, college-educated, and rural voters; and the Democratic candidate was preferred by unmarrieds, under-30s, minorities, less religious, lower income, less educated (and also Ph.D's and other post-college-degreed), and urban voters. For example: Under $30,000 income went for Obama 63%; $30,000-$50,000 Obama 57%; but Romney won each $50,000+ group by around 52% to 55%. The only education-group that went Obama by over 55% was "No high school diploma": it was 64%. Cities 500,000+ went Obama 69%; rural voters went Romney 61%. On the issues: The key question was "Should taxes be raised to help cut the budget deficit?" 63% of voters said "No"; only 33% said "Yes." This indicated that unless Obama would use the bully pulpit to reverse those figures, his Presidency and the nation could well be fiscally destroyed. The basis for his succeeding at such bully-pulpiting was, however, indicated by the answers to: "Should income tax rates" "Increase for all" (13%), "Increase only on income over $250,000" (47%), or "Not increase for anyone" (35%). In other words, though the average person didn't know that taxes needed to be raised in order to help cut the budget deficit, the average person was strongly in favor of raising taxes on $250,000+ incomes, and there was a sizable minority (13%) who even wanted everyone's taxes to increase. Furthermore, 55% said the U.S. economy "Favors the wealthy"; only 39% said it's "fair to most Americans." The public, in other words, favored tax-hikes to make taxes fairer, but opposed tax-hikes to address the federal debt. If Obama was serious about fiscal issues, he would educate the public that $250,000+ incomes needed to be taxed more not only for fairness but also because the Bush tax cuts had largely created the federal debt in the first place and thus needed to be reversed, at least on the rich. Furthermore, perhaps because of the obvious psychopathy of Mitt Romney, 38% of voters now self-identified as "Democrat"; only 32% as "Republican." So: the public was certainly educable on the tax-hikes issue - if Obama was willing. This would be the man's ultimate test.
Yahoo News and ABC headlined on the night of November 8th, "Tearful Obama Credits Staff," and showed video of "The morning after he won re-election, an emotional President Barack Obama credited his youthful staff of several hundred with running a campaign that will 'go on in the annals of history.' 'What you guys have accomplished will go on in the annals of history and they will read about it and they'll marvel about it,' ... Obama told his team Wednesday morning inside the Chicago campaign headquarters, tears streaming down his face." Like any great CEO, he not only chose employees well, but he expressed well his appreciation of their superb performance. Regardless of whether Obama cared about the poor, he cared deeply about his paid staff and volunteers, who made his victories possible. They were his team, and he loved them like a father. However, remarkably many of the reader-comments to this came from Republicans, such as: "America is going down and it's in decay! From the simplicity of been thankful for a good harvest and thanking God for it, to legalizing marihuana, same sex marriage and having a Muslim, a liberal, open minded, a radical, a socialist and communist lover in the W. House." The market for lies from aristocrats and clergy still remained large.
On November 9th, huffingtonpost bannered "Murray Energy Corp. CEO Enters 'Survival Mode' After Obama Reelection, Announces Layoffs," and reported that Robert Murray, the man who had purchased judges in West Virginia in order to keep "justice" his way, issued a letter to his employees saying, "Lord, please forgive me and anyone with me in Murray Energy Corp. for the decisions that we are now forced to make to preserve the very existence of any of the enterprises that you have helped us build." The author of the Crandall Canyon coal-mine collapse and other negiligent homicides against his own employees was now laying off 160 miners allegedly because of Obama's re-election. One reader-comment was "Good for them. I am likely letting go of 5 people ( and making sure we choose liberals as they should understand who employs them)." The appeal here was purely "libertarian," or fascist. Murray's letter to his employees condemned the American people: "We are a country in favor of redistribution, national weakness and reduced standard of living and lower and lower levels of personal freedom." Most of the reader-comments to that letter at the Wheeling News-Register were hostile towards Murray as being a "crook."
When Franklin Delano Roosevelt entered the White House in 1933, after decades of Republican misrule, he used the bully pulpit and condemned the conservatives, and he won a landslide re-election. When Barack Obama entered the White House in 2008, after decades of Republican misrule, he ignored the bully pulpit and praised the conservatives and was bipartisan towards them, and the only reason he was able to win re-election at all is that he was a phenomenally gifted political campaigner.
Barack Obama was certainly no FDR. Just what he was is something that wasn't yet clear, and was yet to be determined, by his actions. If he wouldn't suddenly become a fighter for the public against the aristocracy, he would become even more revealed as a fake than he already was widely suspected to be. Nobody really knew what or who he was (other than politically gifted). Despite all of Obama's extend-and-pretend, the ideological/policy rubber would finally, now, inevitably hit the road, and Barack Obama's core would, at last, become manifestly clear to the American public.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of DEMOCRATIC vs. REPUBLICAN ECONOMICS: NO CONTEST - Democrats Always Better, and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.