The Mandate Spin Begins

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Did Obama get a mandate?

Well, let’s look at the facts…

  • He flipped 9 states from red to blue, including a few that hadn’t gone for the Dem in over 3 decades.
  • He beat McCain 2 to 1 in the electoral count.
  • The current popular vote difference is 53% to 46% or 7.6 million votes.

And let’s not kid ourselves…Obama talked consistently about taking this country in a “fundamentally new direction” throughout the campaign. So I think it’s safe to say that since America voted so overwhelmingly for the guy, they’re definitely looking for new ideas that have more of a progressive flavor.

In other words, we’re in for some policy changes and if you’re not ready for that, then you’re going to be disappointed.

Yes, the election was definitely a repudiation of the Bush presidency, but it was also a vote for the principles of basic fairness. Obama ran on a center left platform of health care for all, targeted tax cuts, targeted budget cuts and a much less run-and-gun foreign policy. And Iowa, Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Nevada New Mexico and Colorado all voted for that change.

Still, Mother Jones points out a hilarious example of the “it’s not a mandate” meme from Robert Novak.

First, this is Novak in 2004, explaining how Bush’s margin was, you guessed it…

“Of course it is. It’s a 3.5 million vote margin.”

And then today…

“…he neither received a broad mandate from the public nor the needed large congressional majorities.”

As I’ve mentioned before, if Obama goes in a radically different direction he didn’t talk about during his campaign, I’ll call him out on it. Because he certainly doesn’t have a mandate to push things like a single payer health care system and far left ideas of the ilk.

But the idea that this election doesn’t represent a mandate for new policies, when Obama ran a 2 year campaign on the theme of “change” and then won by the margins he did, is laughable at best.