As I write this post, the networks have already declared Ohio for Obama and therefore the Presidency. I suppose we’re happy around these parts. Even Fox has declared for Obama (side note: I’m watching Fox’s coverage of the Republican debacle and I have to say I’m quite impressed with Shepard Smith, who I’m watching for the first time).
I’m drinking and the following are random thoughts that come through my head on this night.
As of right now, the difference in the popular vote of almost 45 million votes cast is 5,103 votes. Wow.
Read this Economist article on Hurricane Sandy aftermath from a few days ago and you can begin to see how the weather may have helped Obama, beyond making him “look presidential.” One, the government response completely outclassed the private sector response (AT&T apparently is still trying to locate its collective dicks). It made Romney’s “talking point” of potentially greater private sector involvement in emergency response responsibilities and moving disaster response down to states seem asinine. Two, fair-minded Republicans, Christie and Bloomberg, gave Obama a leg up.
Americans have now legalized mari-J. Yay.
I’m completely surprised at how far my short play featuring Romney as Principal Skinner foreshadowed a lot of the narrative (there’s that word I hate), almost up until the very end. To recap:
- Skinner calls women inferior: Romney first spent a lot of the campaign with foot-in-mouth disease alienating large segments of the population and offending the remaining segments with his 47% comment.
- Skinner decides to pretend to agree: Amid howling protests outside his doors from his own party and the general population, Romney decided to pivot to the center in an “etch-a-sketch” exercise that would try to transform him into Moderate Mitt (too late as it turned out).
- Skinner empathizes with women in a make-or-break public forum: Moderate Mitt appears out of thin air at the first debate.
What followed the first debate wasn’t quite the clusterf@&k for Romney as it was for Skinner. Rather than being shocked by the sudden about-face and the dizzying turnaround, Romney was back in it in the eye’s of the public. The outcome was the same for him as for Skinner though – too little too late.
The vitriol against statistician and NYT poll guru, Nate Silver, has been fascinating to me. His central point was that the probability of an Obama victory was increasing closer to election, a point completely misunderstood by the general punditocracy. Why wasn’t I surprised that his critics (and defenders) don’t understand math?
Most of the critics were on the right. Here’s a thought experiment: if the right understood math, do you think they would have vetted Romney’s tax plan more? As a conservative and libertarian, I cannot stress how sad the last sentence makes me.
There was some news reports that Romney thought the networks called it too early. 25% of Ohio’s vote was still to be counted and the early call didn’t play into the narrative (there’s that word again) of the closeness of the race. Wonder how the pundits feel about that too?
Thank god this is over. I will now turn my attention back to finance where the US fiscal cliff situation is one of the key factors that will determine how the economy does next year. This issue is tied to reducing the long-term debt problem of the US and I know I owe Zolltan a couple of posts on this point.
UPDATE: one final thought. What about the American election was the better bet for Canada? Between Canadians’ affinity for Obama and Romney’s desire to approve Keystone XL Pipeline, you might think the answer is one of the two. The answer is neither.
The single best thing for Canada from last night was Michigan voters pushing a new Canadian-financed Windsor-Detroit bridge closer to fruition.