President Obama thanks his team in Chicago

President Obama gives an emotional thanks to his campaign staff in Chicago. Here’s a look at the amazing ground game and micro-targeting operation of the Obama campaign.

Four more years for Barack Obama

President Obama was re-elected last night with an impressive margin in the electoral college. The popular vote margin was much narrower, but it looks like he’ll be over 50% with roughly a 2 point margin.

I’ll have much more to say about this, but most of us will acknowledge that this was a very important election. The pundits liked to mock both campaigns for not discussing big issues, but that truly missed the point. Both sides offered very different paths for our future, and most voters understood the profound differences.

With an Obama victory, his signature accomplishment from his first term, health care reform, will now be fully implemented. Mitt Romney would have either repealed or gutted Obamacare, but now the notion of universal health care will be cemented as part of the social compact. We’ll all have to wait and see how Republicans react to Obama’s victory, but hopefully on health care we’ll see a shift away from a reflexive attempt to overturn Obamacare to constructive negotiations to improve it and cut medical costs in general. We’ve heard Republicans pontificate for years about malpractice reform. Perhaps now we’ll actually get some constructive proposals.

We may have a continuation of the political wars, but now we know that any deal will have to be more balanced than the GOP plan of just hacking away at spending on the elderly and the poor. We’ll see how that plays out.

It will also be interesting to see if some conservatives will break out of the right wing media bubble. Conservatives were told to ignore the poll numbers that pointed to an Obama victory, and that the “real” numbers would lead to a Romney landslide. These projections were pure fantasy, just like the Romney/GOP budget numbers that claimed you could miraculously balance the budget by slashing taxes. We live in a divided country and many on both sides are guilty of just listening to their own partisan news sources, but the dogma and partisanship on the right has become absurd. Even respectable pundits like George Will and Micheal Barone drank the Cool Aid and ended up looking just as clueless as partisan hacks like Dick Morris with their predictions of the Romney landslide.

Finally, conservatives and Republicans need to stand up to the lunatic fringe. You can’t encourage the crazies on your side, and then lament when idiot candidates like Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin say stupid things about rape and abortion. You can’t cater to the haters who demonize illegal immigrants and then complain that you got crushed by the Latino vote. We’ll see if there’s anyone in the GOP who has a spine. Chris Christie is an obvious candidate as he’s called out the crazies before, but now he’s on serious probation with the right for saying something nice about President Obama. Perhaps Marco Rubio can help on that front. We can expect serious fireworks within the GOP as they hash out these issues. If they don’t work it out, I’ll be happy to see them forfeit the Latino, African American, Asian and much of the female vote in future elections.

Have the culture wars flipped?

For years, Republicans used the culture wars to bludgeon Democrats as issues like abortion and gay marriage were used to rally their base.

Now we’re seeing Democrats get much more energized about these issues as Republicans have gone so far to the right on issues like abortion and contraception.

This election will provide an interesting test as to whether this strategy will work. Take a look at the Obama ad above calling out Mitt Romney for some of his more extreme statements he made on the subject of abortion.

Good ad

This simple ad will be effective. Also, with all the tough attack ads the Obama team is throwing at Romney, they need some ads with a more positive message.

Mitt’s ‘Out of Context’ attacks

This is going to be a tough campaign season. Both sides are going to level harsh attacks at one another, and many of us will become sick of it as the campaign season moves on.

President Obama has certainly gone negative as he makes Bain and Mitt Romney’s business record an issue, and Romney and the right wing super pacs are being very tough on Obama over the economy.

But it’s rather pathetic, and perhaps a little desperate, when a campaign takes a string of words completely out of context in order to distort what a candidate said. That’s what’s going on with the “you didn’t build that” line of attack against Obama, implying that he said entrepreneurs didn’t build their own business. When you read the entire context of what Obama said, he was clearly referring to the roads an bridges built by society. See the video above as well.

Hopefully we’ll see Obama address this on the stump in a mocking tone of how desperate Mitt has become.

Hilarious quotes regarding gay marriage

President Obama came out yesterday in favor of gay marriage. Naturally, marriage expert Rush Limbaugh had a some harsh comments, and as usual he sounded like a fool.

Hat Tip: Abigail Obenchain

Obama campaign releases first ad

The ad is pretty good, and it frames the campaign nicely for President Obama. Simply, he inherited a mess, and his decisions have helped the country to move forward. The auto industry bailout is front and center in the ad.

Mitt Romney actually helped the cause this week when he tried to take credit for the auto bailout that he opposed.

The polls are close at the moment, so anything can happen, but Romney’s propensity to make claims that contradict his previous positions will likely undo him in the end.

Obama announces end to Iraq War

U.S. soldiers take a rest in the shade of armoured vehicles at a courtyard at Camp Liberty in Baghdad September 30, 2011. U.S troops are scheduled to pull out of the country by the end of this year, according to a 2008 security pact between the U.S. and Iraq. Picture taken September 30, 2011. REUTERS/Mohammed Ameen (IRAQ – Tags: CONFLICT POLITICS MILITARY)

President Obama just announced in a news conference that all American troops in Iraq will be withdrawn by the end of the year, and the troops will be home for the holidays.

This was expected, but it’s still monumental. After spending trillions of dollars and suffering thousands of American casualties, we’re finally leaving Iraq.

The U.S. was open to keeping trainers in Iraq past the end of the year, but the Iraqi government would not grant immunity to American soldiers, so we told them to forget it.

Let the campaigns begin

The primary races are in full gear, but we’re starting to see themes emerge for the fall mid-term elections.

President Obama looks like he’s itching for a fight, and that’s good news. George W. Bush did a great job helping Republicans in the 2002 mid-terms, and Obama seems determined to nationalize the elections and get the Democratic base energized for a tough 2010 cycle. He had some great lines:

“After they drove the car into the ditch, made it as difficult as possible for us to pull it back, now they want the keys back. No. You can’t drive. We don’t want to have to go back into the ditch. We just got the car out.”

The President also used his old mopping metaphor, saying that Democrats were busy cleaning up the GOP’s mess, only to have Republicans criticize: “Hold the broom better. That’s not how you mop.”

“Don’t tell me how to mop,” Obama said.

Conservatives gloating about Chicago’s failed Olympics bid

Here’s a good article detailing all the childish gloating from the right. This is another example of how low our politics have sunk in recent years. Conservatives used to rail against liberals for alleged “Bush Derangement Syndrome,” but the contempt and hatred for Barack Obama has reached bizarre levels on the right. Frankly, they sound like a bunch of dumb teenagers taunting a rival team.

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