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Obama won a mandate... to do what they want

Bush in 2004:

Bush staked his claim to a broad mandate and announced his top priorities at a post-election news conference, saying his 3.5 million vote victory had won him political capital that he would spend enacting his conservative agenda.

"I earned capital in this campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it," Bush told reporters. "It is my style."


"When you win, there is ... a feeling that the people have spoken and embraced your point of view," Bush said. "And that's what I intend to tell Congress, that I made it clear what I intend to do as the president; now let's work."

The media on Bush's mandate:

The Boston Globe (11/4/04) reported that Bush's victory grants him "a clear mandate to advance a conservative agenda over the next four years." The Los Angeles Times (11/4/04) made the somewhat peculiar observation that "Bush can claim a solid mandate of 51 percent of the vote." USA Today (11/4/04) was more definitive, headlining one story "Clear Mandate Will Boost Bush's Authority, Reach," while reporting that Bush "will begin his second term with a clearer and more commanding mandate than he held for the first." The Washington Post (11/4/04) similarly pointed to Bush's "clearer mandate," implying that the election of 2000, in which Bush failed to get even a plurality of the popular vote, was a mandate of sorts, if an unclear one.

Broadcast media also took up the "mandate" theme. MSNBC host Chris Matthews announced at the top of his November 3 broadcast, "President Bush wins the majority of the vote and a mandate for his second term." CNN's Wolf Blitzer (11/3/04) offered his assessment that Bush is "going to say he's got a mandate from the American people, and by all accounts he does." NPR's Renee Montague (11/3/04) also relayed the White House's spin, before quickly agreeing with it: "The president's people are calling this a mandate. By any definition I think you could call this a mandate."

With Obama's win in 2012? No mandate:

OK, conservatives are saying, Obama won, but he didn't win by enough to claim a "mandate." "I think the real story here is that Obama won but he's got no mandate," Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer said on Fox News last night. "So this is not a mandate in the number [of electoral votes], or in the way that he campaigned... He won by going very small, very negative."

House Speaker John Beohner, a bit later in the evening: "With this vote, the American people have also made clear that there is no mandate for raising tax rates." And it's everywhere on Twitter: no mandate, no mandate, no mandate.

Bush won with 286 electoral votes. Obama has at least 303 and will likely get 332 once Florida is settled. We keep hearing that it was a tight race, but anyone watching Nate Silver, whose model was 100% accurate, knows that wasn't true. The "Razor-tight" election only existed in the minds of pundits, either due to laziness or because it's good for ratings. Conservatives are going to push this stuff, but the media shouldn't buy it (and of course the Democrats should push back, but good luck with that).

Even uglier is this quote from Politico:

If President Barack Obama wins, he will be the popular choice of Hispanics, African-Americans, single women and highly educated urban whites. That's what the polling has consistently shown in the final days of the campaign. It looks more likely than not that he will lose independents, and it's possible he will get a lower percentage of white voters than George W. Bush got of Hispanic voters in 2000.

A broad mandate this is not.

Right. If you don't get enough white people men to vote for you, it doesn't count.

Oh wait, someone is saying Obama got a mandate. It's from centrist-fetishist Joe Klein at Time magazine. And it's a mandate for moderation:

It will, and should, be argued that the election was a mandate for moderation. The last month of Mitt Romney's campaign, when he rushed to the center and suddenly made it a race, ratified the real will of the people: a sensible centrism that runs deeper than the overcaffeinated bluster that seems to dominate the media. The election hinted that the third rail of American politics -- the certain death that comes to those who question entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare -- is beginning to lose its juice.

Actually, this insane notion is quite prevalent right now.

By fnord12 | November 8, 2012, 9:08 AM | Liberal Outrage