Four more years

8 Nov

It was an interesting election on Tuesday.

We took a day off to ponder it.

One – there were no surprises.

Just about everyone did what the polls predicted.
That in itself is a bit amazing.

When it was all said and done, Hurricane Sandy is probably what saved President Obama.

He was trailing and the momentum seemed to be on Mitt Romney’s side.

After all, he has been running for president for 6 years – through 2 campaigns.

But along came Sandy, campaigning sort of died and out of nowhere, New Jersey Governor Chris Cristie started singing the praises of Obama.

Here’s a small story – Obama had both a victory and concession speech ready, and Romney only a victory one.

He did pretty well for winging it.

Locally, we saw what we expected.

Kirk Caldwell beat Ben Cayetano and it seems all the negative advertising wasn’t responsible.

It was an one-issue race and the numbers came out close to what all the polls showed for people for – or against – rail.

Mazie Hirano slides into yet another office.

This time she can cruise for six years instead of two.

The reason she won was simple: she’s a Democrat in one of the most heavily Democratic states in the country.

Sam Slom must be used to being lonely in the State Senate.

A scrub of the voting results over the next few days will tell a better story.

The talk around Washington over the past 24 hours is about some soul-searching on the part of the Republican Party.

Make what you want about what’s being said:

The Republicans don’t appeal to a rapidly changing America.
The country is becoming less white while the GOP is becoming more white.
In the last 8 years the number of Hispanics supporting the Republican Party has dropped by almost 20 percent.
The GOP stand on illegal immigration isn’t helping.

But the GOP’s problem is more fundamental than one bloc of voters.

For the second consecutive presidential election, the Republicans got thumped among women and young voters in the states that decided the election.

Romney has to take a large share of the blame.

He moved to the right on immigration and reproductive issues in the GOP primary and awkwardly tried to move to the middle on those issues in the fall.

His 50s-era persona didn’t fit with Americans who are in their 20s and 30s.

And he never attempted to distance himself from or truly challenge a Republican Party that still bears bruises left from the Bush years.

He was a socially awkward guy who couldn’t relate and served up a steady diet of comments that screamed “not from this neighborhood” that lost him a large segment of modern America.

Now, with Obama sitting in the White House for another term, comes the biggest test – the fiscal cliff and whether Congress will finally work for him.

That’s for another day.

Finally, we can’t help but see the irony in 73 Oahu polling places running out of ballots.

Scott Nago, the state elections officer, takes over the Big Island election voting because of loss of confidence in the county, and then Honolulu goes to hell while they are off babysitting Hilo and Kona.

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