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democrat

Months and years of campaigning, more than$2.2 billion in election spending, over 100 million votes cast… and Americans in their wisdom decided to essentially maintain the status quo. President Obama returns to the White House for a second mandate. The Senate stays blue; the House stays red. But lest anyone was thinking that this whole thing was a giant waste of time, remember that it beats the hell out of the alternative.

I was on a plane for most of the evening, and while I was able to watch the results come in on satellite TV (thanks, WestJet!), I didn’t have internet access so no liveblogging of results. It was like a throwback to the pre-Web 2.0 years when you actually had to rely on traditional media sources for information. Well, unless you’re Barack Obama, author of the Tweet heard around the world.

The big vote

The race was close all night, but the nail-biter didn’t materialize. While both candidates were neck-and-neck in the popular vote for much of the evening, most of the highly contested swing states went one by one to Obama: New Hampshire, Iowa, Wisconsin, Virginia were called one by one for Team Obama. You could see the wind go out of the sails in the Romney camp as each one was declared, but Ohio finally solidified things shortly after 11pm ET. At that point, it was all over but the fat lady, whose singing will be heard in Florida just as soon as all those folks standing in line have a chance to vote.

Latest US election results 2012, as of 2:30AM ET on Nov 7th. Source: CNN.

So what happened to give the Obama team such a wide margin of victory, despite a 7.9% unemployment rate and widespread anger and disillusionment with the status quo?

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The Guardian profiles Jon Favreau, the 27-year-old head speechwriter on the Obama team largely responsible for most of the speeches he has given on the campaign trail, as well as for yesterday’s inauguration address:

When Barack Obama steps up to the podium to deliver his inaugural address, one man standing anonymously in the crowd will be paying especially close attention. With his cropped hair, five o’clock shadow and boyish face, he might look out of place among the dignitaries, though as co-author of the speech this man has more claim than most to be a witness to this moment of history.

Jon Favreau, 27, is, as Obama himself puts it, the president’s mind reader. He is the youngest chief speechwriter on record in the White House, and, despite such youth, was at the centre of discussions of the content of today’s speech, one which has so much riding on it.

The full text of the inauguration speech is available here.

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And on the issues front

11.08.2006

The sweeping gains made by Democrats tonight only tell half the story. There were also a number of issues votes that, if nothing else, indicate that the country is feeling more anti-Bush right now than pro-Liberal. For example: Constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage won approval in South Carolina, Tenessee, Virginia and Wisconsin, with similar [...]

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It’s not the size that counts, it’s how you use it

11.08.2006

Democrats have to be drunk with power tonight. With a decisive victory to take back the House of Representatives for the first time in 12 years, and even a narrow victory in the Senate within their sights, the overwhelming emotion among Democrats tonight must be one of feeling invincible. But, for the sake of the [...]

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The halfway-there elections

11.06.2006

Tomorrow’s U.S. midterm election is garnering way more attention than this non-event typically gets. The prospect of the Democrats taking back one or maybe even both houses has got a lot of people talking, but it’s really the same old nonsense, rehashed. If the Democrats take control of the House (somewhat likely) and/or the Senate [...]

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What if . . .

06.16.2003

Gore had won the 2000 election? The game of “what if” can be endless and pointless but it can also be fun. So I was thinking about what might have happened if the outcome of the 2000 election was different. What if the whole Florida ballot scandal never happened and Al Gore was voted into [...]

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Rightward shift for American Jews?

01.22.2003

The Canadian Jewish News has a story about how increasing numbers of American Jews are breaking the traditional alignment with the Democratic party and moving rightward. We are now experiencing “a very explosive moment in Jewish politics,” one that is rocking the traditional Jewish affiliation with the Democratic party and creating an undercurrent of anti-Semitism, [...]

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Lieberman will run

01.13.2003

Lieberman announces candidacy for a run at the Democratic nomination for 2004. Look for comments from the usual antisemitic suspects about the “Jews taking over the world” in, oh, about 30 seconds.

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Gore for President . . . not!

12.16.2002

Al Gore has announced he will not be running in 2004. “I’ve decided that I will not be a candidate for president in 2004. … I personally have the energy and drive and ambition to make another campaign, but I don’t think that it’s the right thing for me to do,” Gore said, in an [...]

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