21.11.16

PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS LEARNED NOTHING.

The departing president took a few questions during a visit to Lima, Peru.  (Going to Lima, Peru?  Par for the course.  Going to Lima, Ohio, where the economy hasn't been the same since Lima Locomotive quit?  Doubtful.)

Rich Edson of Fox News uses the election outcome to ask Mr Obama about a possible party realignment on his watch.  "Are you worried you could be the last Democrat president for a while?"

The president's response correctly notes that reports of the demise of major parties is often anticipated.  But then he casts blame everywhere else.
There was a poll this week subsequent to the election that showed that the general public has a more favorable view of Democrats than Republicans. As I noted, my approval ratings are quite high yet what has been true during the course of my eight years is that does not always translate. In fact, too often it hasn't translated into working majorities at the state level or the federal level.

Now, some of that is the nature of our system. And geography. As long as Wyoming gets the same number of Senators as California there is going to be some tilt towards Republicans when it comes to Congressional races. The fact that a lot of Democratic voters are bunched up in big cities and a lot of Republican voters are spread out across geography gives them an advantage when it comes to Congressional races. Some of it is just political bad luck.

For example, I came in as the economy was in flow fall and although I took the right steps to save the economy, in my midterm election of 2010 people couldn't yet see the recovery and not surprisingly the president's party got punished. We lost control of a lot of not just Congressional seats but also governorships and state legislative seats and that happened to be the year that the census was done and you start doing redistricting. And so those Republicans took advantage of political gerrymandering to lock in majorities even though in a numerous subsequent elections Democrats have actually cast more votes or more votes have been cast for Democratic Congressional candidates than Republicans and yet you end up having large Republican majorities. So there are just structural problems we have to deal with.
Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Delaware also get the same number of senators as California, but those states are, for some reason, more likely to be the destination of Democrat-leaning voters than Wyoming or the Dakotas.  Or perhaps it's a failure of Mr Obama and the rest of the Democrats to do anything constructive for swing voters away from the coasts.  That's part of Michael Barone's most recent pass through the returns.
But the Obama coalition turned out to be too heavily clustered to be easily replicated in an election decided by electoral votes, and much too heavily clustered to make the party competitive in congressional and legislative elections conducted in equal-population districts.
That's been going on all through the Obama presidency.



Retrieved from Washington Post on 21 November 2016.

You'd think his party might have seen some of the benefits of that economic recovery in 2012 and 2014.

Losing skippers blame the boat, the wind, the crew, the race committee, the seagulls ...

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