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KNIGHT: Why the single-issue campaign failed
Obama had plenty of vulnerabilities besides the economy
“It’s the economy, stupid.”
Maybe not. Mired in the worst recovery since the Great Depression, with unemployment near 8 percent, companies laying off workers over Obamacare, a $16 trillion debt and gasoline at double the 2008 price, America still re-elected Barack Obama.
Mitt Romney ran a single-issue campaign: the economy, stupid.
The missed opportunities were endless. After CNN’s Candy Crowley silenced him in the second debate over the attack in Benghazi, Libya, Mr. Romney declined to expose Mr. Obama’s shocking lies and transparent cover-up. He also declined to educate Americans about the administration’s brazen lawlessness, especially that of the Justice Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Labor Relations Board.
Meanwhile, 42 percent of voters in the Fox News exit poll said Mr. Obama’s response to Hurricane Sandy was an important factor. Of those, more than 65 percent voted for Mr. Obama. Even if those voters were unduly impressed by the photo-ops and Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s fulsome praise, it means character still matters. Mr. Obama passed the last-minute leadership test, assisted by a media blackout of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s inadequate response and the scandalous non-coverage of the Benghazi cover-up.
Many policy areas in which outright lies have been the coin of the realm could have been exposed if GOP consultants had not insisted on playing only Monopoly. Mr. Romney broke through the media fog in the first debate, showing the public a decent, more rounded candidate. He wasn’t the soulless, cancer-patient-killing corporate raider in the $100 million worth of smear ads that had run for months, but it wasn’t enough.
What do we have, aside from a nightmare scenario involving the pending makeup of the Supreme Court, half of the American people’s de facto embrace of socialism, the survival of Obamacare and the Harry Reid-led U.S. Senate, and the Republicans’ continued control of 30 governorships and the U.S. House?
Well, we have some important lessons:
It’s not just “the economy, stupid.” If it were, Mr. Romney would have won in a walk.
A moderate Republican from the Northeast who presided over the creation of homosexual “marriage” and pioneered Obamacare in his own state is not the best candidate to counter the left’s relentless promotion of moral and fiscal insanity.
Big Bird's Food Stamp Army is for real. Millions turned out to ensure that the government will support them with other people’s earnings. As Obamacare hits harder and companies lay off more employees, it’s hard to see how this will decrease anytime soon.
Featuring minority faces on prime time doesn’t help the GOP’s demographic problem. Republicans have got to get to know the communities and make the conservative case to them.
It’s OK to cast your vote based entirely on race as long as neither you nor the candidate is white. Despite endorsing the anti-biblical notion of homosexual “marriage,” Mr. Obama still garnered 93 percent of the black American vote, slightly less than in 2008. You could say it was “the economy, stupid,” except that the black community has been hardest hit under Mr. Obama’s policies.
The media, comprised mostly of unrepentant partisan hacks, continue to worsen. They suppressed, Soviet-style, anything remotely unflattering to Mr. Obama, enabling him to continue the absurd fiction that his failures are George W. Bush’s fault.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Robert Knight is senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a columnist for The Washington Times.
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