So it’s official. Barack Obama has been re-elected to the office of President of the United States, defeating his Republican opponent Mitt Romney. This time last year, it seemed very unlikely that a President who had not achieved the economic stability he promised in 2008 could win re-election to a second term. That said, it has been a pretty exciting race: the Republican primaries, the rise and fall of Rick Santorum, the constant ‘Romneyshambles’, Bill Clinton’s top-notch convention speech and that debate which nearly cost Obama the election. In fact, it’s really quite sad that over a year of campaigning has ended so suddenly. When I followed the 2008 election with equal enthusiasm, I recall my elation at Obama’s first win in the Iowa caucus all the way through to his landslide victory against John McCain. How did I feel yesterday? Relieved, to say the least.
Mr Lemieux recently gave a talk during Sixth Form assembly in which he contended that the result would not affect us. In spite of the high esteem in which I hold Mr Lemieux, I couldn’t disagree more. Figures show that the American economy is on the path to growth and that unemployment is falling. If Romney had been put at the helm all of a sudden, it’s difficult to imagine that his fiscal policy would have kept the economy on that path. How does this affect us? The world economy depends heavily on the US economy – it being the largest in the world. Also, when one considers foreign affairs, Romney has shown greater animosity towards Russia and China than Obama. Republicans see Obama’s joint nuclear proliferation with the Ruskies as a sign of “weak leadership”; they would also like to see the US engage in a trade war with the Chinese. Obama has also been fundamental in convincing Israel to delay an attack against Iran. Romney it seems has very poor foreign policy experience and would be overly swayed by the ideologically-driven ideas propelled by the Likud lobby within his party. How does this affect us? Personally, I’d rather not see a war emerge between Israel and Iran, as it would draw other countries into the fray and probably end up going nuclear (which is never a good prospect).
When the 55 electoral votes from California were projected to go to Obama four years ago, pushing him over the 270-vote mark, I found myself running through my prep school dormitory shouting, “O-BA-MA!!” and “YES WE CAN” This time, when Virginia was projected to be won by Obama, it was clear that (almost) all the other swing states would follow en suite, and I was able to relax. The Yanks have made the right choice. It will be even more interesting to see what becomes of the Obama administration in its second term – who will succeed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State (my money is on John Kerry)? What will become of the GOP - will the party split into the crazy Christian right and the moderates? And how will the groundwork be laid for 2016?
For those who aren’t already aware, last week on Facebook I wagered that if Romney was elected the 45th President, I would eat a sock in front of everyone at Sixth Form assembly. My relief isn’t so much that my intestines won’t be stuffed with cotton, but more that we can be certain that the right guy is leader of the free world for the next four years. God Bless the United States!
See also Obama Re-elected by US and PGS