For a year I have been telling people that the 2012 presidential contest is far more important than the 2008 election. Yes, in 2008 America elected its first African-American president in Barack Obama. This was a profoundly historic achievement no matter how you figure it. But that outcome, to borrow some apt social science jargon, was over-determined.
Say what? Here's why: George W. Bush was a lame duck incumbent in 2008. No matter what, he was out. The sense was endemic that Bush's was a failed presidency, involving a deeply polarized nation, two misguided wars, the massive incompetence and indifference seen in Katrina and an imploding economy. In such a context, a Democrat, any Democrat, was expected to win.
And, indeed, virtually all of the arid econometric models that forecast elections predicted a Democratic victory, with roughly 53 percent of the popular vote. This is exactly what Obama got -- even as an African American claiming a major party nomination for the first time in the history of the nation.
Why does 2012 matter more?
Read the full story at theroot.com.
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(Photo: REUTERS/Jason Reed)
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