Obama's Win: An Inflection Point

Here's why the president's re-election is more important than his win in 2008.

Posted: 11/07/2012 04:07 PM EST
Obama's Win: An Inflection Point

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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