Barack Obama broadly follows Ronald Reagan's (second term) security policy, George H.W. Bush's spending policy, Bill Clinton's tax policy, the bipartisan Squam Lake Group's financial-regulatory policy, Rick Perry's immigration policyJohn McCain's climate-change policy, and Mitt Romney's health-care policy. Although the economy remains deeply troubled and depressed in the aftermath of a financial crisis that the Republicans did everything they could to set the stage for, his policies have been by far the best and most successful of those in any major North Atlantic power. He wins reelection by a convincing 332-206 electoral vote margin while running against the most mendacious and lie-filled opposition campaign since William McKinley denounced William Jennings Bryan as dough in the hands of that communist-anarchist puppet master John Peter Altgeld.
And what does Clive Crook say about this? He says:
- Oh Noes! Barack Obama underperformed the point spread!
- Oh Noes! Barack Obama's first-term policies--Ronald Reagan's (second term) security policy, George H.W. Bush's spending policy, Bill Clinton's tax policy, the bipartisan Squam Lake Group's financial-regulatory policy, Rick Perry's immigration policy, John McCain's climate-change policy, and Mitt Romney's health-care policy--were dangerously left-wing! He should have governed over 2009-12 and campaigned in 2012 as a centrist!
- Oh Noes! Barack Obama was mean to Mitt Romney by pointing out that the net social product of Bain Capital is dubious at best!
I've gotten to the point where the only way I can understand Clive Crook is as a man yelling: "The President is a--CLANG!!"
The confrontational tone [Obama] struck in the campaign succeeded -- he won -- though I continue to think he would have won by a bigger margin if he'd governed and campaigned more like the Obama of 2008. In any event, I doubt the harder line is a formula for a successful second term.... The big question of historical interpretation -- and I'm not sure of the answer -- is how much of a negative, if at all, the economy was for Obama. Democrats will want to believe, and hence will manage to believe, that it was a very big negative, so that what we've just seen is a victory against the odds and an amazing triumph (cyclically adjusted, as it were). From here, on this view, as the economy continues to recover, everything just gets easier for the Democrats.... My guess is that the economy wasn't that much of a negative. Enough voters were smart enough to see that Obama inherited an exceptionally severe recession and that the struggles of the past four years weren't his fault. I also think Romney fought a mostly terrible campaign, following an orgiastically self-destructive season of GOP primaries.... Obama should have won by a bigger margin.