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'Survivor in Chief'

11:08 AM, Nov 8, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Fred Barnes, writing in the Wall Street Journal

Never has so much time, money and energy been put into a presidential election with so meager a result. Washington today is a carbon copy of what it was when the campaign began many months ago. Democrats control the White House and Senate, Republicans the House.

Republicans were hoping for a change election. They didn't get one. President Obama would have liked a mandate. He didn't get one. What the voters desired is anybody's guess. Their intentions, besides re-electing Barack Obama, were unclear.

What we've just endured might be called a strategist's election, and Mr. Obama's strategists were victorious.

The president didn't run on his record or a vision or a plan for the next four years. His campaign consisted of using policy favors to lock up the support of his party's interest groups—liberals, labor, environmentalists, feminists, minorities—and dehumanizing his opponent, Mitt Romney. It worked.

The Obama campaign exposed the myth of the unenthusiastic Democratic voter. The idea was that millions who backed Obama in 2008 would be too dispirited to show up to vote on Tuesday, and a surge of Republican voters would elect Mr. Romney. I bought this notion and figured the Republican would win. Alas, the unenthusiastics voted, thanks in part to an Obama get-out-the-vote effort as effective as it was in 2008.

Whole thing here.

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