warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Obama Has Changed American Politics

Michael Juliani |
November 7, 2012 | 1:39 p.m. PST

Assistant News Editor

The president chose the right campaign slogan for 2012.  (Flickr Creative Commons)
The president chose the right campaign slogan for 2012. (Flickr Creative Commons)

President Barack Obama's second term as president will have to follow through on his promise to make the country move "Forward!" as his campaign slogan said. 

But he'll probably find that overcoming a Republican Congress will be no easier than it was in his first four years.

Obama's vision for America certainly came through in his acceptance speech, which lauded the strength of the American spirit of progress. His re-election shows that the country is willing to grow, but only with the right candidate -- one who delivers or plans to deliver on the stern issues of the times.

The president spoke more convincingly of healing than Mitt Romney did, and the country needs a leader who understands the depth of the healing that's required. Romney should be remembered as a candidate who couldn't understand the emotional plight behind the issues, a weakness exacerbated by his extreme wealth and corporate attitude toward liberal America.

(MORE: The Republican Party Believes In A Make-Believe America)

Voters also re-elected a Republican House of Representatives, meaning that Obama will have to continue battling a roadblocking Congress while trying to deliver hope and change in the fruition of his administration.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, had pledged to make Obama a one-term president, and said after the president won on Tuesday that "the voters have not endorsed the failures or excesses of the president's first term," according to the Washington Post.  He urged the president "to propose solutions that actually have a chance of passing the Republican-controlled House."

Speaker of the House John Boehner even tried to frame the Election Day results as a win for the Republican House: "The American people want solutions -- and tonight, they've responded by renewing our majority.  With this vote, the American people have also made clear that there is NO mandate for raising tax rates."

The woes of the modern Republican party -- and the possible downfall of the Tea Party -- have been written about elsewhere. It remains to be seen if Obama's battle to move the country further towards a progressive, more human future will embolden the radical right.

It also remains to be seen whether an Obama who doesn't face another election will become more untethered in liberalizing his policies. The president made many liberals uneasy with his first term by taking a somewhat temperate approach through what his supporters hoped would be a trailblazing four years of American progress.

(MORE: Despite Weak Economy, Obama Re-elected As Ohio Pushes Him Past 270)

The president's vision and feeling for America -- as we saw in his acceptance speech -- remains humanistic and idealistic as ever, echoing the legacy he began while campaigning in 2008. Voters trusted in Obama to move along this continuum for another four years.

Right now, it remains certain that the effect the Obama administration has had on American culture and politics will no doubt echo for decades. 

Read more of Neon Tommy's coverage of the 2012 election here.

Reach Assistant News Editor Michael Juliani here




Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.