WSJ: Obama Victory Triumph of ‘Hope Over Experience’

Wednesday, 07 Nov 2012 11:59 AM

By Dan Weil

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President Barack Obama’s victory Tuesday doesn’t amount to any kind of game-changer, according to a Wall Street Journal editorial.

“Given that second presidential terms are rarely better than the first, this is best described as the voters doubling down on hope over experience,” editors write. “Mr. Obama will now have to govern the America he so relentlessly sought to divide — and without a mandate beyond the powers of the presidency.”

Republicans, for their part, easily maintained control of the House. “So their agenda was hardly repudiated,” the editorial states.

“The two sides will have to reach some compromise on the tax cliff, the spending sequester, and the debt limit, but House Speaker John Boehner can negotiate knowing he has as much of a mandate as the president.”

Most conservatives view Obama’s victory as a win for those who favor big government rather than those who produce in the private sector. And some believe “the middle class chose Mr. Obama's government blandishments over Mr. Romney's opportunity society,” the editorial says.

Wall Street Journal editors disagree. “We don't think such a narrow victory of an incumbent president who continues to be personally admired justifies such a conclusion,” they write. “Perhaps this fear will be realized over time, but such a fate continues to be in our hands. There are few permanent victories or defeats in American politics, and Tuesday wasn't one of them.”

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