It’s time to Break It Down!
During the 2012 Election cycle, there was rampant on-going speculation about President Obama’s ability to hold on to the robust numbers generated by his incredible, never-before seen, 2008 coalition. The Obama Re-election Team was always confident in the ability of it’s Get Out the Vote (GOTV) machinery to connect with key demographics and persuade those voters to go to the polls and execute their civic duty. Whether they could do so was considered critical to Mr. Obama’s chances to win, and many Republican prognosticators openly doubted the chances that what they considered a “perfect political storm” could be replicated.
As it turned out, President Obama did return to office, propelled by a coalition that performed even more stoutly than it had the first time around. In the aftermath of Election 2012, the President’s critics and detractors grudgingly conceded they simply misjudged and/or underestimated Team Obama’s capacity to re-energize and motivate the many disparate parts of the President’s base.
The 2012 Campaign was marked by a revolving array of numbers. The most important was two, of course, as in two terms for the incumbent President. But there were many others, including:
Occupy Wall Street (OWS) and the 99%
- Mitt Romney and the 47%
- Ronald Reagan, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the 50%, as in President Obama became the first President since Ronald Reagan, and the first Democrat since FDR to win two consecutive elections with more than 50% of the popular vote (65,910,437 – 60,932,795)
- Swing State new math; President Obama won ten of eleven Swing States (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin). He ceded only North Carolina.
- First term minus two; President Obama won all but two of the states he won in his first term, North Carolina and Indiana.
- Electoral Votes; 332-206, President Obama
- States carried; 26 + DC President Obama, 24 Mitt Romney
- Percentage of the vote; President Obama 51.1, Mitt Romney 47.2
- Liberals 86% President Obama
- Moderates 56% President Obama
- Democrats 92% President Obama
- Women 55% President Obama
- Non-married men 56% President Obama
- Non-married women 67% President Obama
- Black 93% President Obama
- Hispanic 71% President Obama
- Asian 73% President Obama
- Other 58% President Obama
- Catholic 50% President Obama
- Jewish 69% President Obama
- Other Faith 74% President Obama
- No Faith preference 70% President Obama
- Attend Religious Services a few times a month 55% President Obama
- Attend Religious Services a few times a year 56% President Obama
- Never Attend Religious Services 62% President Obama
- All Religious Groups other than White Evangelicals 60% President Obama
- Age 18-24 60% President Obama
- Age 25-29 60% President Obama
- Age 30-39 55% President Obama
- Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual 76% President Obama
- Heterosexual 49% President Obama, 49%, Mitt Romney
- Not a high school graduate 64% President Obama
- High School Graduates 51% President Obama
- Some college 49% President Obama, 48% Mitt Romney
- Post Graduate education 55% President Obama
- Under $30,000 63% President Obama
- $30,000-$49,999 57% President Obama
- Northeast (Mitt Romney’s home turf) 59% President Obama
- Midwest (Mitt Romney’s other home turf) 51% President Obama
- West 54% President Obama
- Cities w/population over 500,000 69% President Obama
- Cities w/population between 50,000 and 500,000 President Obama
In other words, the President’s victory far-reaching and inclusive. Nevertheless, straight off his victory, the President was confronted by a wide-ranging expression of concern about the lack of diversity in his new Cabinet. Friend and foe alike have called into question the make-up of the President’s Second Term Cabinet. Republicans, in the wake of the oft-mentioned “War on Women” Democrats attributed to their Party, called out President Obama for his lack of female appointees.
That the Grand Old Party, home to the loyal opposition (of Democratic Administrations) would challenge the President on his record of appointments, or anything else is not news, naturally. However, it does raise eyebrows when representatives of several of the President’s most ardent ally groups challenge his record of Cabinet appointments. That is precisely what happened during the early months of 2013, as President Obama revealed his nominees for appointment to Cabinet posts.
The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), the Human Rights Campaign (HRC – the nation’sleading LGBT organization), the NAACP, the National Organization of Women, and the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda have all challenged, criticized, and/or complained about the President’s Cabinet. Now that there is only one Cabinet Post remaining to be filled, the Small Business Administration, (SBA), it is virtually assured the new Cabinet will be less diverse; whiter and more male-dominated than his first.
As diversity goes, there will likely be more white men (up from 8 to 10), fewer women (down from 8 to 7), fewer blacks (down from 4 to 3), fewer Asians, (down from 3 to 1), and fewer Latinos, down from 2 to 0 at present). However, the President does seem to be leveling a concerted effort to fill the SBA post with a Hispanic.
President Obama insists that his first White House and Cabinet staff was as diverse a team, if not more diverse, than any in history. In January, he urged critics to avoid rushing to judgment; to wait and see how the appointment process unfolded. Now that the process has nearly played itself out, we can see there will be no panacea for proponents of diversity.
It is time for a new argument, posthaste! The new argument, and there is one which holds merit, is that it is actually appropriate to recognize that the President has chosen a Cabinet that reflects his principles and policy beliefs. These core values were validated by a coalition supported by the gaggle of numbers and percentages referenced earlier. I know it is an about-face from the often splintering identity politics to which we have become accustomed. Consider it a case of, “As the Cabinet Turns!”
I’m done; holla back!
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