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Opinion: This Is What A Mandate Looks Like

The Buck Starts Here

After two years and more than two billion dollars spent, President Obama was returned to Washington with a clear mandate on the economy and the direction of the country.

When it came to our economic approach voters did want to go forward, not back to the trickledown economics of the GOP.

Obama's economic vision of building from the middle class out was the clear winner as was attacking our debt with a mix of spending cuts, smart investments and, importantly, tax increases. Voters clearly trusted President Obama to protect Social Security and Medicare benefits as well.

His reelection also cements the Clinton legacy on how America approaches economic policy. After all, we are on the edge of a recovery. The question is: how strong will that recovery be?

Unemployment is still too high and growth is too slow, but they are both moving in the right direction. It is a testament to Obama's political skill and the campaign that he ran that he was reelected with unemployment this high.

It is just another example of Barack Obama defying the political odds.

President Obama has repeatedly defied the political odds throughout his successful run for the presidency. He was not only the first African American nominee to a major party but he is also our first black president.

He is the first president to successful pass health care reform. His reelection locks in the benefits that go into effect in 2014. There will never be a repeal of Obamacare.

President Obama is one of two Democrats elected president twice with over 50 percent of the vote. The other, FDR.

Since 1960, only Nixon, Reagan and Obama have been elected to two terms with over 50 percent of the vote.

President Obama is also the first successful candidate in recent history to run promising to raise some taxes and win.

Presidents have been reelected after raising taxes. Presidents have lost after breaking promises to raise taxes. The GOP has traditionally buried Democrats over taxes. But President Obama leaned into raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans at a time when leadership and making tough calls are what we need.

Adding to the Democrats overwhelming victory is the Senate. For two years the GOP has vowed to win back the Senate. The question always has been how many seats will the Democrats lose.

The answer is zero. In fact it looks like Democrats will pick up a net of two seats to the Democratic caucus.

There are major fiscal questions confronting our country and voters gave a clear answer as to which path to take.

Now the question before us is how will the House of Representatives respond? Will Speaker Boehner show the leadership needed to get a deal done to avoid the sequester that Republicans put in place. Will we get a deal on long term on deficit reduction? Will we do some nation building at home?

President Obama has repeatedly defied the odds in the past four years. The nation is counting on that streak to continue.

About Bill Buck

Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.


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