07 November, 2012

It's Obama

In the end, Obama won easily. So easily, in fact, that you wonder whether the voices saying it was neck and neck were just trying to make it exciting.

Obama ran a good campaign, Romney ran a bad one. Presumably the world will now hear no more from Willard 'Mitt' Romney except on the celebrity golf circuit. This blog will shed no tears for him.

Obama now has three years to make history look kindly on him (not four, because positioning for the new election will start well in advance of the end of his term).

And it's not going to be easy: the Republicans control the House whilst the Democrats control the Senate and so there will be a fair bit of bickering to get anything through. In particular the 'fiscal cliff' looms. This is a series of measures which come into force on 1st January, 7 weeks away, which will take some $680 billion out of the economy in tax increases and spending cuts. It needs to be done but would be easier to swallow if spread over a longer period, and Obama will need to impose himself on the negotiations, over a Republican party still smarting from defeat.

But Obama mustn't take his eye off the austerity ball: America is mired in debt and if nothing is done it will default some time in the early part of this century, something which would have appalling consequences for the entire world.

It's the biggest job in the world, but not the best.

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