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Obama Wins Close National Vote, Mandate Denied, US Future Dim

Obama had no coat tails whatsoever in this election. He barely got over the hedge himself.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney conceded the race on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney conceded the race on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012.
Photo Credit: YY

Obama has won, for the second time, both Florida and Virginia, two states with total Republican domination over local politics. This means that the same voters who trust a Republican for governor and other state offices do not trust a right-wing Republican for president.

To remind you, President GW Bush had solid support from the Hispanic voters, largely because of his sane immigration policies. But Romney didn’t have very encouraging things to say to Hispanics on amnesty, etc., plus several South-Western Republican officials were hedging their own careers on antagonizing their Hispanic citizens and visitors, making the GOP in general a most unpopular brand over there.

What does all of the above mean for the Jews? I think the U.S. economy will not be coming back any time soon. Blame Bush 2, blame Obama, blame Wall Street, blame China, it doesn’t really matter. Our annual GDP growth is 1.7%. It’s a depressing rate suggesting that, after four years since the big crash, most businesses are still hesitating to move forward. It means banks are still hesitating to trust potential borrowers. As a result, new jobs are not being created and the number of people receiving their income from government entitlement programs is increasing alarmingly.

It’s not the end of the world, the U.S. economy is big enough to recover from this depression/recession – but, sadly, not with this president. Unless Obama finds a new, creative way he hasn’t thought of until now, to generate new confidence in the hearts and minds of decision makers in business and industry, we should expect more of the same: a sluggish, increasingly desperate crawl through the mud.

The truth is I’m less concerned about the fate of the State of Israel under Obama’s second term than I am about my Jewish brothers and sisters in America. I trust that the IDF—with God’s help—is good enough to defend the Jewish state with or without a very friendly U.S. president.

I don’t think the next four years will be fun for anyone in America, but for us, mostly right-wing, professionals and small business traditional Jews, it’s going to be sad and even a little scary.

A Romney win would have signaled a cultural change. I may not love everything about Mormons, but they don’t get drunk, they give to charity, and they have a lot of children whom they raise in loving families. I could think of worse presidential role models.

The U.S. president always marks the center. Everyone else is either to the left or to the right of him. That’s why I’m so anxious for a moderate-Republican as president, because he encourages centrist thinking. I thought that GW Bush was way too far to the right, without a broad mandate to do so. I think Obama has pulled the center over to the left by almost the same measure – except he hasn’t been as brash about it.

Back in 2008, I had tears in my eyes when Obama had won. I thought I was seeing an impossible dream coming true. This time around I feel angry and betrayed by the man who crushed my dream, who failed to do right by the multitudes who voted for him.

I do believe that the Romney loss must energize a discussion among right-wing American Jews about planning their future in Israel. Our website will continue to cover opportunities in Israel in terms of jobs, housing, medical care, creature comforts, socializing, a spiritual life and the economy. It is my honest opinion that, given the above predictions about the next four years, you could do a whole lot better on my side of the water.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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195 Responses to “Obama Wins Close National Vote, Mandate Denied, US Future Dim”

  1. Cris Ortiz says:

    Two things, unrestricted abortion is heinous, to kill a child even up to the day of birth is an anathema. A majority of Americans favor some restrictions, Romney failed to embrace this. Second, the Hispanic vote carried Obama. A country verging on bankruptcy cannot realistically threaten to accept the costs associated with deporting millions of people. You cause mass chaos, and possibly armed conflict. A better choice would have been a modified Dream Act, with a path to citizenship available to all.

  2. Yori Yanover says:

    According to Jewish Law, the life of the mother is favored over the life of the fetus until the very moment of birth. Also, Jewish law only recognizes the fetus as having a soul after 40 days of gestation. This means, to the best of my understanding, that morning after pills are absolutely fine and do not constitute anything more than medical care. We obviously frown on pre- and extra-marital relations, but not on the grounds of caring for the life of the fetus in the first month.

  3. Charlie Hall says:

    You wrote this too early. It is important in analyzing elections to recognize where the uncounted votes are from. I was following Virginia all night and realized that although Romney seemed comfortably ahead, all the Republican areas save Virginia Beach had reported and there were lots of uncounted votes in Alexandria, Fairfax County, and Norfolk, all of which were Democratic. In the case of your popular vote majority, CNN now has it at more than two million because all the Pacific Time Zone states have come in for Obama — and there are still significant numbers of votes to be counted in California and Washington. Obama's popular vote majority will likely end up being similar to Bush's in 2004.

    Four Republican-held US Senate seats flipped to the Democrats, with one going the other way and one still too close to call.

  4. David Oke says:

    I was trying to explain this to people all night, but they couldnt grasp the concept. I also had people get angry when I called the race after Colorado was called…

  5. Neil Stoloff says:

    You are good, Charlie. What's the secret to posting only when you know what you're talking about?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wow this is some unadulterated hogwash on display. Obama trounced Romney. 332 EV's and a 2Million plus national margin. A decisive victory. The first step in any battle is to face the truth.

  7. Yori Yanover says:

    Charlie — with all due respect, you're nitpicking. First, because I didn't feel Bush had a mandate in 2000, never mind in 2004, for the kinds of major moves he undertook, both in going to war and in enforcing an extreme right-wing policy, such as killing stem cells and altering the traditional way of staffing DOJ.

    But whatever happens to the actual final numbers, in 18 years America's demographic will be altered so significantly that we can't yet imagine what our politics will be like. The Obama win today has to sound an alarm to the Republican party that if it sticks to extreme wedge issues it will continue to lose. I believe the Republican party has to bring in from the cold its East Coast liberal republicans and re-establish itself as the party of the grownups.

  8. Liad Bar-el says:

    Yori, you may be correct according to political civil law but Jewish Law is something else altogether. You’ll find this issue covered quite extensively at this site: http://www.jewishsexuality.com/

  9. I HAVE SENT THIS TO THE MEDIA. SEND IT TO YOUR CONTACTS. DO NOT GIVE IN OR UP. RABBI

    Obama wins. This is what I PREDICTED ALL ALONG. WE NEED A DYNAMIC ORGANIZATION TO REPLACE THE REPUBLICAN JEWISH COALITION. We need to develop rabbis with batzim, kahoonas that will speak out.. I AM READY FOR THAT CHALLENEGE. ORTHODOX RABBIS WERE TOO TIMID OR NOT WILLING TO JOIN Rabbis for Romney and many sided witht Obama. The majority of Jews and their Conservative and reform rabbis also sided with Obama. RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG founder and president rabbis for ROMNEY. The great majority OF Israelis wanteded ROMNEY to win.
    THE FUTURE OF ISRAEL IS AT STAKE AND WE MUST CONTINUE THE FIGHT.

  10. JEWS AND NON JEWS United for Israel & the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (forming a new group) group name is open to change. Seeking guidance and advice from those who which to participate.

    President Obama wins. This is what I PREDICTED ALL ALONG. WE NEED A DYNAMIC ORGANIZATION TO REPLACE THE REPUBLICAN JEWISH COALITION.
    THE FUTURE OF ISRAEL IS AT STAKE AND WE MUST CONTINUE THE FIGHT. Ben Rosenberg

  11. Lori Lowenthal Marcus says:

    I also had tears in my eyes when Obama won in 2008, but it wasn't because I was proud that the U.S. finally elected an African American. I knew, based on his years in Rev. Wright's church, and his decision to marinate his own children in that hatred, that we had elected our first anti-American American president.

  12. Lou Averbach says:

    how did a member of Wright's church get one Jewish vote

  13. Interesting article Lori Lowenthal Marcus. I don't agree that its time for the "right" to moderate. In the long run the "right" wins.

  14. Lori Lowenthal Marcus says:

    I hope you noticed, I did not write that article.

  15. Of course I noticed. The author is the first thing I notice:-) Thanks for posting it:-)

  16. Charlie Hall says:

    All good points, Yori! I agree with you, particularly with the way Bush treated a popular vote loss as a landslide majority.

    I'm worried that the Republicans still are acting in this Take No Prisoners way. The defeat of NY State Sen. Saland in a heavily Republican district is quite upsetting, as it was caused by right wing Republicans running a third party candidate to punish him for his deviation from orthodoxy. And this is in a state where Republican elected officials have rarely been dogmatic ideologues.

  17. Charlie Hall says:

    Maryland voters approved a form of the Dream Act in that state.

    And the Republican opposition to the Dream Act is really nothing more than unmitigated meanness. Almost all the illegal immigrants who would benefit are actually permitted under existing law to enroll in college or to join the US military — they just have to return to their countries of nationality to apply, which is simple harassment. Some were brought here as small children and don't have any memory of those countries.

  18. Charlie Hall says:

    I would not judge Rev. Wright based on a few clips from decades of sermons. Plenty of rabbis say offensive things at times and Baruch HaShem we don't have cameras rolling on Shabat. And his church is part of one of the very few Christian sects that explicitly teaches that God's covenant with the Jewish people is still in force, and was not superceded by the one the Christians claim.

    Furthermore it should be clear to everyone after a four year record as President that even though one may disagree with Obama's policies on taxes or healthcare or even the Middle East, he is NOT anti-American and is NOT an anti-Semite.

  19. Lori Lowenthal Marcus says:

    Sorry Charlie, not clear to me at all, based on his 4 year record, that he is not anti-American, I have no basis for judging whether he is an anti-Semite, and I am convinced he is not pro-Israel. Would love to see that speech he gave at the Rashid Khalidi farewell dinner, wouldn't you?

  20. Charlie Hall says:

    It was a clear win, but not a landslide. It is similar in popular vote margin to the Bush victory in 2004. Democrats made gains in both houses of Congress as well, but not huge gains. And a few state legislatures flipped from Republican to Democratic majorities.

  21. Any word yet on what percentage of the Jewish vote went to Obama. Remember, I predicted 70-75%.

  22. Lori Lowenthal Marcus says:

    The story will be up momentarily. Stay tuned.

  23. Lynne Bishop says:

    I agree. I'm an evangelical and I can't believe Jews still voted for Obama. I'm a one issue voter — pro-israel. Israel now needs our support and prayers more than ever. Baruch Hashem.

  24. Myriam Obadia says:

    Where did you see unrestricted abortion in the US law under Obama or any other US president? There are restrictions, of course. The 1st one being that women do not abort for "fun", but because they must, due to health or circumstances. The least you could do would be to quit adding insult to injury by begrudging women the right to do what they must for their welfare and that of their family. If you really want to reduce the number of abortions then a) teach your sons to respect women, b) teach your daughters to respect their bodies, c) give proper sex education to pre-teens and move the soap operas to after 10 PM instead of right after school lets out.

  25. Poilitico says it was 69%. Close enough for me. One percentage point below the Latino vote. Not bad.

  26. Rc Fowler says:

    Mr. Yanover, Of course the life of the mother is more important than the fetus–but where in the Torah or the Tanakh is a fetus a human being at forty days of gestation?

  27. Myriam Obadia says:

    Liad Bar-el, Yori is right, the Jewish law does give priority to the life of the woman over that of the fetus. This doesn't mean that women can give free reign to their sexuality, or that they prefer to abort than to give birth, on the contrary, but it does mean that -if their health or the welfare of their other children are at stake- they have the right to make that choice. According to the Jewish law, the obligation to have children is on the man. Women are given the option.

  28. Charlie Hall says:

    I'm not a rabbi or even a talmid chacham, but see Niddah 30a and Yevamot 69b.

  29. Avner Garbi says:

    Yori Yanover you delusional he won big we didn't count Florida yet he won the popular vote and the Electoral vote that's not a squeak. face it you lost!

  30. Myriam Obadia says:

    I am aware that many Israelis are disappointed by Obama's reelection. still, how can someone get over 50% of the popular vote and a large Electoral College margin and his win be considered "close"?
    Had the GOP fielded a moderate ticket willing to heal the rancor and reach for consensus, most American would have voted against Obama.
    The GOP chose, on the contrary to go Medieval Inquisitor on women and immigrants, and pull the rug from under the young, the elderly, and the poor. They lost because no one in America wanted to wake up with less civil rights and economic safety net than they had, going to bed the day before. The only reason this will not happen in Israel is that our Left has deserted its responsibility to Am and Eretz Israel and we either vote for the Right or vote ourselves out of a country and into exile again.

  31. Justin Stern says:

    Why would you go out of your way to say that you weren't proud that the U.S. had elected its first African American president? That is a ROUSING achievement. People talk about "American exceptionalism," but by most counts we are not that exceptional. We're not the smartest and we're not the healthiest anymore–and we're also not the only ones that democratically elect their government, despite what Fox News might have you believe. What we CAN claim is that we are the first western nation to have elected a black man president of the country that was built on the black of African slaves.

  32. Edward Lobel says:

    Cris ortiz, No matter how wrong you are you are entitled to your own opinion, but you should be more carefl when you say things especially when they are wrong! NO ONE in thi country favors abortions up until the time of delivery! Secondly, the MAJORITY of Americans favor a woman's right to choice! Thirdly,The United States is NOWHERE CLOSE to bankruptcy! That is a blatet Lie started by repubs and tea baggers. If you knew anything about the situation you would know that the credit raing companies ALL said the reason they downgraded the debt was because the repubs would not increase the ceiling and that there is PLENTY of money available to pay off the debt!

    As for Hispanics playing an imprtant role in the election, you are correct! You have to ask yourself why that happened. The reason they overwhelmingly support President Obama was because he talks to the Hispanics and did indeed make it possible for many of them to stay here even though willared and the foolharty repubs want them out!

  33. Justin Stern says:

    This is the United States of America. It's not reasonable to judge a government based on how it treats one other nation. This guy has won the popular vote now twice–that means the MAJORITY of Americans approve of what he's doing.

  34. Justin Stern says:

    I voted for Romney, but this consistent bashing of the President is really shameful. We survived GWB and we will survive Obama, too.

  35. Edward Lobel says:

    Charlie Hall – have to disagree with you, winning by well ove 100 EV is a landslide by anyones deffinition.

  36. Edward Lobel says:

    Foolish! Alol those evangelicals who listen to robertson or Jews who listen to bibi or shmuley also have much hatred ion them so how can you say someone you did not know anything about would breed hatred! And if you think President Obama has bread hatred over the last four years not only are you wrong, but now everyone knows how foolish you are!

  37. Edward Lobel says:

    Lori Lowenthal Marcus not only are you showing how foolish and full of hate your are, but to say he is not pro Israel is a down right Lie and you hould be ashamed of yourself!
    Just what do you know about being a Amrican?
    President Obama has had the same policies as had every other U.S. President. He will defend Israel should the need arise. He has given Israel tremdous defense capabilities with missle shields. Today Bibi said Presient Obama was a great friend to Israel! I suppose you now think Bibi is "un-Israeli" or hates America?
    I personally think you do know have a clue about what you are sayingand say it to stir up controversy

  38. Edward Lobel says:

    Caryn Lipson If you had a clue as to what you are saying you would be ashamed of yorself!

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