Steven, I think if you review the percentage of blacks who
voted for Bill Clinton you will find that he came very close to the same percentage as Barack Obama.
It seems sensible to me that the second black candidate for President, and the first with a solid chance and the Democratic Party behind him, and the first Black President standing for re-election, he would garner a ton of black votes. This is an historic step, of course they supported him, though Black Republicans didn't reverse themselves and vote Obama.
I don't have the same confidence that you do in a black or Hispanic candidate holding the same views as Romney, with the same wavering I'm in favour of, no wait a minute I'm opposed to ... history of changing positions would be electable. In fact I'd suggest that a simple reversal of race in this election would have resulted in something approximating a landslide for the Democratic candidate. Race was a factor and a hurdle Obama had to overcome in both elections.
As for Romney, I think he wanted to be President because he wanted it, because he thought he was entitled to it, and that he "misunderestimated" his opponent, feeling that the soft economy offered him the opportunity. If he'd shown clear consistent leadership, and a sensible economic package, he might have pulled it off. He didn't do either of those things, and he chose a VP with almost as many drawbacks as Sarah Palin, meaning unpopular beliefs that were at least perceived as part of the Republican platform. Notice how quickly after the debates the Republicans threw a sheet over him and said "Ignore the man behind the curtain."
For Romney the Presidency would have been a way of topping his Father, which I think was part of his motivation as well.
Romney played the campaign very badly. He got saddled with the perception that he was one of the 1% and was intending to govern for them by his demeanor, his wardrobe, his condescesion, his air of entitlement, and his opinions voiced before the election and during it. There is a peculiar inclination among Republicans to actually believe as true that old joke which I used to see photocopied and stuck up everywhere, entitled Who Works, the punchline of which is that only the guy making the joke thinks he works, out of all the millions in America, and he's trying to shame his co-worker into working harder. That is at the root of that blatant falsehood of "the 47%", against which there are statistics easily available from non-partisan sources from a multitude of sources to disprove it. I actually wrote a post on that subject disproving the whole thing.
Barack Obama, in his off-the-rack looking sober suits looked Presidential. Mitt Romney, so often in a Blue Blazer and light coloured slacks looked like a trust fund baby from the Country Club who'd wandered in to the contest.
That is how I saw it from up here, those are the perceptions I had looking at each candidate. In my opinion, Mitt Romney didn't look like a serious candidate. Now the same could be said about George W. Bush, but he had a contrived (again IMO) folksiness about him which mitigated a lot of the other insulated, "living in the 1% Bubble" detachment from regular folks.
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