Or did it?
Maybe campaigning just remained as it had been: the only speed on which anyone was traveling forward back then.
The thing is, throughout 2012, every little thing that happened in Washington felt like part of the election.
No piece of legislation from either side of the aisle was put forth without political calculation. Executive orders were targeted to special interest groups for maximum return. A murdered ambassador didn’t even slow down the president’s scheduled fundraising. Natural disasters with impeccable timing made for good photo ops and concerned-looking handshaking.
It seems to me, the inconvenient business of governance was kicked so far down the road that people didn’t even think much about the fact that no one was doing it.
November came and went. The calendar flipped to 2013, which is supposed to be the dawn of a new age, the beginning of a new journey towards national solvency. Now it seems hard to deny from any viewpoint that we have serious divides in the electorate, serious debts and serious threats that call for strong, uniting leadership.
So why does it still feel so much like the 2012 campaign season?
A lot of speeches are being given. Fingers are pointing and wagging. The CEO at the top has set a tone of acrid recrimination on a sequestration he promised in 2012 wouldn’t happen, and everyone in the company has followed suit.
From the White House’s rebuking of Bob Woodward for reporting news that damages the brand, to the throwing up of hands about the blame no one wants to shoulder, to the promises of impending disasters that pepper the airwaves with the fearful regularity of so many swing-state attack ads, I find myself sick to death of politics. And I like politics.
While I think the president has well earned the pejorative of “campaigner and chief,” I don’t mind criticizing those on the right side of things either.
The deconstruction of the 2012 election has been important for the political party left licking its wounds and yearning to learn from its loss. It would be insanely silly to not try and understand why the Republican message that garnered more votes for Romney than it did for McCain still did not resonate enough with the general electorate to defeat the incumbent. I have written and talked a great deal about this topic.
However, every time I turn on the news to the hazard of my ulcer, I find pundits gleefully running down the possible candidates available to don the conservative mantel for 2016.
We are barely into March of the first year of the administration’s second term. Can we all stop the election just long enough to … you know … govern?
Hillary Clinton’s ambitions may be in the back of my mind since she clearly cares more about politics than what happened under her watch in Benghazi, but I want to tackle President Obama’s agenda first.
Of course Marco Rubio is a bright face for the conservative cause, but I don’t care about the feelers he might put down in Iowa. I’m more concerned about how much leadership he can demonstrate on contentious issues — problems that need to be addressed for the good of our country — like immigration.
In other words, instead of people perpetually running to get their jobs, I want people to actually do them.
The 2012 election was plenty long enough.
Barbara Donnelly Lane lives in east Cobb and blogs on the MDJonline.com website.