Senators lament Romney’s loss

Name of Publication: 
Marietta Daily Journal
Excerpt of Article: 
by Jon Gillooly
November 07, 2012 03:33 AM
MARIETTA — U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-Moultrie) and Johnny Isakson (R-east Cobb) were not in the highest of spirits when reached a little after 10 p.m. Tuesday.

“The country continues to be a very much divided America,” said Chambliss, who watched the returns from his hometown in Moultrie. “We’ve got to figure out a way to solve our problems that don’t move us down the road of a socialist America, that we figure out some way to make sure that true American values are still represented in the policies that come out of Washington, but with a President Obama, that’s going to be very, very difficult.”

Obama’s victory, Chambliss said, “shows that conservatives have got a lot of work to do. We still have a strong voice. We’re still going to have in excess of 40 members in the Senate, but we’ve got to figure out a way to move Hispanics and move all the minorities in the direction of Republican values.”

Chambliss attributed Obama’s victory to his ability to paint Romney as an elitist early in the race. ...

Kerwin Swint, a political science professor at Kennesaw State University who specializes in elections, weighed in at about quarter to 11 p.m., saying he assumed Obama would win.

“An Obama win means that a majority of Americans are comfortable with sluggish economic growth, high unemployment and higher taxes,” Swint said. “It also means that most Americans are not particularly concerned with the money spent in the stimulus program, the auto bailouts and Obamacare. This election means that a majority do not hold President Obama responsible for the tough times we are experiencing as a country. Evidently, most are not ready to give up on him. His performance has not been great, but it has been ‘good enough.’”

Swint said Obama’s approval rating of 49 percent is about where George W. Bush’s was in 2004 and is about 10 points higher than the approval ratings of previous incumbents who were defeated for re-election (Carter in 1980, Bush in 1992).

“The President will look at this as a major victory,” Swint said. “Republicans will have to regroup. In the short term, the President will have to negotiate an agreement with Congress over the financial future of the country. Look for both sides to search for areas of agreement to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff that the country could face in the next two years. John Boehner once again becomes the face of the national Republican Party and its highest-ranking elected official.”