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2012 election: Reasons to celebrate, reasons to cry

December 14, 2012|By Dan Turner
  • Supporters cheer at the end of President Obama's remarks during an election night party in Chicago.
Supporters cheer at the end of President Obama's remarks during an… (Matt Rourke / Associated…)

The 2012 election was one of the most anticlimactic races of modern times. As donors shattered records on political contributions, an Internet-dominated political media environment seized on every candidate misstatement as a top news story and a massively polarized electorate squabbled throughout, one could have been forgiven for thinking major changes would be afoot after November. But then, almost inexplicably given the country's dissatisfaction with the state of the economy and a gridlocked Congress that seemed incapable of doing anything about it, voters largely opted to keep the status quo. Barack Obama will serve another term as president, the Senate remains in Democratic hands and the House is still controlled by Republicans, an outcome that pretty much guarantees more of the same.

That doesn't mean nothing good happened on Nov. 6, nor that there weren't any bad outcomes. Voters across the political spectrum could find something to celebrate or decry, especially those of us here at The Times' Opinion Manufacturing Division, where we follow elections with a fervor that verges on the unhealthy.

Here's my take on the best and worst outcomes of 2012.


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