President Barack Obama:
With a dismal first-term record, a stagnated economy, and running for reelection with an essentially message-less negative campaign, Barack Obama has more mazel than anything else. The race was a dead heat since May of 2012 until the very end – on Election Day. Obama performed badly in the first debate and was reasonably competent in the remaining debates, but some “water and wind” – i.e. Hurricane Sandy – made him look presidential in the final analysis. Furthermore, the minority ethnic voting blocs gave him the upper hand in all of the competitive battleground states, thus handing him an early and solid victory, one that was good enough to claim a mandate for another four years of partisan bickering and weak leadership globally.
Vice President Joe Biden:
Long live our beloved vice president. He got another four years of eating lunch with the President and granting us his daily portion of gaffes and off the cuff comments.
The Stache survived!
NYT’s Nate Silver’s prediction of the presidential outcome was on the point. The PPP polling firm was also more accurate than ever, overtaking Rasmussen’s accuracy and Gallup’s overhyped numbers prior to Election Day.
Simcha Felder got the support he needed to represent the newly drawn “Super Jewish” district. Despite being pushed by some self-serving community leaders and operatives, Simcha managed to lead the narrative of his campaign, buried the discussion about his record in the City Council and mustered the courage to face the voters in the district and court their vote. Time will tell if the overwhelming support Felder received from the voting public was simply a reflection of the fact that he had a weakened opponent and the backing of the entire establishment, or proof of a renewed mandate giving him a third chance to deliver to the community and address its unique needs in Albany.
Councilman Greenfield is the most powerful local politician in the Jewish community in Brooklyn. His enthusiastic support for Felder and his smart approach places him in the league of one of the most respected, effective and independent voices of our community.
‘Community First,’ founded and headed by Rabbi Nachman Caller and directed by Moshe Friedman, gets the credit for opening the conversation about our community’s real needs and educating the average individual community member to be aware of the issues that matter most to all of us, examine the candidate’s record and hold our elected officials accountable. Agudath Israel’s lobbyists and the drawers of the “Super Jewish” district now know there’s a new kid in town. The Republican Senate leadership, as well as the new Democratic majority leadership and local public officials, know that Rabbi Caller and his new organization are a powerful voice representing the individual in the community, and are not to be ignored or neglected.
Local Brooklyn Bloggers and Social Media Sites:
For making us laugh, chuckle and scratch our heads during this election cycle. Their informative and balanced reports of the local races in town gave us the information needed about our candidates. What the traditional Jewish media tried to hide, these local blogs spotlighted, providing us with an accurate look at the candidates and reports that allowed voters to be informed. BuzzFeed, a new site managed by Ben Smith, made the election season exciting, and it held the candidates accountable for their record, achievements, statements and spins.
He predicted a big landslide for Romney, but was nowhere to be found on election night. His inaccurate analysis of the debates and predictions of the presidential outcome were so way off the cliff.
While being the best Republican choice, he failed to connect emotionally with minority groups and confused voters, and fell hostage to the loud voices of the extreme right-wing. Romney’s immigration stance during the Republican debates and accommodation of the need to fire up the base, gave “Bombshell” Trump and social conservatives the spotlight, at least until the Denver debate. Romney lost his only chance to become President. The journey was long, expensive and brutal, and he ends up liked by default and back to the sidelines, unless President Obama hires him for a cabinet position or head of a council, which I highly recommend.
David Storobin and the Brooklyn Republicans:
Southern Brooklyn ain’t so red anymore. The departure of Turner and Storobin, and local candidates relying on “down the ballot” victories or at least coming close, proves the unique and sometimes unpredictable dynamics of politics in Brooklyn. Special elections and general elections don’t bind together; they don’t guarantee the same turnout and outcome. Storobin got no support from the Republicans statewide and locally, and no support within the Jewish community to even make the race close enough to send a message. David Storobin is still young and motivated, but his six-month political career is over as of now.
So Hikind’s prediction weeks ago that Romney would win the presidential election with a landslide fell flat big time. Similarly, the cost of Hikind’s plane ticket to Florida was thrown in the garbage, with no cash left in his pocket. Dov Hikind abandoned his voters in the community - even after Hurricane Sandy hit the neighborhood – for an ultimately unproductive week-long stump in Florida for Romney. Hikind most probably lost his promised job in the Romney administration.