Prewritten November 7 Openings

by on 2012-11-02 in Duck- 3 Comments

As this election is, by many accounts, “too close to call,” I’ve generated different opening paragraphs for November 7. Each, I hope, confirms the retrospective “conventional wisdom.”

1. If Romney wins a decisive victory

In a surprisingly decisive victory that will draw inevitable comparisons to Ronald Reagan’s 1980 defeat of Jimmy Carter, Mitt Romney defied the pollsters and statisticians to become the 45th President of the United States. Barack Obama, perhaps derailed by Hurricane Sandy, failed to overcome a sputtering economy and his own lackluster performance in the first Presidential debate. Mitt Romney’s victory continues a string of historic elections. In 2008 Barack Obama became the first African-American elected President. Yesterday Mitt Romney became the first member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to ascend to the Presidency.

2. If Romney wins a close victory

At the end of an agonizingly close contest reflective of the deep partisan divides in the nation, Mitt Romney’s narrow victory in Ohio returned the White House to the Republican Party only four years after voters apparently repudiated the Presidency of George W. Bush. In his acceptance speech, Romney promised to govern “on behalf of all Americans.” Romney’s election is the latest in a string of historic firsts. In 2008 Barack Obama became the first African-American elected President. Yesterday Mitt Romney became the first member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to achieve that honor.

The mood at Obama campaign headquarters was somber. Some officials blamed defeat on the President’s poor performance in his first debate against Romney, others Romney’s last-minute ad blitz that one campaign veteran described as “the most dishonest I’ve ever seen.” A few questioned the wisdom of the President abandoning the campaign trail the week preceding the election. Prominent analysts agreed that, whatever the failings of the Obama campaign, it could not overcome the Romney’s October momentum.

3. Disputed election

Nearly five days after Election Day Ohio and/or Florida and/or Virginia remain(s) too close to call. Republicans and Democrats alike claim the polls were marred by “irregularities” and promised to turn to the courts “if necessary” to ensure the “will of the voters” prevails. Commentators express dismay at the likely court battles. One leading scholar simply shook his head and said “it’s 2000 all over again.”

4. Narrow Obama Victory

At the end of an agonizingly close contest reflective of the deep partisan divides in the nation, Barack Obama’s narrow victory in Ohio secured his re-election to the Presidency. He was aided by both a growing sense of optimism about the state of the economy and Mitt Romney’s many missteps on the campaign trail. With Republicans holding the House of Representatives and Democrats retaining control of the Senate, Washington appears poised for at least another two years of gridlock and bitter debate.

The mood at Romney campaign headquarters was somber. Some officials blamed defeat on the President’s positive reviews for his handling of Hurricane Sandy. Others expressed frustration with their ground game. One official argued that the campaign’s closing message had been muddled by a spate of new attack ads in key battleground states. But the most common sentiment was that the Obama campaign had successfully defined Romney as an out-of-touch plutocrat during the critical summer before the election. “We needed to respond,” said one high-ranking Republican, “but we dropped the ball.”

In his acceptance speech, Obama abandoned the rancor of the campaign and congratulated Romney on his “energetic” and “hard-fought” campaign. He appealed to Congressional Republicans to put aside partisan disputes in favor of “working together on behalf of the American people.”

5. Decisive Obama Victory

Despite a campaign that appeared deadlocked until Election Day, President Obama vindicated the predictions of prominent forecasters by achieving a decisive victory in the electoral college. Analysts credited Obama’s re-election to his rebound performances in the second two Presidential debates, Mitt Romney’s many gaffes and missteps, and a summer of defining the former Governor of Massachusetts as an out-of-touch plutocrat.

In his acceptance speech, Obama abandoned the rancor of the campaign and congratulated Romney on his “energetic” and “hard-fought” campaign. He appealed to Congressional Republicans to put aside partisan disputes in favor of “working together on behalf of the American people.”

6. Electoral Vote/Popular Vote Split

Add: Obama’s/Romney’s failure to win the popular vote cast a shadow over his victory. Republicans/Democrats were quick to point out that a majority/plurality of the American people voted for their candidate. “Obama/Romney will have to moderate his agenda if he wants to govern,” said one high-ranking party official. But analysts were quick to point out that George W. Bush made little attempt to “govern from the center” despite losing the popular vote.

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