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$6 billion campaign, but did anything change?

5:25 PM, Nov 8, 2012   |    comments
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A record $6 billion was spent on 2012 political campaigns, but most incumbents were put back in office.

The president was reelected and will spend the next 4 years in the White House. Democrats still control the U.S. Senate, and Republicans continue to rule the U.S. House of Representatives.

"One of the great ironies of the 2012 election is that after billions of dollars and all that controversy and months and months of campaigning, from the point of view of political alignment, precious little has changed," observes Dr. John C. Green, director of The Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron. 

Outgoing U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich, of Cleveland, makes the same observation, but insists voters will not stand for Washington standing pat.

"By and large, the American people don't want the status quo," Kucinich told WKYC. "They want the nation to move forward and create jobs. They want economic progress in the United States."

Green said the reelected president is in a position to break through that gridlock or status quo.

"This is a place where President Obama, since he won't face the voters again, could step up and offer some compromise, at least get the process going, taking some risks," Green said. 

He thought the president may consider his legacy in making a decision on whether to stick to a hard-line political agenda in his second term, or reach out and seek compromise to solve the nation's critical issues.

"We do face some serious economic problems and the patience of the public is a little thin when it comes to these things," Green said from his office at the Bliss Institute. "And it may well be that public pressure will get some kind of compromise."

Of the $6 billion spent on television, radio, print, and other advertising throughout 2012, about $2.6 billion was dedicated to the presidential contest between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

Most of that was contributed by special interest groups, corporations, political action committees, and in the case of the president, also labor unions. Green says winning contributors will demand payback for their donations.

He also thought all the money could have had some value to the average American citizen.

"It may very well be that a lot of people, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, learned a few things about national policy and the problems we face, that they might not have otherwise learned."


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