Analysis: Romney concedes to Obama

Mitt Romney talks to reporters on his campaign plane enroute to Boston to await the result of the...

Mitt Romney talks to reporters on his campaign plane enroute to Boston to await the result of the U.S. presidential election November 6, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Bryn Weese, Senior Washington Correspondent

, Last Updated: 5:33 AM ET

BOSTON — It turns out there's more to the United States than Ohio after all.

Tuesday's election certainly did not unfold the way many people predicted. It did not come down to Ohio or Florida, and neither provisional ballots nor lawyers will be deciding this race.

The electoral college vote wasn't a photo finish at all.

And there will undoubtedly be plenty of armchair quarterbacking in the weeks ahead about what went wrong with Mitt Romney's campaign.

A successful businessman who turned around a scandal-plagued Olympics, promised 12 million jobs and carried the confidence of voters on fiscal issues heading into Tuesday's historic election, he failed to beat an incumbent president with one of the worst economic records in recent history.

Indeed, the unemployment rate is higher now than when President Barack Obama took office. The national debt is over $16 trillion, and Obama has run a deficit of more than $1 trillion every year.

But despite that, Obama won himself a second term.

So what went wrong with the right?

Did the Republican primary, which pushed Romney to the right away from more moderate social positions he once held, seal his fate with women and centrists? Maybe — some have argued and likely will again — he wasn't conservative enough to provide voters a clear choice?

Maybe he should have pushed back harder against his opponents' attacks on his business record? Or maybe he should have slung more mud of his own?

Either way, Romney conceded defeat gracefully early Wednesday morning here at the Boston Convention Center and called for unity in what remains a deeply divided country heading towards the so-called fiscal cliff of sequestration when deep and automatic government cuts and tax hikes will come into effect in early January.

Economists have warned those measures, unless halted by Congress and the president, will mean deep trouble for an already listing economy.

And with Republicans keeping control of the House of Representatives but Democrats maintaining their majority in the Senate, partisan gridlock remains a real threat.

Romney's outgoing speech warned the new government he won't lead to deal with it.

"The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work," Romney told supporters here at the Boston Convention Center.

"We look to Democrats and Republicans in government at all levels to put the people before the politics."

Earlier Tuesday, a sedate crowd at Romney's election headquarters anxiously awaited results of this historic election.

And where some conservatives had wrongly predicted that the former Massachusetts Governor would run away with the race, it was Obama who won the electoral college vote handily winning all but two or three of the critical swing states.

(Romney carried North Carolina and Arizona. Florida was still too close to call Wednesday morning.)

As Romney and Obama noted, the election is finally over but there is a lot more work to do. Even for armchair quarterbacks.

bryn.weese@sunmedia.ca


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