Editorial: After victory, solidarity

MATHEW GROCOTT - DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF
Last updated 12:00 08/11/2012
Barack and Michelle Obama

TWITTER RECORD: US President Barack Obama tweeted moments after winning re-election.

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OPINION: After months of campaign speeches, attack ads, factory visits and television debates it's back to business for Barack Obama today.

The Democrat was re-elected president of the United States of America last night, giving him another four years to shape his vision of the country.

He has often been criticised for not achieving a lot in his first term. This is more thanks to a Republican-led Congress that has proven to be an anchor on his ambitions than any underperformance on Obama's part.

There is no hiding from the fact America faces some serious issues that the president, Congress and Senate must address.

It's whether these three sections of the government can co-operate that remains to be seen.

It has been a brutally negative campaign with Republicans openly referring to Obama as the worst president in American history - surely an overstatement.

The Democrats threw plenty of swings at Romney and the Republicans too but that must all be placed behind the parties now if America is to recover.

In his concession speech, Mitt Romney called for politicians in the Senate and the House to put aside "partisan bickering" and "reach across the aisles" to face the challenges coming in the next four years.

Obama, too, called for politicians to work together and said he would sit down with Romney in the coming weeks to talk about how they can work together.

Promoting a bipartisan approach to politics was barely a feature of either candidate's campaign. For the good of America and indeed the world, let's hope these comments are more than rhetoric.

But there is hope. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Obama toured New Jersey with its governor Chris Christie who had been one of the president's loudest critics.

Christie refused to use the event to play politics and said it was important he and Obama showed solidarity in the face of adversity.

Now, if only more of his colleagues could heed those words.

ONE MORE THING:

The Capital Connection is generally a reliable service, almost always leaving on time.

However commuters are getting frustrated at delays in a decision about the train's future, a decision which could affect where they work and/or live.

Since August train users have been waiting and, while the future of the train is not something that should be taken lightly, an answer should come soon.

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- Manawatu Standard

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