On Tuesday, US President Barack Obama and his Democratic party were issued a stinging defeat in the mid-term elections as the Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives and installed themselves in 22 governor’s mansions.
Though the Democrats narrowly were able to keep control of the Senate, the Republicans, who rode the wave of anti-incumbent sentiment and populist anger over the economy into office, now have the power to determine the House’s legislative agenda — and to block Obama proposals. Indeed, Republican leaders in the House have already promised that their first order of business will be to repeal Obama’s health care reform — his signature achievement.
Several German opinion-makers were clear that the election was more of a referendum on the president, who comes across as “cold, arrogant, and elitist,” and less of an endorsement of the Republicans and their policies. There is widespread agreement in the editorial pages that Obama failed to make the case for his administration’s accomplishments, a fact that he himself has acknowledged.