Right-wing commentators, activists, and leaders just want to make clear that, while the country might appear to be united behind Barack Obama and optimistic that his administration will succeed, they most certainly are not.
While Rush Limbaugh is saying he hopes Obama fails, and Joseph Farah is praying that he does, Gary Bauer is likewise proclaiming that “conservatives have not united around Obama, nor should they” … and he’s got a novel explanation of just why that is:
President Obama received the votes of 65 million Americans, which translates to only about 22 percent of the American population. In 2004, George W. Bush received the votes of 62 million Americans, which translated into about 21 percent of the American population. Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t remember the media talking about the nation having united around its president then.
In 2008, 235 million Americans did not vote for Barack Obama (roughly equal to the combined populations of 47 states). More than 60 million Americans cast their ballots for somebody other than Barack Obama for president, while another 100 million eligible voters found the idea of Obama as president so stirring that they couldn’t even drag themselves to the voting booth on Election Day.
It’s interesting that we are now judging a president’s support not by the percentage of votes received among those cast but by the number of votes not cast.
By that metric, it looks like Ronald Reagan wasn’t quite the phenomenally popular president the Right has been telling us he was all these years because it turns out that he only received a mere 54 million votes during his landslide re-election in 1984, which means that a whopping 77% of the 235,000,000 citizens in this country at the time didn’t vote for him.