Who gets a mandate?

My friend, Peter Meuleners, pulled this info together. Posted here with permission. I think his point is clear.

“I think the real story here is that Obama won, but he’s got no mandate.” – Charles Krauthammer, 2012

“And now that he’s been elected with a large majority, or a significant majority, and with a mandate, I think part of that mandate is to get the right judges, by his likes.” – Charles Krauthammer, 2004

“I earned capital in this campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it.” – George W. Bush, 2004

“When you win, there is … a feeling that the people have spoken and embraced your point of view.” – George W. Bush, 2004

“President Bush ran forthrightly on a clear agenda for this nation’s future, and the nation responded by giving him a mandate.” – Dick Cheney, 2004

And then we look at the voting results:

% of pop. vote electoral votes


Bush 47.9 271
Gore 48.4 266


Bush 50.7 286
Kerry 48.3 251


Obama 52.9 365
McCain 45.7 173


Obama 50.6 332
Romney 47.9 206

Or, as David Waldman put it in a tweet this morning:

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