President Obama did something extraordinary, perhaps unprecedented, in his post-election news conference Wednesday: He claimed a mandate on behalf of voters who didn’t vote.
“To everyone who voted, I want you to know that I hear you,” the president said. “To the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you, too.”
What did that mean? What did those non-voters say?
It would probably be more useful to ask what the president heard. And apparently Obama heard expressions of support from non-voters across the land.
The president explained that many more voters turned out when he was elected, and then re-elected, than in Tuesday’s midterms that left Republicans firmly in control of House and Senate. “One of the things that I’m very proud of in 2008 and 2012, when I ran for office, was we got people involved who hadn’t been involved before,” Obama said. “Part of what I also think we’ve got to look at is that two-thirds of people who were eligible to vote just didn’t vote.”