Before he takes his final ride upon Marine One, which will deposit him and his family across town at an 8,200-square-foot mansion, Barack Obama wants the American people to know that they as a nation still subscribe to his progressive vision.
In his interview with David Axelrod on Monday, the outgoing president said:
I know that in conversations that I’ve had with people around the country, even some people who disagreed with me, they would say the vision, the direction that you point towards is the right one.
But if that were true — if the nation as a whole shared Obama’s dream of “fundamentally transforming” the country into a European-style democracy — then presumably Hillary Clinton, who promised a third Obama term, would have been elected.
One might have also expected elections in the U.S. Congress and at the state level to reflect this desire for a more progressive brand of governance. But the numbers say otherwise. Political junkies don’t need to be reminded that Obama rose to power in 2008 with a Demorcratic majority and both houses of Congress and the wind at his back. They also don’t need to be told that the balance of power at the federal level began to shift by the first midterm election, that of 2010, which restored Republican control of the House of Representatives.
This expression of the people’s will turned out to be no fluke. By the 2014 elections, control of the Senate was also restored to the Republicans for the first time since the 109th Congress. In fact, with 247 seats in the House and 54 seats in the Senate, this Congress began with the largest Republican majority since the 71st Congress of 1929 to 1931.
According to the Daily Mail via the Associated Press, the number of seats lost by Democrats during Obama’s presidency in state legislatures, governor’s mansions, and Congress combined is 1,030.