msnbc’s Lawrence O’Donnell credited President Obama with rewriting the political playbook in his successful bid for second term.
In a hard-fought campaign, Obama beat Republican challenger Mitt Romney in a number of key swing states, including Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa and Ohio, bringing him past the 270 electoral vote threshold to hold on to office. As O’Donnell pointed out, the president overcame the odds in spite of the slow economic recovery and high unemployment numbers.
“Remember what he had to do. He had to hold on to the presidency facing political arithmetic that was saying that it was impossible because he had unemployment, hovering, nudging eight percent. All the rules of politics say, ‘Sorry – if the economy is in that kind of situation, an incumbent simply cannot win.’”
O’Donnell said Obama, “the most talented political performer that we’ve seen,” pulled off the victory “using a brilliant tactical approach” and the “connection he has established with millions of people over the last four years, especially in his closing argument of, ‘You know who I am, you know where I stand.”
This historic campaign comes down to “an extraordinary candidate, the likes of which I have not seen in my adulthood,” said O’Donnell.