Election 2012

Obama wins. Now what?

President Barack Obama

Several bitter months and $6 billion spent on campaigning led to no major changes in leadership in Washington following the Nov. 6 election.

President Barack Obama defeated Republican challenger Mitt Romney, Democrats solidified their control of the U.S. Senate and Republicans easily maintained a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, though votes are still being counted in a few close individual races. For federal agencies, the obvious next question is: Now what?

Obama’s victory was celebrated by the American Federation of Government Employees and the National Federation of Federal Employees, two large federal employee unions representing a combined 800,000 federal employees.

 “This was a momentous victory for the President,” said William Dougan, National President of NFFE. “Within government, he has taken innovative approaches to improving workforce morale, efficiency, and productivity. We look forward to another four years of working together to find creative solutions to the pressing issues impacting our nation’s workforce, and government.”

The president’s technology-specific plans remain unclear, yet Obama’s victory means there will likely be far less transitional personnel turnover in federal agencies than if voters had elected Romney. That might mean continued improvement of the government’s digital strategies and technology and performance policies, according to Don Moynihan, a fellow at the National Academy of Public Administration.

The future of federal technology policies would have been murkier under Romney, Moynihan said, because the Romney administration “never really talked about technology as an issue.”

“The likelihood is for Obama’s administration to stick with what is in place because he had a hand in designing some current policies,” Moynihan said.

John Kamensky, a senior fellow and associate partner for IBM's Center for The Business of Government, told FCW that broad technology trends are “often times driven by technology and not so much the priorities and policies if incoming presidents.”

“I can’t imagine either person winning would change the initiative to reduce the number of data centers in half,” Kamensky said.

With the election over, the nation faces a fiscal cliff, sequestration and the elephant-in-the-room question of whether Obama and Republicans can work better together than they have over the past two years.  “You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours,” Obama said in his acceptance speech. “And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together.”

Whether any ground is gained on these issues during the lame duck session, which is slated to start Nov. 13, is unclear. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told CNN on Nov. 4, that “lame-duck Congresses aren’t known for doing big things and probably shouldn’t do big things.”

Following Obama’s election win, however, Boehner said both parties have to “find common ground and take steps together to help our economy grow and create jobs, which is critical to solving our debt.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s post-election statements were less rosy, suggesting the president needed to “step up” to work with Congress.

"Now it's time for the president to propose solutions that actually have a chance of passing the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and a closely divided Senate, step up to the plate on the challenges of the moment, and deliver in a way that he did not in his first four years in office,” McConnell said in a written statement. "To the extent he wants to move to the political center, which is where the work gets done in a divided government, we'll be there to meet him half way."


About the Author

Frank Konkel is a former staff writer for FCW.

Cyber. Covered.

Government Cyber Insider tracks the technologies, policies, threats and emerging solutions that shape the cybersecurity landscape.


Reader comments

Wed, May 22, 2013 Mauro Rangel Júnior Brasil

Barack Obama, boa tarde. Meu endereço é Rua da Paz 81 Ap 900 Bairro Meireles Cep 60165180. Fortaleza-Ce (Brasil) e-mail mmrsrace@hotmail.com. Fone 85-32633046. Pode contar comigo. Abraço. No Tiwter, as mensagens que eu escrevo, a Viviane Senna da Silva Lalli, não está deixando ser publicadas! Ela faz o que quer no Brasil. Por quer eu não sei, ela invadiu as minhas empresas, Barack Obama, acaba com ela, por favor. Obrigado. Abraços. Qualquer coisa, eu explico melhor, por e-mail. Abraços.

Tue, Nov 13, 2012

So you say, "THE PEOPLE have SPOKEN!" huh? What the PEOPLE have said in the election is, "we want gridlock to slow down this Obama train to oblivion". That's why the congress is divided. Obama will not be able to railroad LARGE new programs though (like Obamacare) because he no longer has a super majority like he did 2008 - 2010. The House is the closest to the PEOPLE and the PEOPLE have spoken. STOP SPENDING SO MUCH YOU DUMMIES!!! If you try, WE THE PEOPLE will block it. The PEOPLE win.

Thu, Nov 8, 2012

People needs to wake up and be realistic about Life in this country (in the world, really). One person can not do it. I don't care who the President is and what party they belongs to. It is about working TOGETHER as one. We should have learned what the real deal is from this election. THE PEOPLE have SPOKEN!

Thu, Nov 8, 2012 Peter

In the ideal world, what SHOULD happen IT-wise is that all that outsourcing of systems administration is discontinued and staffing brought back in-house. This should be in parallel to the already-running trend of consolidating datacenters. Frankly I think the feds would get better bang-for-the-buck by bringing this stuff in house (and I am a contractor BTW).

Thu, Nov 8, 2012

The man is too arrogant to reach across any isle so don't expect any changes in the next four years. Sad that Americans are so blind to what is really going on.

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