President Obama has been unable to get any significant reforms passed in the last year and a half. He will have to rediscover the political centre to keep his advantage among moderates. He will have to tap into the spirit of 2004
The United States of America is a country divided. Though president Barack Obama won the last election (2008) comfortably the two elections before that went right to the wire. George Bush won the 2000 elections against AL Gore where the difference between the two candidates was only the state of Florida and that too just a handful of votes. AL Gore, the democratic contender, actually won the popular vote but lost the electoral college after the Supreme Court stepped in, in the famous case of Bush Vs Gore which was decided on an ideological basis. The judges appointed by Republican Presidents decided for Mr Bush while the judges appointed by Democratic Presidents decided for AL Gore.
In the 2004 elections between George Bush and John Kerry, the difference was only the state of Ohio—a bellwether state. Actually the fact that America is equally divided may not be very new.
What is new is that the middle is falling through. There have always been red states (Republican) and blue states (Democrats).What is new is that the moderates of both the parties (mainly Republican) are a vanishing breed.
This has been particularly so after the rise of the Tea Party in the 2010 congressional elections. In these elections, the Republicans took over the House of Representatives in a landslide and reduced the Democratic majority in the Senate to a mere three seats. Writing in the Huffington Post a commentator states that the Republican Caucus in the House of Representatives in 2010 is the most conservative in over a hundred years. The moderates such as they are in a recent opinion poll prefer president Obama to Mitt Romney by a substantial majority.
Barack Obama broke into the national limelight at the Democratic Convention in 2004 when he was a candidate for the Senate seat in Illinois. The said convention anointed John Kerry as the Democratic contender. In the said 2004 speech Barack Obama stood out as a centrist. “Now don’t get me wrong. The people I meet—they don’t expect government to solve all their problems. They know they have to work hard to get ahead—and they want to go into our inner neighbourhoods and folks will tell you that government cannot teach our kids to learn. There is not a liberal America or a conservative America—there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and a Latin America and an Asian America, there is the United States of America. The pundits like to slice and dice our country into Red states and Blue states—Red states for Republican; Blue states for Democrats. But I have got news for them, too—we worship an awesome God in the Blue states and we don’t like federal agents policing around in the Red states.
There was great hope after the soaring rhetoric of 2008 that given his unusual biography he would able to unite America and reduce partisanship. He had in the 2008 elections made inroads in several conservative states. He redrew the electoral map of America. But very early in his term taking advantage of the fact that there was both a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate, he pushed through his signature reform his healthcare bill seeking universal coverage for the people of America. Unlike Europe and Canada the USA does not have universal healthcare. Health insurance is very expensive and for many such as people with illnesses nearly impossible to get. A medical condition can break the back of the family. Hence the imperative of healthcare. President Obama, with great difficulty and much opposition, pushed through the Healthcare Bill. He did what Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton had failed to do. But he spent an enormous amount of political capital in doing so. It fuelled enormous resentment in America and was labelled as socialized medicine.
Along with the rise of the Tea Party, it led to a debacle for the Democrats in the 2010 mid-term elections and the president has been unable to get any significant reforms passed in the last year and a half. He has struggled in getting his budget passed and the Tea Party seems to be on the ascendant.
President Obama has a 40% advantage over Mitt Romney among moderates through in the Poll of Polls last week where he and Romney were running neck and neck. President Obama will have to rediscover the political centre to keep his advantage among moderates He will have to tap into the spirit of 2004.
(Harsh Desai has done his BA in Political Science from St Xavier’s College & Elphinstone College, Bombay and has done his Master’s in Law from Columbia University in the city of New York. He is a practicing advocate at the Bombay High Court.)
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Wipro’s total income during the quarter ended 31 March 2012 rose by 18.84% to Rs9,836.30, from Rs8,276.3 crore in the year-ago period
Mumbai: IT major Wipro reported 7.7% increase in consolidated net profit at Rs1,480.9 crore for the fourth quarter ended 31 March 2012. The company had posted a net profit of Rs1,375.4 crore during the January-March quarter in 2010-11, Wipro said in a filing to the BSE, reports PTI.
The total income during the quarter rose by 18.84% to Rs9,836.30 from Rs8,276.3 crore in the year-ago period.
“Corporations globally are focused on leveraging technology to drive revenues and productivity. Our strategy is aligned to deliver value to our customers by partnering with them in this journey,” Wipro chairman Azim Premji said in a statement.
For the year ended March 2012, Wipro posted an increase of 5.1% in its net profit to Rs5,573 crore compared to Rs5,297.7 crore in the 2010-11 fiscal.
Total revenues of the company for 2011-12 increased by 20.66% to Rs37,404.4 crore compared to Rs30,998 crore in the previous fiscal.
“Our focus on operations helped improve revenue productivity and deliver strong cash flows in a volatile environment,” Wipro executive director and chief financial officer Suresh Senapaty said.
“We have delivered revenues in line with our guidance in an uncertain environment. Our restructuring journey started with us positioning the customer at the centre of all our efforts,” Wipro executive director and chief executive officer for IT business, TK Kurien said.
Mr Kurien added that the company has seen progress with customer satisfaction scores going up in each of the last four quarters and “we have created better value for our clients, with seven customers contributing more than $100 million in revenues.”
Wipro said it added 41 new customers during the quarter and 173 new customers during the year.
The company said during the ongoing quarter (Q1, FY2012-13), it expects revenues from IT services business to be in the range of $1,520 million to $1,550 million, assuming that exchange rates of the dollar will be at Rs50.07. The company has made certain exchange rate assumptions for other currencies as well for making this projection.
Revenues during the quarter from IT products segment increased by 3% year-on-year (YoY) to Rs937 crore ($184 million), Wipro said.
The IT products segment of the company recorded an increase of 4% YoY basis to Rs3,844 crore ($755 million) for the year ended March 2012, it added.
Shares of the company were being quoted at Rs 410 in late morning trade, down 7.32% from the previous close in early trade on the BSE.