By Michael Hoexter
The electoral competition between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney seems to be largely over and barring an “October Surprise” for Mr. Obama, the attention now shifts to how he and the newly elected Congress will manage the US federal government. The composition of that Congress matters somewhat though there is surprising unity between the two major parties on the goal of neutering the federal government’s ability to help state governments and the larger economy through pro-active fiscal policy. Mr. Obama’s listless first debate performance has added suspense but so many factors seem to be now weighing in his favor that it would require substantial efforts at self-sabotage or a sharp pre-election slump in the economy for Mr. Obama to lose. Recent favorable job numbers suggest that the latter will not happen and the former is up to Mr. Obama and his own determination to be President for a second term or not.