Just to confirm that it’s all about positioning…
Which candidate for president has received the most total votes in U.S. history?
George W Bush.
That mean mandate, right?
But wait. Who is next on that list?
John Kerry. Then Ronald Reagan. Then Al Gore.
So if you give W the mandate, you sort of have to admit that Kerry is more popular than Reagan.
Of course, W governed like he had a mandate after the last election. So hold on.