Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Obama Election

There will be plenty of time in the years ahead to disagree with the policies of a Barack Obama presidency, and I expect to have much to disagree with. However, today, we should recognize that something historic has happened for which all Americans -- Republican and Democrat, conservative and liberal -- should be thankful. The race barrier has been broken, as the United States has elected a black man as the President of the United States. John McCain paid eloquent tribute to that in his concession speech last night, and all Americans can celebrate that it has occurred.

I wish that he had been a conservative, as well, but I suppose one can't have everything.

Inauguration day should be a spectacular celebration of America, and I hope the Obama team does it right.

Anyone remember those Republicans who wanted Mr. Obama to win because they thought he would be easier to beat in November? Well.

On a much less historic scale, I suppose the next biggest winners were the pollsters. For all of the talk about the polls being wrong and voters who no longer have land lines and Bradley effects and so forth, the polls pretty much came out dead on.

Obviously, the biggest losers were the Republicans. While there will be much finger pointing at Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin, this was an election that no Republican could have won, such is public disgust with the Republican brand. Mr. Obama is the first Democratic presidential candidate since 1964 to garner at least 51% of the vote, and while the Republican congressional losses were not as bad as some feared, they were bad enough. After the Republican congressional defeat in 2006, the repudiated Republicans celebrated their new found minority status by returning the same group to leadership. It will be interesting to see if they make the same mistake again.

Much is being made of Democratic gains in so-called "red states." Those gains need not be longstanding, but to turn the tide, the Republicans need new leadership with a new vision and ideas for the direction of the nation.

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