Friday, November 7, 2008

Post-Election Thoughts

No time for a long post-mortem. But pretty much everything I said would happen came out just as predicted. To put the race in historical perspective, it was a slightly bigger margin than Bush 43 won by in 2004, but slightly smaller than Bush 41's margin in 1988. The electoral vote margin was similar to Clinton in '92. So a very "normal" election (thank goodness, no drama this time). It was, however, the biggest popular-vote margin for a Democrat since before I was born (1964, Johnson in one of history's biggest landslides ever over Goldwater). Since then, the previous best showing by a Dem was 50.1% by Carter. This is also the first time in my lifetime that a genuine liberal has been elected (Carter and Clinton both ran as centrists). Although, to some extent, Obama did, too... whether he'll govern from the middle or the left is the big question, and we'll see how that turns out.

One thing I've found amusing in the past 72 hours is how many of my liberal friends have made a point of checking to see if I'm OK with the result. Nobody has been visibly gloating, which is nice, but I think some have been a little surprised that I'm behaving so "reasonably." I think some folks got so wrapped up in how terrible it would be (to them) if McCain had won that they have a hard time imagining somebody just shrugging it off. In a way, I'm almost glad Obama pulled it off so we can avoid the pain of being told how stupid and racist America was for electing "another Bush." Maybe, hopefully, we can get past the last 16 years of half the country hating the guts of the guy in the White House. Oh, and while I'm being thankful, I guess I should also count my blessings that Obama has almost certainly saved us from ever seeing Hillary Clinton or Al Gore as president.

I'm sure I'll have other political thoughts later on. But that's enough for now.

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