Cleaning up some loose ends.
Obama won Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, two states that were on McCain's slim path to a win. Once those were decided, it was over. I felt the networks could have called the election then, but they didn't.
When Obama won Ohio, it was even more certain. In order to win McCain would have had to win California, Oregon and Washington, and that structurally just couldn't happen. I told my friends who were gathered around the TV, in my opinion, it was over. I twittered it. If McCain were to win at this point, it would be the biggest bit of history in 100 years, including 9/11, the use of the atom bomb, World War II itself, the Mets winning the World Series in 1969. You get the idea. Things of that nature are so improbable they just don't happen.
Missouri went to McCain by the slimmest margin, thereby losing its bellwether status. It no longer always goes with the winner. Even the Boston Red Sox had to eventually beat out the Yankees for the championship.
I've read that Obama doesn't have a mandate, but I don't know what planet you have to come from to draw that conclusion. He has the strongest mandate in so many ways, it's likely he doesn't want that much mandate, and will disappoint in some or many ways. Can he really get us out of Iraq quickly enough to please all who want a quick exit? The public works projects that are going to be needed to keep us out of a depression give us a chance to fix the problems we so desperately want to fix, energy, health care, education, infrastructure. Those are the four biggies.
North Carolina still isn't decided, and I understand that Georgia wasn't decided until very late. Our guy almost won that state too. The whole Red State thing is now questionable. Yes there are still some, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, the Dakotas. But the south with all its newly energized African-American voters and the midwest are now all in play. A new political reality is shaping up, beyond the last four elections -- and that's the stuff of mandates.
We can bail out the auto industry, but in return they have to use the public money to underwrite new products that get the mileage that European cars get. If you've ever been to a European capital you know how oversized American cars are. There, in a nutshell, is the problem with Detroit -- it's really a problem with America. That's one reason we use so much energy. We can make some huge cuts there without having to invent anything, just copy the Europeans.
The good thing about Obama is that, armed with a mandate, he will know what to do with it.
Sarah we hardly knew ye
When she was announced as a candidate I was virtually alone in believing the choice wouldn't age well. When I turned out to be correct, I didn't want to gloat, because the election wasn't over, and there was no way to be absolutely sure. Now we are.
I don't think she killed the McCain candidacy, but had the economy not soured, I think she would have brought him down. It was such a bonehead decision, it was all the proof anyone needed that a McCain presidency would be as filled with disaster as the Bush presidency. Obama was absolutely right in saying that voting for McCain was signing up for another four years of Republican lunacy.
Now I hear people saying something equally wrong about Palin -- that she has a shot at leading the Republican Party in 2012. It isn't going to happen. That's not how American politics works.
We don't give losers a second chance in this country. (Yes, of course there are exceptions, but she isn't one of them, read on.)
Kerry thought he could run for President in 2008 after losing in a squeaker in 2004. It took a month or so before he realized that the Republicans would throw the exact same book at him they developed four years earlier, and while it wasn't fair then, it did work and it would work again.
Same with Palin. What little we really know about her is more than we wanted to know. When she shows up, if she's dumb enough to show up, as a candidate for President in 2010 or 2011, all we'll think of is the Katie Couric interview, and Charlie this and Charlie that, thanks but no thanks to the bridge to nowhere, the hypocrisy of a hockey mom who loves expensive clothes, and the pit bull with lipstick mavericky maverick reformer who fired a commissioner who wouldn't fire her ex-brother-in-law.
Palin is no longer a candidate, she's a punchline.