12/06/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Morning After

What a night last night was, and what a beautiful new day we have before us. Though I have purposely kept the TV off today so that I could reach my own thoughts without the interference of the pundits, reminders of the historical nature of what we experience today is everywhere. I wasn't able to get to the newsstand this morning in time and by noon, there was not a newspaper to be had from Encino to Calabasas. I am still finding myself emotional at the renewal of hope and possibility I feel as I go through the day today. That being said, we dare not get complacent...

Last night's results, victory that it was for Obama, was far from the resounding referendum it should or could have been. In the Obama campaign, we have been privileged to witness the greatest political machine this country has ever seen, which I have no doubt will change the face of every campaign we have yet to see. As we have heard from the analysts on both sides for much of the last month (and they are not wrong), this year we saw "the perfect storm" hit the Republican party in almost every conceivable way: war, economic crisis, the least popular president in history, a Republican candidate having difficulty in his own party, a nasty and incohesive campaign and perhaps the worst choice in a VP running mate ever presented. This set the stage for the best Democratic success we have ever seen. How, under these circumstances, did Obama win only 53% of the popular vote?? I'm left wondering if race isn't still very much an issue in our country. So much rests on the shoulders of this brilliant young man that I can't help feeling that this is not as much a victory, as an opportunity, and that the true victory will lie not in winning the presidency, but in keeping it.

On the Red state/Blue state issue, I chilled this morning at the eerie similarity of our electoral map to that of the Civil War divisions between the north and south. Based on this map, these two regions of our country might as well be different countries. Fortunately and unfortunately, today's electoral map, divisive as it is, is more a fictional representation of a great schism in our country that doesn't really exist. Instead, we merely have areas that are more heavily predisposed to vote in certain ways, based on specific determining factors. Across the entire country, there were only 7 states in which McCain got over 60% of the votes, the highest percentage was 66% in one state, and none of those states were in the South (okay, if you're counting Oklahoma, one). Better still, in another 34 of the states the spread was no greater than 60/40, most of them much smaller than that. Our real map has spots of true blue and red, but mostly, it's shades of purple. Mediator that I am, I wonder whether this wouldn't be better for the morale and cohesiveness of our country, as well as our image in the global society. Too bad the pundits haven't picked up on this one. (An added bonus of a purple country is that it would scare the daylights out of all those people who think chickens deserve more rights than gay men and women.)

Now you have my thoughts and I still have a lump in my throat at the wonder of today...

Your Pocket Pundit

Laurel Greenspan Kaufer

Read more reaction from HuffPost bloggers to Barack Obama's victory in the 2008 presidential election

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