The loaded goal is that goal that seems to be your most important and longest-standing one -- it's the one that "for some reason, I don't seem to be able to make any real progress on," and "this year, I'm finally going to handle."
The way taxes are collected, budgets and policies are set up, and public employees are managed and behave affect the results that governments can achieve. Why then is reforming public sector management so hard to obtain, since benefits are so obvious?
Ideology is being replaced by standards. Never-ending arguments about privatization, who should own the electricity company, have given way to public discussions about performance, who can avoid more black-outs.
Find out where the parties are. Both sides. The Republicans usually have an open bar and the Democrats don't. If it looks like a landslide, nobody's going to be at the McCain parties, and you can get a few beers or cocktails before heading to the Obama bash.