In the closing weeks of the campaign I was privately approached by a number of voices for the Democratic base who were extremely concerned that President Obama, if reelected, might sell them out on issues of fundamental importance. I urged them to maintain their strong support for the president, avoid public criticism shortly before an election we could have lost with catastrophic consequences, and "worry about this later.” They did, to their eternal credit. The president won. Liberals won. Labor won. Defenders of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the safety net won. Champions of fairness for women won. Because of them, the Democrats won. And today many of these people are deeply and profoundly worried, far more than media reports suggest.
You all know how much I crave bipartisanship. As Sean Spicer, communications director at the Republican National Committee, is preparing to pay for his election wager by shaving his head — something Democratic National Committee communications director Brad Woodhouse agreed to do for the other in the event of their party's defeat — Woodhouse has decided to jump in and shave his own victorious head in solidarity.
There was a lot of talk before the elections about the rural, urban and suburban vote.
Michael Barone wrote that the suburbs were going to carry Romney to a landslide victory … oops, he won with 50.2 percent. No big numbers there for Mitt.
The rural vote was going to be huge and also propel Mitt to a win. You can see from all the maps out there how a vast number of counties went Republican, by a big sea of red. Romney did receive 59 percent of the rural vote, 5 percentage points higher than John McCain did four years ago. But what did this mean?
The Democrats banked on their 2008 coalition, and won big, bigger than big. This wasn’t just a narrow survival by a weak incumbent president, it was a nationwide blue wave, a sweep at every level, from the president down to ballot initiatives like redefining marriage and legalizing marijuana. You can’t blame Hurricane Sandy for that. The unfortunate fact is that the millennial generation is the most secular generation in American history, the most socially liberal. Will they be shifting every election to the left from now on?
Open letter to Matt Drudge, Election Day plus two
Dear Mr. Drudge:
I have written before that, whether I like it or not, you are the one of the most influential forces in modern media, possibly THE most influential single player. You tower above your peers in what you do. Despite my failed efforts, no liberal or Democrat has even tried to create a legitimate competitor to what you do. But with your influence comes power, and with power comes responsibility, and the Drudge Report in recent months has become inundated, and saturated and permeated with baiting stories about the president's race, and about blacks generally. These are beneath the standards you should set for yourself and your profession.
At my age, I have lived through, and worked on, a lot of elections. I have seen the highest highs and the lowest lows. I have celebrated when I thought I was about to cry and cried when I thought I was going to be celebrating.
And I have seen the press and the pundits declare one or the other party “dead” after an election, only for it to rise rather quickly from the ashes.
In four hours, the two-year-long, multibillion-dollar campaign for the presidency came to a no-surprise conclusion. The polls closed at 7, and by 11 p.m., we knew. President Obama won a second term. The House remains Republican. The Senate remains Democratic. Most states voted as experts expected.
What can be gleaned from the results?
To understand why Barack Obama and Harry Reid won historically powerful victories I would cite columns I wrote, including “Hillary women will save Obama,” “Morning in Ohio,” “The great USA comeback,” “Why Dems are winning,” “Why Romney is losing,” “Bill Clinton's big message,” “Conservative crack-up” and “Bob Dole, American vet.”
The reason I cited the first seven columns is obvious. Let me explain why I included “Bob Dole, American vet,” which was a tribute to one of America's great Republicans and one of America's great veterans and heroes.
The GOP was wiped out across the board.
The other side had a simple message ... Mitt never really found a clear, simple message of what he would do that was so much better for Hispanics, non-whites, the poor ... and he did not help himself by remaining pegged as rich and elitist ...
The GOP must devise a long-term strategy to communicate its message in a positive and trusting way to minorities and single women.
"To win, President Obama and Mitt Romney each seemed willing to say almost anything," said Robert Samuelson in The Washington Post on Nov. 5, Guy Fawkes Day.