For the first time in 20 years, my preferred presidential candidate has won. It’s an odd feeling of sorts, to be honest.
I voted for Obama because I feel he was the better candidate. I felt that his pragmatism and his self-control will be assets in the rough years ahead. He never seemed to lose his cool no matter what situation he found himself in. Impressive.
John McCain was more eloquent and gracious in his concession speech than he had been for most of his campaign. Had we seen more of that side of him and less of the Rovian-crafted side, this might have been a closer election.
In many ways, the easy part for Obama is over. He has won enough votes to convert his ‘change’ rhetoric into action. So many people have attached so much emotional energy to his candidacy that he will have to act fast and start implementing at least some of his plans fast. It will be very interesting to see who he picks for his cabinet… hopefully a wide range of realists versus a stacked deck of Democratic party apparatchiks. There are rumors floating around that John Kerry is actively campaigning for Secretary of State… I think he would be a terrible pick. I’m assuming Obama has better choices in mind.
One factor President-elect Obama cannot do much about is what his predecessor will do with his remaining few months in office. Liberated from the need to do anything that would harm a McCain presidency, there is less to stop the Bush White House from issuing more bailouts or even to attack Iran. I can see Wall Street being hosed down with more Federal Reserve Notes; between more big banks and insurance companies, auto manufacturers and other large employers, we are rapidly reaching the time when adding another few hundred billion to the taxpayers’ tab won’t be a big deal (sad as that is to say). I don’t believe that Iran will be attacked prior to January, but I will not discount the idea entirely. Here’s hoping the outgoing executive doesn’t crap the bed and leave the mess for the next occupant to clean up.
I still think the Obama White House will have it’s hands full dealing with the financial crisis for some time to come, and how well he does with that will determine whether he will be a one or two term president.
As far as my local elections go, I was happy with all of the election results I know about so far. I was going to vote for Barkley for senate but changed my mind at the last minute. Al Franken is a very flawed candidate, but Coleman is a political opportunist of the worst kind, and I decided to hold my nose and vote for Franken to try and keep Coleman from getting another 6 years in D.C. We’ll have to wait until December to determine a winner. Coleman came out yesterday and urged Franken to drop his recount bid “in the best interests of the Minnesota taxpayer” or some such thing. If the recount finds that Franken is the actual winner, I am betting that Coleman will file lawsuit after lawsuit to get that overturned… that’s just the kind of guy he is.
The Obama victory is a historic event in the history of our country. Here’s hoping that victory is just the start of a strong, principled presidency that implements the change many of us are indeed looking for.