Friday, November 7, 2008

Yay! Obama Wins! What Next?

I am quite happy with the election results. While I was generally cautious with my predictions prior to election day, I had a sense or a feeling that it could turn into a landslide. In the end it did and yet, it didn't. Certainly, the electoral results were stunning. But, while the popular vote results were definitive, McCain still managed 46% of it in a year when one might have expected a clean sweep by the Democrats. (It is interesting that there are now no GOP members of Congress from any of the northeastern states.) Credit must be given to McCain, in spite of his tortured and fractured organization and the ghastly legacy of the Bush years from which he could not wholly separate himself.

Certainly, race was an issue for some voters considering that some of McCain's strongest showings were in the old south. Happily, this was partly broken by the results in Virginia - the home of the Confederacy, North Carolina and Florida.

All of us who have relished the last couple of days should now get over our giddyness and settle in to see how our new president carries out his duties. The proof will ultimately be in the pudding. What will the pundits in the media or even bloggers here on the net be saying in 6 months; in a year?

Of course there are those who hate Obama simply because he's drawing breath. Nothing he could do short of proving beyond a doubt that he is the 'second coming' could assuage those feelings.

I am in hopes, and actually, I believe that Obama will surprise many. Many right wingers believe that Obama will attempt to govern from the far left, that we will all be obliged to read Mao's Red Book and wear gray pajamas to go work in the "collective" in the coming months.

I don't. I believe that Obama will do much as Clinton did and govern much closer to the center. That is, IMO, the only manner in which he can hope to govern. Such a move will disappoint, even anger some with a more leftist agenda who expect Obama to carry their interests to Washington. I don't expect him to abandon the left altogether, but he will prove to be far from the Marxist many have warned about.

I believe Obama will be far superior to Clinton owing to his personal discipline, his ability to focus, to demand and receive respect and loyalty. I truly doubt that Obama will fall victim to any of the, uh, distractions in which Clinton indulged himself.

Perhaps much to the chagrin of those who continually lambasted Obama regarding his lack of "executive" experience, he will in fact prove to be an excellent and adroit chief executive - certainly superior to Ms. Palin, who I understand is even now making plans to visit the "country" of Africa.

But again. This is all yet to be seen. Undoubtedly, Obama will not live up to all (or perhaps even most) of the expectations many have for him. He will disappoint. He will anger. He will at times screw up. Just how badly, and to what effect we are yet to witness. But, on balance, I expect him to perform at a high level. All I can say is, that I'm glad it's him and not me, and NOT John McCain.

In the mean time, life goes on.


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