So that was pretty sweet. My guy – our guy – won, in decisive fashion. A Democrat has been elected to two terms in the White House. Barack Obama joins Franklin Roosevelt and Bill Clinton in the hall of electoral success. And I think history will record his achievements at the upper end of the spectrum as far as consequence – just based on what he’s done so far.
I have to indulge my already large ego here in pointing out I really got some things right. As far back as November of 2011 I predicted that President Obama would win by 2-3%. That appears to be the margin of victory right now. For once, again based on current results, I actually called Florida right.
As many liberals lost their minds after Obama’s poor performance in the first debate, I had a strange sort of serenity in simply trusting Obama to triumph. In his entire national career and my time as a supporter, the only time I’ve seriously doubted him was after he lost the New Hampshire primary to Hillary Clinton. Since then I realized that he and his braintrust really know what they’re doing. We saw that in 2008 and in almost epic form during this year’s election.
The single biggest thing I’ve learned about politics in America, encompassing the 2004 contest and up until last night’s triumph is this: Being “against” is simply not enough. It. Will. Not. Work. Progressive hatred of George W. Bush was not able to drag John Kerry across the finish line. Conservative hatred of Barack Obama equally failed to pull Mitt Romney into the oval office. Both parties need to learn, via the primary process, that simply picking a candidate based on your perception of what America wants is ultimate folly.
“Electability” is really a myth. A candidate does not gain electability until he has a legion of passionate supporters behind him or her. Electorally successful two-term presidents like George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and now Barack Obama prove this maxim. You have to be FOR someone for America to get the right signal to vote for them. Period.
On the left, we have accomplished something truly great. Our standard-bearer has been reaffirmed from coast to coast while the right has suffered enough of a defeat to – at least on the surface for now – start seriously questioning their place in the American political conversation. Obama’s winning coalition – a coalition that really looks like America in 2012 – strikes at the very heart and soul of foundational American conservatism.
America is moving forward, and past them.