I wish President Obama well. I honestly do. It is imperative that he learn some quick lessons and get his handle on the job as soon as possible.
If you look at the WI map, McCain was crushed here. He barely won Walworth county, which having gone for Bush 60%-40% in 2004, is simply stunning. But at that point, there was nothing any campaign could really have done. Campaigns can't move the nation on their own, when its mindset is already determined. Change.
This is worse on the state level for Republicans than 2006, but on the national level 2006 was worse. With a few new GOP Govs across the state, and holding on to give the Dems only a 54-seat Senate majority, we'll look ahead to a new leader.
Four years ago the Democrats felt as we did, after re-electing Bush and making congressional gains. And they chose a 4-year state senator to lead them out... anything can happen.
Chatting with a Dem operative from the 70's and 80's, he mentioned that Obama's election is very reminiscent of the Carter election in '76. Following the Nixon years, an embarrassing scandal under a Republican, and impeachment, Americans were looking for something else - no matter the package. They saw in Carter whatever they wanted to see and made him their leader. Perhaps that is what they see in Obama. To me, this election was more a referendum on Bush and his last 4 years (if not more) than it was an election for Obama.
I do not want to discredit the Obama camp or the man himself for achieving a movement and a pro-Obama vote. He did. But now comes the hard part.
Obama appears to have a socialist mandate and now, a full Democrat congress backing. He will have to exercise discipline on Congress. I hope he leaves the 2011 Iraq timeline alone. I hope he's smart enough not to push through a socialist agenda, though Americans seem to be ready for it so what's stopping him? But Obama is even more of a political animal than Clinton was. He gave up most of his votes to the older Liberal establishment. My real fear is that he doesn't really have a plan...
Final thought: It wasn't the McCain campaign. McCain was the underdog from the start. Even after the surge in September, the shock of the economic turmoil was too much to bear. Seen as a problem under a Republican President watching a failing economy, during a time of an unwanted war (to some)- are only issues at the tip of the iceberg.
I do feel McCain was the only one who could have been taken seriously and give Obama even the smallest run for his money. As a "maverick" type, he bucked the system which people respect. He swayed more moderates and likely expanded the outreach of the GOP in directions it could not have gone under a Romney or a Huckabee, of that I have no doubt. America was not looking for a Bush, Jr., no matter how many times we could argue McCain is a leader, an individual, a separate thinker. He is a courageous hero, a class act, and a man of integrity. McCain staffers should be proud to have worked for the man, despite the campaign's outcome.
Perhaps we'll have 8 years, and Obama will get lucky and ride the wave of our economic rebound that is bound to happen. Perhaps the GOP will find its way back to the Reagan Conservative years and make Obama a one-termer like Carter. I only think we can't "wait to see." We must start now.