Before I get too giddy, let's review the fact that 57 million Americans voted for Mittens. Let that sink in. 57 million people thought Romney would be a better President than Barack Obama. I'm sorry, I just can't see how 57 million people thought that guy was qualified to make world-impacting decisions on a daily basis. Now whether it was disappointment or racism or party loyalty - who knows. Either way, that number is frightening. Somehow, we have to unite and come together as a country. Though I must say when I pranced into Starbucks in my "Got Hope?" T-shirt this morning... whew. Honey if looks could kill I'd be decked out in the purple casket right now.
But let's take a look at five of the important takeaways from these long, brutal and at times down right ugly election:
1. No More Rich C-students: After G-Dub, the American people are not going to accept just any old entitled so-and-so with a bankroll for the Presidency. It's no longer enough to be a "likeable" guy and truth be told, Mitt wasn't that likeable. But the point is this - all told it's estimated that over two BILLION dollars was raised/spent in the effort to get Mittens to 1600 Penn. And apparently you can no longer buy the White House with a half-assed candidate. I'm not saying wasn't smart but at no time did he appear to be on Obama's level intellectually or politically. Conclusion - the bar has been raised. You have to have a candidate who can stand on more than a black card and a trust fund.
2. Minorities are no longer minor - Fact of the matter is that the Republicans spent a lot of time trying to segregate and categorize people. They wanted women in one bucket (next to the stove and the cleaning supplies), blacks in another bucket (out back by the cotton fields). They sort of assumed that Latinos were either on welfare or illegal and they bashed China (there goes your Asian vote) at every opportunity. Conclusion - If you shade all the minorities, they band together, turn into a majority and vote against you. Obama got over 50% of women voters, over 70% of Latino voters and over 90% of African American voters.
3. No country for murkiness - What I mean by this is that your candidate actually has to be about something. You can't toss out some half-assed policies (and change your mind next week) and promise to be more clear when you get elected. That's like asking someone to marry you on your first date. People need to know what they are getting. Two weeks before the election I still did not know what Mittens was for or against. Conclusion - You have to have a platform. Even if it sucks. State it, claim it and stick to it.
4. Birds of a Feather - Even if Mitt was charismatic and charming, he both endorsed and surrounded himself with some pure D idiots. You are your crew, sir. And Mitts' crew was a train wreck. Paul Ryan looked like a child seated next to Biden. Mourdock had foot in mouth disease. Trump appears to need psychiatric help and/or medication. Karl Rove is a blathering hot head. This does not a great brain trust make. Conclusion - You can't just appease the money folks. At some point you need to pick people who can help you and not hurt you. Also doesn't hurt to surround yourself with a variety of viewpoints, not just the ones you like to hear.
5. Hope rises, hate fails - Hate-mongering and fear speech are old and cold tactics. It's harder to scare people who have access to 24/7 news cycles and Google. Sure you can just make things up and fling them out there to see who takes the bait but as Grandma Blanche used to say - the truth will always out. The Republicans called Obama everything but a child of God. CEOs threatened to fire people. Romney told people their jobs were being shipped overseas. I could be here all day listing the shenanigans but the conclusion is this - you can't win on fear if the other side is offering hope.
This second term won't be easy but I'll be really surprised if Obama doesn't take the gloves off and come out swinging. He has no more elections to win. With his re-election, the healthcare plan, the immigration reform and the equal pay laws stay in place. I believe he'll try and reach out across the aisle but I also believe he'll work around any obstruction as best he can with no looking back. While the first presidency was an ascension, this is a solidification. I look forward to seeing what comes next.
Exhale everybody. What did this election teach you?