Latest numbers I have:
Total Votes Cast: Approx. 121,000,000
Obama Votes: 64,000,000
McCain Votes: 56,000,000
Obama Wins By 8,000,000, counting Missouri as a probable McCain win.
As you can see, not nearly a landslide, but more than enough to make Barack Obama our next president. The numbers this time, in fact, were almost identical to the numbers in 2004, when President Bush won re-election to his second term. John McCain tightened up the race a lot in the final week, but just couldn't close the gap and pull ahead of Obama. Still, there was no "inevitability" to Obama's victory; it was very close in some of the battleground states. The last I heard, Obama won the race for Ohio, always a key state, by only one percentage point. But it was enough. President-Elect Obama will be inaugurated on Jan. 20th, and for the first time in 17 years, a Bush presidency won't be followed by a Clinton one.
I was a solid McCain supporter, but I'm not a sore loser, as the Democrats have been for the past eight years. I congratulate Senator Obama on his victory and sincerely wish him well. I will pray for him, as I have for every president, and hope God will guide him onto the right path for America. Our future as a nation depends on that. We will see how our new leader does, as time moves on.
In the meantime, for closure, I will dissect this long, long election cycle and offer up my "autopsy," or analysis, whatever you want to call it.
What Won It
In a nutshell, consistency did more to win this election for Obama than anything else. Yes, I know -- the constant chanting of "change, change, change" and "yes we can" got very old, and even maddening at times, but Obama's campaign stayed on track the whole way. His message, although I didn't like it at all, never swayed off track one bit. From the beginning, even during the primaries, it became apparent that this election, from the Democratic point of view, was going to be a referendum on the policies of President Bush. At times it seemed that Obama was running more against Bush than against his actual opponents, prompting John McCain to lash out at him in one debate, telling him that if he wanted to run against President Bush, he should have ran four years ago. But it worked; that message stayed consistent throughout and with the election of Barack Obama we now have a complete departure from the so-called "Bush Doctrine." I have many doubts about the wisdom of at least parts of that (the national security part of it, especially), but it won this election for the Democrats.
What Lost It
McCain's inconsistency and his refusal to take on Obama and expose his policies. He finally did go on the offensive, in the final week or two, but it was too little, too late by then. Sarah Palin was on offense from the outset, was muzzled for awhile, then apparently broke free from her handlers and became herself again, but she couldn't do it all alone and she got little help from McCain until the end. Again, too little, too late.
I got the distinct impression that McCain's refusal to take the fight to Obama most likely came out of fear of having the "race" card played on him and being labeled as a racist by the media, who played the role of Obama's attack dogs from the outset of the campaign. Obama could be comfortable as "No-Drama-Obama," with the media doing all his dirty work. McCain didn't have that luxury and he was the one who had to do the fighting. He didn't start doing it soon enough. McCain stayed on defense too long and let Obama run out the clock on him. You can't win a ball game if you stay on defense all the time. You gotta outscore your opponent. That's what McCain failed to do.
A Crucial BlunderThe Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage debacle and the economic fallout that resulted couldn't have come at a better time for the Democrats, who always benefit from an economic downturn, historically. McCain fumbled the ball badly when the crunch hit, suspending his campaign and rushing back to Washington, while Obama remained calm, vowing that the debate would go on and that there was no reason to rush. McCain then got trapped into voting for a quick-relief bailout bill that was so pork-laden that it almost oinked. This, after he'd vowed to end congressional earmarks completely. That, quite frankly, left McCain looking like a fool, and Obama looking much more presidential. Touchdown, Obama. McCain came off as way too panicky -- never a good quality in a president. McCain's campaign was tied, or leading Obama's before that happened. McCain lost that lead and never recovered it. End of story.
Obama's "Huge" Youth Vote: Didn't happen, as usual. Voters aged 18-29 in 2004 equalled 11 percent. Voters in same age group in 2008 equalled 11 percent. No gain. Same ol' same ol'. Voters in that age group are still more interested in where the next party is, as they always are. They went to the Obama rallies because it was the latest "cool" thing to do. But no more of them showed up at the polls than ever do.
Sarah Palin Was A Drag On The McCain Campaign: Not so. Sorry, if you think that, but you're not thinking, if you do. Once Sarah was able to become Sarah again, she wooed the conservative base of the Republican Party very effectively. She took on Obama's policies in McCain's absence on that subject, but of course, one voice is never as effective as the collective shouts of the media are. Sarah Palin, every conservative's "sweetheart," is the biggest reason that the campaign was able to stay as close to Obama as it did. She was one of the greatest assets, not a drag at all. She gained some long yardage, but McCain kept fumbling the ball. It was his election to lose, not Sarah's, and he did just that.
Ex-Hillary Voters Will Flock To McCain. Here's one I bought into myself, lock, stock and barrel. It didn't happen. So sue me. McCain wound up with very few disgruntled Hillary voters at all -- maybe three percent, at best. The vast majority of them held their noses and voted for Obama.
America Is A Racist Country. The media, Revs. Jackson, Sharpton, and Rev. Wrong are going to have a hard time making that allegation stick from now on. 60% of Obama's support came from white voters and Hispanics. When you can sweep a state like Iowa, which is 93% white, there's little racism involved. You should be proud of your country all the time now, Michelle Obama. No more excuses.
The Biggest Loser
The national news media is the biggest loser in this campaign, due to their rampant, undisguised love affair with Obama from Day One. I don't have to tell you that when any organization becomes this biased, they render themselves completely useless. That's just what the media has done, with most people.
I agree completely with commentator Sean Hannity: 2008 is the year that journalism officially died in America. Our news media is a total disgrace; it has become nothing more than a propaganda outlet for the left. There are a few conservative and middle-of-the-road newspapers still around, and Fox News is still somewhat more balanced and fairer than the Big Four, but that's about it. If you want to get all the facts and both sides of an issue, you're forced to turn to internet sources most of the time. Traditional network and print news has been slowly dying for the past several years, and this year put another king-sized nail in their coffin. R.I.P.
What Lies Ahead
It don't look good, I'll tell you that, but this is a subject for a future entry, all to itself. I need some time to come down from my post-election "hangover" and gather my thoughts. Here's a little hint, to tide you over until then: Beware of Congress, as much or more as Obama!!! More to come, later on.