Within the next few months, many books will be out with authors suggesting they have the inside story on the just-completed presidential race.
They will focus on stories of conspiracy, deliberate deceit, the role of the media in Obama's victory, the role of the media in trashing GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the disorganized John McCain campaign, how Barack Obama was able to raise so much money, whether all of the contributions were ever reported, and hundreds of other tidbits of information about the campaigns and those who designed and executed them.
The fact is, Obama and his handlers ran an exceedingly well-organized campaign. They started years ago and had a good idea of what it would take to win, how much money would be needed and the best way to get Obama the early, positive and broad-based exposure needed to excite voters.
Obama strategists used the race issue to their candidate's advantage and emphasized the necessity of energizing young, perhaps first-time voters, to become enthusiastic, vocal supporters of Obama.
Political textbooks are likely to use the Obama campaign as a guide on how to structure and carry out a campaign.
At the same time, Obama's opponent, John McCain, faced a tough uphill battle that made Obama's quest a bit easier.
McCain sought to continue the GOP occupancy of the Oval Office in spite of President Bush's high negative ratings, as well as Vice President Dick Cheney's low approval ratings.
Obama strategists hammered home the belief McCain would merely be four more years of the Bush presidency.
McCain is a true American hero, but his campaign did not measure up to Obama's in almost every category. It wasn't as well planned, and it enjoyed only a fraction of the money Obama raised. McCain was not able to get on the good side of major media outlets, and he didn't have the thousands of paid workers placed strategically around the country. And he was not as gifted and effective a speaker as Obama.
McCain faced a political "perfect storm." He had to overcome the consequences of the timing of Hurricane Ike, the collapse of the housing market and historic drops in the stock market. Add to this the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Even though Democrats controlled Congress for the past two years, all domestic problems were claimed to be the fault of Bush and the GOP. Never mind that the Iraq war is showing major signs of success or that Obama was rated as the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate. Never mind that senior Democrats, such as Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, were tied into much of the financial crisis that surfaced late in the campaign.
It is remarkable that McCain was able to get the vote he did considering the odds he faced and his disorganized and poor campaign strategy.
Obama and his top aides didn't miss a beat and were able to deflect, to a large degree, any issues raised during the campaign that might have been extremely damaging if not handled in a superb manner: his 20-year relationship with his Chicago minister, along with other highly questionable associations, and the statement of his wife early in the campaign that for the first time was she able to say she was proud to be an American.
Various observers have said the public knows less about Obama - what he actually stands for, how he intends to govern - than any president in recent history. They say the public has put Obama in the White House but will not find out how he intends to govern or his policies until he assumes office. He did a smooth job in telling about his candidacy but said little about how he intended to carry out his game plan.
He is looked to as the most liberal member of the Senate. Will he continue this political-economic philosophy to please his far-left, liberal allies, or will he quickly move more to the center? How can he please both extremes of his own party?
A great deal is being said and written about the Obama effect or Obama coattails at the national level, but Kansas Democrats apparently didn't see much of this vote-getting power from Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.
Kansas voters gave Pat Roberts another six years in the Senate, and Lynn Jenkins defeated incumbent Nancy Boyda for the 2nd District seat in the U.S. House. At the state level, Democrats gained one seat in the Kansas House, and Republicans gained one seat in the Kansas Senate. And the state gave McCain a resounding win over Obama.
With the Obama win, there's a good chance Sebelius will be leaving for some spot in the new president's administration. Such a move would seem to weaken the Kansas Democratic structure because Sebelius has been a tough and effective fighter who plays hard ball. Whether Lt. Gov. Mark Parkinson would be able to maintain or sustain Sebelius' power is questionable.
Democrats are quick to say it is wrong to suggest Obama "bought" the election, but Jim Slattery, the Democratic candidate who failed to unseat Pat Roberts, has a different take on the power of money. The former 2nd District congressman said he "blamed his loss mainly on being outspent by Roberts. The bottom line is when you have such a tremendous money advantage, you can't overcome that. That was the major difference."
Obama had millions more dollars to spend than did McCain, and there's no question that he used these dollars in a wise and effective manner.
Give credit to Obama and his handlers - those who designed the campaign, perhaps as far back as before the 2004 Democratic National Convention, where Obama, then a relatively obscure Illinois state senator, gave a major address - for devising a superior plan.
The smooth-talking, intelligent and effective community organizer was able to sweep aside a number of Democratic primary challengers for his party's nomination, including Hillary Clinton and the powerful Clinton wing of the party. And, in the process, he didn't take any prisoners.
In the course of his campaign he made many pledges and promises about what he could and would accomplish after he took office. For example, he said if he were elected, he would make the U.S. oil independent within 10 years. The chance of his being able to deliver on this is almost nil. And yet, the public bought it. The same can be said about vast increases in numerous federal programs, a redistribution of wealth in America and cutting taxes for 95 percent of Americans. Again, there's almost no chance of pulling this off without major tax increases for far more Americans, not just those making more than $250,000 a year. He also was going to have troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan by a certain date. Does he counter the advice and wisdom of his top military officers?
If he doesn't deliver on all of his promises and pledges, whom does he offend and anger?
Given the fact that relatively few Americans really know what to expect with an Obama presidency, perhaps the best way to describe the feelings of at least 46 percent of American voters, maybe more, is the title of a popular World War II song titled "Coming In On a Wing and a Prayer." The song refers to crews of U.S. bomber planes, shot up badly as they made their runs against German targets, limping back to English bases with dead or injured crew members, lost engines, and wings and fuselages shot full of holes.
Millions of Americans hope Obama can be successful, but they have serious reservations and approach the new administration on "a wing and a prayer."
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After long, emotional, tough national, state and local campaigns, there is bound to be joy and sadness spread fairly equally around the country. One situation, however, which should concern, disappoint and anger all Americans is the possibility Minnesota voters may put Al Franken, a crude, dirty, sexist, vulgar, so-called comedian into the U.S. Senate. This is a disgrace. Hopefully a recount currently under way of all state votes will return Sen. Norm Coleman to the Senate and allow Franken to return to his putrid ways.