It wasn’t a dream.
After eight years of a misguided, reckless foreign policy and the abuse of presidential power, not only are Americans about to get rid of President Bush but they voted for their hopes instead of their fears and elected the nation’s first African-American president.
Given the ballot-counting problems of the last two presidential elections, I didn’t believe that Barack Obama had achieved victory until Sen. John McCain gave his concession speech. McCain’s address was classy and dignified, evoking the more principled McCain of the 2000 Republican primaries. If he had struck this chord more often during this year’s race, he might’ve had a shot.
Much will be written over the next few days about Obama’s elegant victory speech in Chicago’s Grant Park, so I won’t dwell on it. Instead, two things that the Obama campaign did after victory was declared bodes well for how he will govern.
At 1:32 a.m., the Obama campaign sent a text message to the mobile telephones of supporters. It read, “We just made history. All of this happened because you gave your time, talent and passion to this campaign. All of this happened because of you. Thanks, Barack.”
To ensure all of his supporters got their kudos, the campaign also sent an e-mail at 1:57 a.m. It read, “I'm about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first. We just made history.
“And I don't want you to forget how we did it.
“You made history every single day during this campaign -- every day you knocked on doors, made a donation, or talked to your family, friends, and neighbors about why you believe it's time for change. I want to thank all of you who gave your time, talent, and passion to this campaign. We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I'll be in touch soon about what comes next. But I want to be very clear about one thing... All of this happened because of you. Thank you, Barack.”
how to treat your supporters.
Not to be out-done, the ultra-conservative Liberty Counsel sent a mass e-mail today trying to marshal the troops and begin rebuilding the conservative base.
“When the majority of Americans elected Barack Obama, they voted for change over substance and overlooked his left-wing agenda,” the e-mail states. “While the people passed marriage amendments in Arizona, California and Florida, two of those states voted for Barack Obama. When asked to vote on values, they chose traditional marriage, although Obama opposed the marriage amendments.
“The majority of Americans do not support Obama's left wing radical agenda, but they wanted change for the sake of change. They wanted new leadership. Conservative leaders have failed to remain true to core values, and the people punished them.”
The e-mail contnues, “In order to rebuild our base, the leadership must change. Conservatives have abandoned conservative values and have not governed well. Pastors have not communicated well. Schools and universities have not taught well. Conservative ideas resonate with most Americans, but only when communicated clearly.
“Today, we begin to rebuild the base. Old leadership must be replaced by new leadership. The values remain the same. The leadership must change.”
As the election post-mortems begin, Newsweek
has an interesting special report that includes numerous insider tidbits about what was going on behind-the-scenes at the Obama and McCain campaigns.
Here’s an excerpt:** The Obama campaign was provided with reports from the Secret Service showing a sharp and disturbing increase in threats to Obama in September and early October, at the same time that many crowds at Palin rallies became more frenzied. Michelle Obama was shaken by the vituperative crowds and the hot rhetoric from the GOP candidates. “Why would they try to make people hate us?” Michelle asked a top campaign aide.
** On the Sunday night before the last debate, McCain's core group of advisers — Steve Schmidt, Rick Davis, adman Fred Davis, strategist Greg Strimple, pollster Bill McInturff and strategy director Sarah Simmons — met to decide whether to tell McCain that the race was effectively over, that he no longer had a chance to win. The consensus in the room was no, not yet, not while he still had “a pulse.”
Read more here