There are a number of reasons that Barack Obama won the Presidency yesterday, receiving more votes than any candidate in history. Most of them are fairly obvious.
- George W. Bush was a really bad president. Certainly, John McCain suffered from his party and policy affiliations with the current President, just as the majority of people suffered under his administration–unless, of course, you were in the top 1% of income earners, worked for or invested in Big Oil, or were on the Board at Halliburton or Blackwater.
- John McCain was a lousy campaigner. McCain’s best moments of the entire election cycle were his QVC skit on Saturday Night Live, his Monday Night Football Interview with Chris Berman, and his concession speech. His best debate line, “Senator Obama, I am not President Bush. If you wanted to run against President Bush, you should have run four years ago,” would have hit harder than a wet sponge if he hadn’t spent the last six months trying to maintain his Party’s base by highlighting his belief in Bush policies.
- Barack Obama really connected with the people. He was a great speaker. He had a clear message which he delivered with charisma, focus, and detail. It worked.
- The Republicans failed to scare the electorate as they did in 2004. They were unable to generate a polarizing social issue such as “gay marriage” which carried Ohio for Bush in 2004. In fact, due to the economic collapse, more Americans were frightened of losing their jobs and homes than they were by lame Republican attempts to portray Obama as a socialist, Muslim, terrorist, or–holy cow–a liberal.
- Religion, a huge component of Bush’s 2000 victory, became less of an issue. After eight years of Bush-Cheney international and economic disaster, maybe the good Christian voters began to realize that God wasn’t actually a Republican diety.
- Obama ran a clean campaign, and after two elections of Bush-Rove tactics, it appears that a more positive message resonated with voters. As CBS News reported: “Nearly every TV ad McCain ran last week was negative, compared to just 34 percent of those by Obama, according to an analysis by the Wisconsin Advertising Project released on Wednesday. “
- When a candidate moves from who-they-really-are to who-they-think-they-need-to-be-to-get-elected, they lose. Reagan was an ultra-conservative. Bill Clinton was a centrist. George W Bush was a God-fearing jughead. Obama is a liberal (Apparently, not such a bad thing these days). The 2000 John McCain didn’t court the Religious Right, employed an independent, critical thought process, and wouldn’t have stood for the type of negative campaigning that Bush-Rove used to sink McCain’s 2000 bid. That all changed in 2008, and the results speak for themselves.
Other Election Highlights:
- Last night, the Fox News Channel crew looked and acted like a bunch of six year-olds who raced down the stairs only to find coal in their stockings. Boo hoo. Waaaaaaaaw.
- Ben Affleck’s Keith Olbermann skit on SNL (perhaps the best episode of SNL since the glory days of the Belushi era).
- The Hangover finally voted for a Presidential Candidate who won. (It’s the first time since 1980, and that was a mistake. Hey, I was a binge-drinking teenager at the time.)
- The Hangover is still trying to remove John Edwards’ populist hook from his mouth, firmly planted during the primary season. Only a true douche bag could have campaigned “for-the-people” while knowing that an affair with the biggest coke slut of the 1980’s was waiting to come tumbling out of the closet. What if his message (which was a good one) had caught on?
- Anne Curry delivers good news: anytime, anyplace, but especially on MSNBC’s election night dressed in all black: