(The original post, with everything on one page was too long to load. Hopefully this will fix that.)
How Obama Won
Everyone had an opinion on how Obama won. My take is that if you put a party in power that doesn’t believe government is the answer to problems for people, they’re going to work to prove that. The GOP did their best to bankrupt the country over the last eight years, and the country finally had enough.
Some other ideas.
Barack Obama earned his ticket to the Oval Office by running a technically near-flawless campaign, dominating three debates and picking a vice president, Joe Biden, worthy of the office. It was, of course, Ronald Reagan’s slogan, but as the sun comes up Wednesday on a land that has dramatically turned away from the Bush-Cheney years, it will feel for tens of millions like “morning in America.
The scale of Obama’s campaign reached massive proportions. By Election Day, for example, it was asking its cadres of volunteers to make a million phone calls to get out the vote.
The aftermath taught them that they could take on the dreaded Clinton machineâ€”â€œthe most impressive, toughest, most ruthless war room in the world,â€ as Pfeiffer put it. â€œIt was like we had taken our first punch and kept on going,â€ he said.
The Cosby Show,â€ which began on NBC in 1984 and depicted the Huxtables, an upwardly mobile black family â€” a departure from the dysfunction and bickering that had characterized some previous shows about black families â€” had succeeded in changing racial attitudes enough to make an Obama candidacy possible.
Karl Rove said it was: “fortuneâ€¦circumstanceâ€¦thoughtful positioningâ€¦planning and execution.”
As grand as the symbolism of Obamaâ€™s victory was, it was also a victory for his steady, corporate campaign management. The campaignâ€™s early decision to play on a more ambitious map than other Democratic nominees was the source of his mandate. And the result closely mirrored the PowerPoint presentation his campaign manager, David Plouffe, pitched to sometimes-skeptical audiences of reporters and donors.
He could be ironic, detached, and highly self-aware one minute; completely earnest and inspirational the next.
Iâ€™ve got to go back and read this one when I get a minute. It’s a 7 part series of stories from the campaign that the reporters agreed not to share until after the election.
Maybe Obama won because McCain’s VP selection was so bad? Sarah Palin had at one point intimated that some parts of the country were more pro-America than others.
We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation. This is where we find the kindness and the goodness and the courage of everyday Americans. Those who are running our factories and teaching our kids and growing our food and are fighting our wars for us. Those who are protecting us in uniform. Those who are protecting the virtues of freedom.
But that town voted for Obama 58.75%-40.44%.
So how did he do it? By winning real America.
And by inspiring people. Fired Up? Ready to Go.
Michael D was fired up even though he couldn’t vote.
We did it. Well, YOU did it. I couldnâ€™t vote, but I shamed people into it, dragged them to the polls, and was a pain in the ass to a lot of people (including, by the way, a couple black people in my office who didnâ€™t think their votes would make a difference in Georgia!) Hopefully, I did my part, too.
Obama won among every age group except for voters 65 and over.
The atmosphere in which this election was waged also didn’t hurt Obama. Rolling Stone described the atmosphere thusly:
The failure of the administration of George W. Bush â€” and the accompanying crisis of the Republican Party â€” has caused a political meltdown of historic proportions. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, Bush enjoyed the greatest popularity ever recorded for a modern American president. Republicans on Capitol Hill, under the iron rule of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, fattened their coffers through a fearsome operation overseen by corporate lobbyists and GOP henchmen that functioned more like an empire than an old-fashioned political machine. “Republican hegemony,” the prominent conservative commentator Fred Barnes rejoiced in 2004, “is now expected to last for years, maybe decades.”
Obama popped onto everyoneâ€™s radar screen in 2004 with a speech at the DNC.
Though The New Yorker profiled him several months before.
Fired with political idealism, he decided to become a community organizer. He wrote to organizations all over the United States, and finally got one reply, from Chicago. He moved there, going to work for a tiny, church-based group that was trying to help residents of poor South Side neighborhoods cope with a wave of plant closings.
What nobody could know then was whether Obama had the stamina, timing, and simple dumb luck to arrive safely where he now has. I donâ€™t believe that we as a country would have been ready to elect our first African-American President except in very unusual circumstances. Unfortunately, those circumstances were duly provided by a calamitous Republican Presidency and, now, by an economic crisis of terrifying depth. The challenges Obama will inherit necessarily shadow todayâ€™s celebrations. Still, itâ€™s a great, great moment in America, and itâ€™s not bad juju to say so.
Celebrate! – A run down of the celebrations.
WINS! – A list of 38 sites and their winning posts.
Winners and Losers – 18 lists of election winners and losers.
Turnout, Voting, and Polling – Articles and stories about voting, polling, and turn out.
Reactions – Reactions from the world, pundits, and celebrities.
How Obama Won – Some thoughts on how Obama won.
Why McCain Lost – Some thoughts on why McCain lost and what next for the GOP.
Expectations and Advice – There are a lot of people with expectations and a lot of people with advice.
Race – Obviously electing the first black president is going to bring up comments on race.
Money and Business – What will the impact on your money and you business be?
The Media – Without the media, wherever would we be!?
Humor – Without the humor, wherever would we be!?
Miscellaneous – Without the miscellaneous, wherever would we be!?
Personal Stories from Friends – Just what it says.
273 Status Political Status Messages in 27 Hours – Just what it says.
Via – Hereâ€™s a list of all the sites I used in putting this together â€“ the sources.