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Notes From Last Night

It's 11 o'clock. While the networks have not yet called the election, it's abundantly clear that Barack Obama has won -and won by what looks like both a popular and an electoral landslide. This is Obama's personal victory for several reasons. One is that he had to overcome the poisonous personal campaign that Hillary Clinton ran against him. Secondly, he is an African American who, without running away from his racial origins, broke new ground in the nation's history by being a genetic everyman. Thirdly, he is an intellectual, literate and thoughtful, whose challenge to the populace is the challenge of both ideas and sensibility.

It is too early to compare him to Abe Lincoln.  He has yet to prove comparisons to even lesser presidents. But the fact is that his charge will be very onerous. He will either succeed or he will fail. There are no in-betweens. I have confidence in his future.

One advantage Obama has is that he follows George Bush who was a joke. Even his serious undertakings were tainted by his sophomoric temperament. Even, that is, Iraq which I on balance supported and support now. Obama will have to come to terms with Petraeus' "surge."

Obama is lucky that the country caught on to the silliness of Bush's economic adventures. Imagine if elements of social security had been put out to the stock market. Or if what Bush called the death tax had been permanently ended. If the national pension system had been farmed out to the securities industry we would now been in the midst of a social revolution, not violent, but a social revolution nonetheless.

How will Obama govern? I don't know. My guess is that he will be animated by a vision and disciplined by caution.

And, by the way, I've just learned that Florida has been called for Obama. If you recall, I spent several days campaigning there. So I did my part.