Not a time for harrumphing.
A time for coming together for the common good.
Not a time for rupturing larynxes while screaming with joy or agony.
Barack Obama resoundingly won another four years in the White House Tuesday night after Mitt Romney captured only one swing state (North Carolina with Florida still too close to call) and the president captured more than 300 electoral votes.
The popular vote will most likely be narrower than the president’s decisive Electoral College victory. The Democrats can thank the Founding Fathers, who founded the Electoral College along with our nation because they didn’t trust the common folk.
It was an impressive victory for a president saddled with an anemic economy who struggled all year to hit 50 percent in the polls. Suddenly the polls seem as useless as covered wagons.
For the challenger Romney, the result is sad, really. It’s sad when a man arrives at his big night, determined to fulfill his ultimate quest, only to be denied.
Obama, already an historic figure because he is the first black president, now has the opportunity to capitalize on his first-term policies and, if possible, build on them, albeit not without continuing political opposition.
That is going to be a momumental and maddening task.
Most notably, Obama’s victory essentially guarantees that his signature achievement, health care reform, will be implemented in full, with all the political advantages and hazards that may come with that program. Just don’t get sick or old in the next four years, gang.
And, of course, Obama will be looking to advance initiatives that he hopes will solidify and strengthen the tentative economic recovery.
Beyond specifics, Obama’s challenge is to find a way to work with a Congress in which the House is run by the Republicans and the Democratic-run Senate is dependent on the GOP’s assent to get much done.
Obama may have a better shot at flapping his arms and flying to the moon.
“Our economy is recovering, a decade of war is ending, a long campaign is now over,” Obama told a crowd of cheering supporters in Chicago early this morning. “And whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you and you have made me a better president.”
Obama added he has “never been more hopeful about America. … We’re not as divided as our politics suggest. We remain more than a collection of blue states and red states.”
It’s going to be a fascinating, frustrating and hopefully fulfilling four years in which Obama ideally drives us to the center and not off the left margin into the abyss.
Meanwhile, the race for 2016 begins any minute now.