The adrenalin has faded. The exhaustion is setting in. The realization that the campaign is over and the task of governing awaits is growing on the victors. The quiet reality of loss is setting in for the vanquished. For the rest of us, the question remains: What does it all mean?
So here are a few quick takes. And remember, sometimes the most obvious is also the most important.
- First, the Tea Party got thumped.
- Second, in the melting pot that is America, inclusive trumps exclusive.
- Third, pandering on everything doesn't work.
- Fourth, we really did build this—all of us, together.
- Fifth, the Republican House has to figure out whether to continue to play obstructionist naysayer or come to the table.
And finally, the question for the president. Will he tell the story of our national success with power and passion, as he can and did last night, to build support for the range of issues that demand attention—from the fiscal cliff to the environment to the stagnation of middle-class income to the ravages of gun violence? He has won re-election and with it the power of the pulpit. Let's hope he uses it.