Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Congratulations, now get to work

I managed to stay up until 9:30 PM last night (pathetic, I know) and went to bed with a solid Obama lead in the electorate count. I dreamt about his win for most of the night so when nature called at 2:30 AM I decided to jump on DH's computer. All I looked at was the lead story on CNN, "Obama's Victory Speech" smiled, closed the computer and went back to bed.

I've been voting in Presidential elections since I was first able to in 1996. But that makes me somewhat unusual. This election saw first time voters in numbers that boggle the mind. I am proud of the country for stepping up and doing its civic duty (although why it took two terms of Bush for this to happen is another story). I think that Obama's use of the Internet to get out the vote was inspired and helped secure a big popular vote win on top of the landslide for the electorate win. The American political system can be confusing, no?

While NC has yet to have an official electorate call (12,000 votes separate Obama and McCain and I am predicting Obama will get it) the rest of the state went Democrat. For the first time in the history of the state we have a Democrat senator and governor. Yes, the other senator is still a Republican. I think that the North Carolina results speak to the results of the rest of the country. Like 1992 when Clinton was elected to office, Obama has a majority in the Senate and House.

So, what does that mean for Obama? It means he needs to hit the ground running. I heard on the radio this morning that a Chief of Staff should be announced today which is a step in the right direction. I read an interesting book a few years ago, Eyewitness To Power. Its author, David Gergen, argued that Clinton wasted his first 100 days in office. It is those first 100 days that set a tone for the presidency. Clinton, in my opinion was able to recover and win the next election. I don't think that Obama has that luxury. The economy is in such poor shape that the country is looking for a decisive leader. By giving the Democrats the Legislature and the Executive branches we are saying, "Now get to work."

He needs to make sure that the Democratic party doesn't get distracted by infighting. He needs to leverage his good will and start working for new legislation immediately following his inaugural speech. That means he needs to be spending the next few "lame duck" months building his team and prepping the House and Senate. I think he can do it. I've been very impressed with Senator Obama over the past 9 months. Sure, I would have preferred Hilary but it is unlikely she would have received the same mandate as Obama.

What about the rest of you? What do you think Obama should be doing until January and for his first 100 days as president? Also, does anyone know the word on Proposition 8 from California? I can't find the result on the LA Times.

4 comments:

barbashlack2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
barbashlack2 said...

Prop 8 is still not officially called. And it looks like it may be a "yes", which just sickens me. Also, surprisingly LA County is right now one of the counties with a "yes" majority.....so so sad. However, in 2000 a ban was passed by Prop 22, which was later overturned by the Cali Superior Courts......fingers crossed.
I AM happy to report that the Prop on minors needing parental consent for an abortion did NOT pass.

-Tara

Theresa said...

Prop 8 passed...Ugh. Sad day.

I agree with everything you said Stacey, and I have to pick up that book - I love David Gergen. I am sure I will have some intelligent thoughts to add at some point, on the questions you posed, but I'm just too darn tired. :-)

Andy the Bunny said...

I can't believe Prop 8 passed! Living in the Bay Area, as I do, I forget that the rest of the state is so intolerant. Makes me miss Boston!