Steve Benen: As impressive as President Obama’s re-election victory is, it’s worth pausing to appreciate the larger context, because it wasn’t just his presidency on the line.
Had Obama come up short, the immediate threats to key public policies would have been significant, but the more sweeping consequence would have been the lasting damage to a progressive vision of governance.
….. The 2012 election, then, can be seen as a referendum on Obama’s presidency — a test he passed yesterday in impressive fashion — and a referendum on the liberal experiment.
Also see Time for an article on the genius of the Obama campaign
From the beautiful slideshow at the NYT – see it here
Charles Pierce: There is a story that they tell in Georgia politics about the first time that Barack Obama was inaugurated as this most improbable president of the United States. Shortly before the ceremony, they say, he met with John Lewis, the congressman and American hero who was nearly beaten to death on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama as he marched to demand the right simply to vote. The two huddled in the corner and the president-elect wrote something on Lewis’s inaugural program. He walked away, and Lewis showed the program to the friends who had come with him.
“Because of you,” it said. “Barack Obama.”
….The long creative project of America has been to engage all its citizens in that work. That is the history that he wears so well, and that he wields so subtly. That is the truth that he represents. That is the great silent thing that has been there through all the debates, and the ads, and all of that preposterous money. We are working on ourselves. We are incomplete. We are never finished. Elections come and go. The political commonwealth is a work in progress. We work with the tools that time and circumstance provide. As he enters his final term, with the elegiac music playing out there in the distance, Barack Obama will use the history that he has come to embody and, perhaps, even to fulfill, as part of a larger project that never will be completed but only finished, over and over again.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama embrace Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden moments after the television networks called the election in their favor, while watching election returns at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park in Chicago, Ill., Nov. 6, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)