But what Obama did not do is campaign like Blair did in 1997. The Democrats did not triangulate around Republican voters, minimising the differences between Obama and McCain. The groundswell included inspiring expectations and turning out the vote, and extending the Democrat vote among blacks, Hispanics, the working poor and unemployed; and the same time as convincing the establishment and the better off that Obama was a safer pair of hands for defending the American economy. It is going to be hard to put that back in the bottle.
In many ways, I think the U.S. Civil War (finally) ended last night. There will still be skirmishes by the diehards, but for the most part, it’s over. The stomach-turning Rovian tactics of slime and character assassination no longer worked, they just bounced off Obama.
Something fundamental shifted last night in American politics. The genie is indeed out of the bottle. How we control it is up to us.