Last night was very democratic both with a capital and a small "D." First and foremost, there didn't seem to be any voting problems or controversies, which was a big relief. So the democratic process, with a small "d" worked.
Then, of course, we had the big wins by both Barak Obama and Kathy Dahlkemper. Congrats to both of them, because I think both were signficant underdogs a year ago that pulled off pretty remarkable victories. Yes, they were buoyed by the failures of the Republicans (who elected those guys anyway?) But, neither one just stood there and let the votes come to them. They both did some serious campaigning.
It's no secret that a lot of Bush's success was driven by the grass-roots-level campaigning led by Karl Rove. Unfortuntately, (or justly, depending on how you want to look at it) Rove was disgraced because of some underhanded intimindation-type stuff. However, his path to success was not lost on the Obama and Dahlkemper campaigns. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, totally missed the message.
I knew Dahlkemper was serious during the primaries when both my wife and I received several polite calls, and even an apology that a rep couldn't stop by our house because of bad weather. And, these were not recorded messages. Dahlkemper also made a point to campaign hard in Crawford and Mercer counties, even though she was at a serious disavantage vs. Repulicans in those areas. Having lived in Mercer County for a couple years, I know, those people don't want to be ignored and the area is not completely devoid of Democrats. I think one of Ron DiNicola's biggest failures was his inability to connect with people outside of Erie.
Obama, of course, has been lauded for his use of Internet communication, something which was really pioneered by Howard Dean four years ago. I still think it's a shame Dean couldn't knock off Kerry, but he was a bit of a loose cannon and quite frankly scared some people. I think Dean's head of the Democratic party now. I don't know how much be helped Obama, but the Obama campaign difinitely followed his lead and took advantage of Internet communication.
This reverberated with young people, and probably high-tech people in general. I thought it was interesting that, according to ABC's exit polls, the majority of people earning more than $200,000 per year, which are the people being targeted for higher taxes by Obama, voted for him. I credit this to the fact that a lot of these high-wage earners are likely technologically savvy, and, in Obama, they likely see one of their own. When you add this elitist base to the traditional Democratic working/union base, and the minority vote that Obama carried...well, that's why he won by so much.
Here's my Republican thought for the day: Obama Joe Biden sounds a little like... well, you know that guy in Pakinstan. Whatever happend to him anyhow? I'm still not convinced that the Bush family connections with him didn't get him off the hook.