As a Conservative, it’s always tough to swallow when your philosophy and values have been kicked to the curb for (fingers crossed) the next four years.
But now that we’ve put a bit of distance from first Tuesday, I think it’s worth considering the right moves of the President-elect. It will set the jib and course for our nation through difficult waters. It can also teach all of us in “flyover” country a thing or too as we plan for the next election.
1. Being a “Community Organizer” paid off.
He was ridiculed by Hillary and McCain/Palin for only being a community organizer. Yet he used that knowledge and an incredible team of Internet professionals to generate tremendous grassroots support and a handsome campaign war chest: hunger for change provided all the change his campaign required.
2. Running a Campaign based on hope still works.
Like FDR, Reagan and Clinton before him, Barack Obama understood Americans hope for a better day. He energized the youth vote in America, stole the Hispanic vote from the Republicans and reclaimed the Reagan blue collar voters. Obama carefully avoided running on an “outrage against the establishment” or “anger against injustices to minorities” image. He spoke, debated and campaigned with a calm, measured demeanor, cooling expectations of a liberal revolution led by Bill Ayers or a Jesse Jackson – Al Sharpton – Jeremiah Washington troika in cabinet.
3. The President-elect chose experience over change in transition.
While many have complained about the number of Clinton administration picks by Obama, he has shrewdly decided that change does not equal stumbling around in the DC dark.
By choosing experienced transition team members he will step in to the Oval Office running full speed, able to take full advantage of the leverage of his first 100 days.
4. Lead from the middle.
He continues to send out the message that he will seek wide support in the Congress for proposals and actions in order to make “lasting” change. Time will tell if he can get the most liberal in his party to play with the most traditional in the Republican minority.
5. Practical battles over platform promises.
Tackling the financial debacle will trump health care reform – rethinking the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will take precedence over kowtowing to special interest groups –
a radical independent energy program for America will influence the salvation of the automotive industry.
Can the “permanent Republican majority” claimed by Karl Rove be resuscitated? Are big business, strong military and security voters and Evangelicals still a good fit? Or do the ethics and morals of these groups no longer align as smoothly as before?
As we Conservatives work the kinks out and plan our political future, the five areas that provided Obama a healthy victory and quick start are well worth considering.