It's after midnight, and I am still watching the election returns.
I am literally ecstatic the Barack Obama has won re-election tonight, far more so than I was four years ago, because we all knew that Obama was going to win that election long before election day.
This time, it was different. President Obama deliberately conceded the media game to the Republicans. At the time, I was convinced that his debate performances were calculated to achieve one outcome: to allow Obama to come across as a non-threatening personality. He could have torn Romney apart during those debates, but his campaign was concerned that this would have made Obama look like a bully, so he allowed Romney to get away with his misrepresentations.
The reason was quite simple: The Obama campaign was putting its time and money into their ground game, getting voters registered and turning out the vote. The Obama campaign was a retail campaign; the Romney campaign was a wholesale campaign because that's what Romney is comfortable with.
Right now, we are waiting - at 12:48 AM EST - for Romney to appear to make a public statement. The question is whether he is coming out to concede defeat - or to challenge the reports that he has lost Ohio, the state that put Obama over the top.
As we wait, I reflect on the fact that, in our political system, a president's first term is a succession of compromises and conciliations that are predicated upon the fact that the president starts running for re-election on the day after the Inauguration.
Obama's second term is going to be very, very interesting.
(Mitt Romney is speaking now. He bears more than a passing resemblance to a friend of mine but he simply doesn't exude any warmth at all even in a moment like this. I am struck by the extreme whiteness of Romney's audience.)
Okay. The fat lady has done her thing.
The 2016 campaign begins tomorrow. Paul Ryan and Chris Christie against Hillary and X.
I can't wait.