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Election aftermath -- Obama's mandate

Wednesday, November 05, 2008 by Dave Winer.

Cleaning up some loose ends. Permalink to this paragraph

Obama won Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, two states that were on McCain's slim path to a win. Once those were decided, it was over. I felt the networks could have called the election then, but they didn't. Permalink to this paragraph

When Obama won Ohio, it was even more certain. In order to win McCain would have had to win California, Oregon and Washington, and that structurally just couldn't happen. I told my friends who were gathered around the TV, in my opinion, it was over. I twittered it. If McCain were to win at this point, it would be the biggest bit of history in 100 years, including 9/11, the use of the atom bomb, World War II itself, the Mets winning the World Series in 1969. You get the idea. Things of that nature are so improbable they just don't happen. Permalink to this paragraph

Missouri went to McCain by the slimmest margin, thereby losing its bellwether status. It no longer always goes with the winner. Even the Boston Red Sox had to eventually beat out the Yankees for the championship. Permalink to this paragraph

I've read that Obama doesn't have a mandate, but I don't know what planet you have to come from to draw that conclusion. He has the strongest mandate in so many ways, it's likely he doesn't want that much mandate, and will disappoint in some or many ways. Can he really get us out of Iraq quickly enough to please all who want a quick exit? The public works projects that are going to be needed to keep us out of a depression give us a chance to fix the problems we so desperately want to fix, energy, health care, education, infrastructure. Those are the four biggies.  Permalink to this paragraph

North Carolina still isn't decided, and I understand that Georgia wasn't decided until very late. Our guy almost won that state too. The whole Red State thing is now questionable. Yes there are still some, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, the Dakotas. But the south with all its newly energized African-American voters and the midwest are now all in play. A new political reality is shaping up, beyond the last four elections -- and that's the stuff of mandates. Permalink to this paragraph

We can bail out the auto industry, but in return they have to use the public money to underwrite new products that get the mileage that European cars get. If you've ever been to a European capital you know how oversized American cars are. There, in a nutshell, is the problem with Detroit -- it's really a problem with America. That's one reason we use so much energy. We can make some huge cuts there without having to invent anything, just copy the Europeans. Permalink to this paragraph

The good thing about Obama is that, armed with a mandate, he will know what to do with it.  Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

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