Blue staters clearly misunderestimated George W. Bush once again. Not since George H. W. Bush defeated Michael Dukakis in 1988 has a Republican candidate for president received more votes than the Democratic candidate. Apparently GOP GOTV efforts were very successful. The conventional wisdom says high voter turnout helps the Democrats, but in this election the Bush campaign neutralized the traditional Democratic advantage from high turnout.
Meanwhile, here are a few random observations:
- I can't take all the credit for this, but the District of Columbia (where I spent the last four days before the election) gave John Kerry 89.5 percent of the vote. One woman in D.C. who didn't vote for Kerry, 84-year-old Ida Boyd, explained her preference for George W. Bush this way: "At least with this man you know he's a nut!"
- Secretary of State Colin Powell is still considered the Cabinet member most likely to be working outside of the federal government in January 2005. Powell was rolled by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the neocons on the Iraq War, but he continued to be the loyal soldier. Who would replace Powell? Condi Rice could move from the White House to Foggy Bottom, but as a former university administrator, she is noticeably devoid of diplomatic skills. UN Ambassador John Danforth is being mentioned as another possibility.
- Prime Minister Tony Blair made a speech congratulating President Bush on his victory. He went on to urge Bush to become more active in promoting peace in the Middle East and an end to poverty and injustice in Africa. Blair also said, "At least with this man you know he's a nut!"
- The predictive power of the Washington Redskins has ended. I'll have to go back to pulling against them for strictly personal reasons.