Barack Obama has learned a lot in the last four years. During the first two years of his presidency, many of his supporters grumbled that he didn’t understand who he was dealing with. When Republicans said that their first priority was to make him a one term president, they were serious.
But the 2010 elections got his attention. And the debt ceiling debacle convinced him that the old admonition, “Early to bed and early to rise. Work like hell and organize” was the only way to deal with his opposition.
And that’s why Obama and the Democrats won the White House yesterday.
True, the war on the air waves was relentless. As a Canadian living just north of New York State, I ‘m happy to see it end. But, in the end, it was the ground game that made the difference. Driving voters to voting stations and offering them bottled water as they stood in line, the Democrats got out the votes and they got them out where it counted.
The question now is, what has this election taught the Republicans? There are at least two clues that, if they’re smart, they won’t miss. The first is that Obama won 70% of the Latino vote. The second is that Romney’s electoral fortunes improved markedly when the person Bill Clinton called “ol’ moderate Mitt” showed up.
And the most important lesson of all is that elections are still won on the ground.