At a time when politics only seems to divide, President Obama's achievement was a vindication of the power of politics to bring people together.
In sharp contrast to 2008, when NAFTA was a four-letter word for much of the American public, North American issues were broadly irrelevant to the 2012 campaign. Canada remains a fortunate afterthought in American domestic politics -- although particular cross-border issues remain subject to the crossfires of interest group politics.
Consider the evidence: the Obama-Romney battle was notable for its "courtesy " and "common-sense," and God knows those are terms we all associate with the Canadian political process. Plus, a bunch of voters approved referendums to endorse gay marriage and legalize pot, and I bet those are things Canadians might do too if anyone ever asked! In any case, I'll just note for our American friends that when a columnist giddily claims that "Canadian-ness is spreading like a bad rash," across your country, it's supposed to be a compliment.
We've all seen how it really played out. But then there is the victory speech in an alternative reality that we probably needed to hear. Imagine the following scene...
Obama's speech was moving and brilliantly delivered. Here are my choices of such phrases from a beautifully structured, inspiring victory speech that started with the graceful acknowledgement of his opponent's commitment to public service, then heartfelt thanks to the nation's citizens.
During those four years there had been much sadness, wailing and gnashing of teeth and beating of breasts in the land as the tribe's riches and power ebbed, and the people lost faith in their tribe. So therefore, many leaders did arise who did each say unto the people that he alone was strong and of good courage and should be their leader to lead them out of the slough of despond and into the land of milk and honey...
Most of us are relieved the U.S. election is over -- listening to the hyperbole of the campaign for so many months has been difficult even for Canadians who don't hear the ads and don't have the same emotional reaction to the candidates. But there are some lessons to be learned for non-politicians working on their personal brands.
This past election cycle was simultaneously sobering and scary. As access to birth control took centre stage and the terms "trans-vaginal ultrasound," "legitimate rape," "forcible rape," unfortunately entered into the political lexicon, it is patently clear why the President won the vagina vote.
Another election is in the books. And personally I'm glad Obama is back in. He's the right guy for this time. But hey, if you disagree with the results, feel free to join Donald on his march for democracy. I'm sure he'll enjoy your company.
At the end of the day, this "close" election was not really that close. While the race was closer than 2008, Romney's routes to victory proved limited and, ultimately, impossible. The outcome of this election will likely raise serious questions about the influence of the right wing Tea Party in the Republican Party.