As someone who started supporting Barack Obama's Presidential candidacy in 2007, I am naturally delighted with the results in the Presidential election.
The President-Elect may end up with 365 electoral votes out of 538 - all of the states won by John Kerry four years ago, plus Iowa, New Mexico, Colorado, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, and Indiana - and the single electoral vote of Nebraska's second congressional district (Omaha and environs) - if Nate Silver is correct.
Looking at a map of this country, it is breathtaking to consider a driver starting at the northern end of Interstate 95 in Houlton, Maine; that driver would need to drive more than 1,200 miles south on I-95 to enter a state - South Carolina - that Barack Obama did not carry on Tuesday. That same driver, turning west onto Interstate 80 west of New York, would need to drive 1,200 miles west from New York to enter a state - Nebraska - not carried by Obama.
Beyond the Presidential election are the Senate seats picked up by Democrats in Oregon, New Mexico, Colorado, North Carolina, and New Hampshire - and the many House seats picked up across the country.
Tuesday night had the feel of non-stop victory for those of us who have been through many disappointing election nights. In fact, in some ways, Tuesday felt like the mirror image for me of the 1980 election.
In that earlier election, a charismatic and attractive candidate - Ronald Reagan - led his party to an overwhelming victory in the Presidential and Congressional elections - just as Barack Obama was doing Tuesday. I remember one incumbent Democratic Senator after another falling to defeat that night in 1980. There was even a tax cutting measure on the Massachusetts ballot that year - the law now known as Proposition 2 1/2, which passed, unlike 2008's Question 1, which would have eliminated the state's income tax.
I remember feeling disappointed and horrified at the scale of the victories of President Reagan and Congressional Republicans - much as I know that my more conservative friends are disappointed and fearful at the size of Tuesday's triumph for the Democrats.
Something to remember that is sobering for us Democrats - and perhaps reassuring for the conservatives - is that actions produce reactions. The scale of the policy issues facing the new President and Congress are such that a decisive majority may be difficult to sustain over the next 2, 4, and 6 years. 1982 and 1986 were good years for the Democrats. Even if President Obama and the Congress are successful in addressing the wide range of policies that they need to, they may face good Republican years in 2010 and 2014 - and maybe even in 2012.
The new President has my admiration, best hopes, and best wishes. He will need all of the support he can get to be the strong leader that I believe he can be. The hard part now begins for him.