Blogger has been down all day, so I'm just now able to get this through...
The concession speech has been made and President Bush has won reelection. Kudos to John Kerry for going out with class, and not trying to litigate a lost cause. It was tough not to feel bad for the guy watching him concede the election. Edwards seemed to be less conciliatory. He didn't congratulate the Bush/ Cheney ticket, and seemed like he might be setting himself up for 2008. Forget it; he's done. Hillary is in pole position for '08, and it's going to take more than a one term senator who couldn't carry his home state to knock her out of contention.
I think both campaigns were overall very strong. Kerry did much better than I expected, and Bush pulled things out in the end with some very smart campaigning. I think the pivotal moment was the first debate, where Bush nearly blew the election. Credit Karl Rove for steering the ship to victory after that setback.
I am not one to gloat about such things, as there's nothing more frustrating when you're on the receiving end. I will say one thing: I don't buy much of this talk about "working together" and "bridging the divide". In his first term Bush did a lot (believe it or not) to try and work with the Democrats, and they took advantage of him every time. The ink wasn't even dry on Bush's education initiatives, when Ted Kennedy began relentlessly attacking the president after being one of the plan's biggest supporters. Democrats completely abused the filibuster by using it over and over again as a tool to block the confirmation of judges who had the necessary votes for a nomination. While I agree that both sides need to work together to get the big things done, so far "reaching out" has been pretty ineffective. I'd rather see Bush pursue bold initiatives that are going to be effective in solving our problems rather than trying to appease the people on the other side of the aisle who have done their best to subvert him at every turn. I would not want to see Bush pursue a vindictive agenda, to be sure, but I hope his plan for the next four years is about effectiveness, not appearances.
As for me, I'm mulling over what I can do to help get Maine out of the blue category in '08, and to pass on the distinction of being the highest taxed state in the union on to someplace else.