Jeff Zeleny & Jim Rutenberger of the New York Times: "Barack Hussein Obama was re-elected president of the United States on Tuesday, overcoming powerful economic headwinds, a lock-step resistance to his agenda by Republicans in Congress and an unprecedented torrent of advertising as a divided nation voted to give him more time. In defeating Mitt Romney, the president carried Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, Virginia and Wisconsin, a near sweep of the battleground states, and was holding a narrow advantage in Florida. The path to victory for Mr. Romney narrowed as the night wore along, with Mr. Obama winning at least 303 electoral votes."
David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post: "Barack Obama was elected to a second presidential term Tuesday, defeating Republican Mitt Romney by reassembling the political coalition that boosted him to victory four years ago, and by remaking himself from a hopeful uniter into a determined fighter for middle-class interests. Obama ... scored a decisive victory by stringing together a series of narrow ones. Of the election's seven major battlegrounds, he won at least six."
Miami Herald: "With the presidential race settled but Florida still too close to call, Miami-Dade was still waiting Wednesday morning for final results. At 7 a.m., an elections spokesman told reporters that about 20,000 absentee ballots still needed to be counted. The office of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez on Wednesday morning issued a news release insisting that the 'unprecedented length of the ballot'* represents 'over 100,000 pages that need to be reviewed and verified, one by one. This in no way is representative of any issues or delays, but a matter of unprecedented volume,' the release said...." CW: it sure is a good thing this race didn't hinge on Florida. What a pathetic state. ...
... Update: "With the presidential race settled but Florida still too close to call, Miami-Dade was still waiting Wednesday afternoon for final results."
* CW: Let's get one thing straight: "the unprecedented length of the ballot" was one of half-a-dozen Republican efforts to disenfranchise voters. As Brittany Davis & Toluse Olorunnipa of the Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times wrote today, "The outcome [of the vote on the ballot measures] is a sweeping rejection of the Republican-led Legislature's push to pile the ballot with long, complicated amendments, clogging precincts and causing voters to wait for hours in some cases. It was the worst outcome for constitutional amendments since 1978, when all nine of the state's proposed amendments failed." For a reminder on how many ways America's Worst Governor Rick Scott & his sidekicks in the Republican-led legislature tried to Screw the Vote, Adam Weinstein of Mother Jones wrote a nice primer last week.
CW: we're going to get a lot of these meaning-of-the-election pieces over the next few days, so let's start with a very good one -- by Tom Junod of Esquire.: "... tonight [President Obama ]celebrated the most sweeping political transformation in American political culture since the one Reagan cemented in his electoral victory of 1984: He had turned a center-right country into a center-left one." (See videos of Obama's & Romney's full speeches in the post below.)
** Ezra Klein: "President Obama's rousing victory speech left most everyone with the same question: Where's that guy been during the 2012 campaign? There's an answer to that question.... The Obama campaign found that their key voters were turned off by soaring rhetoric and big plans. They'd lowered their expectations, and they responded better when Obama appeared to have lowered his expectations, too. And so he did.... What you saw tonight, however, was that Obama didn't much like being that guy.... This has been the tension at the center of the Obama White House for four years now. Hope and change don't go together."
Michael Grunwald of Time: "President Obama started his term by passing a politically toxic stimulus bill. Next, he oversaw a politically toxic auto bailout. He then spent an agonizing year on a politically toxic health reform bill. His approval ratings dropped, the Tea Party erupted, and as he continued to do controversial things -- on gay rights, on immigration, on Iraq -- pundits continued to accuse him of political malpractice. Well, he won anyway. And there's a lesson there. The lesson is: DO STUFF!" (CW: note that we have the same old do-nothing, obstructionist House of Representatives we had before the election, so I'm not sure "Do Stuff" explains everything.)
New York Times Editors: "President Obama's dramatic re-election ... was a strong endorsement of economic policies that stress job growth, health care reform, tax increases and balanced deficit reduction -- and of moderate policies on immigration, abortion and same-sex marriage. It was a repudiation of Reagan-era bromides about tax-cutting and trickle-down economics, and of the politics of fear, intolerance and disinformation."
E. J. Dionne: "Many have argued that the president ran a 'small' and 'negative' campaign, and he was certainly not shy about going after Romney. But this misses the extent to which Obama made specific commitments and repeatedly cast the election as a choice between two different philosophical directions."
The Biggest Losers. Paul Krugman: "The limits of [Wall Street's] power have been cruelly exposed, and the reelected president now owes them nothing. Did I mention that Elizabeth Warren is going to the Senate -- a Senate that will be substantially more progressive and less Wall Street friendly than before? Bad move, guys."
The real winner tonight is Hillary Clinton, who Nate Silver is now projecting at a 68 percent chance of victory over Jeb Bush. That's up from 54 percent just a few hours ago! -- Wyatt Cynac, the "Daily Show"
Stephen Colbert announces the presidential election results:
Dan Amira of New York: Mitt Romney's concession speech was "as brief (at just under five minutes) as it was gracious. Romney thanked all of his supporters, congratulated Obama and his family, and called for his backers to 'earnestly pray' for Obama's success. He showed no bitterness, offered no excuses, and made no complaints."
This must be Egypt, 'cause this sure looks like De-Nile. New York magazine produced this great video of the Fox "news"-room's slow meltdown. Joe Coscarelli comments:
Dan Amira awards the Donald the Daily Intel's Election Night Most Unhinged Conservative Award for a series of tweets Trump sent screeching about the travesty of Obama's winning the presidency while losing the popular vote -- tweets sent before much of the vote was, um, counted. CW: apparently Trump is unaware there are Democrats on the West Coast. He is certainly unaware that Obama's plan was to win the election by Constitutional rules, not by Trump rules. P.S. Ask President Gore how much good it does to win the popular vote.
Jennifer Steinhauer of the New York Times: "Deep disapproval of Congress and dissatisfaction with partisan division appeared no match for Congressional incumbency on Tuesday, as Republicans seemed to have retained a firm hold on the House of Representatives, assuring the continuation of divided government for at least another two years.... In the first Congressional election since decennial redistricting, Republicans -- thanks to their control of many state legislatures -- managed to shore up many incumbents by fashioning districts that Democrats had little chance of capturing."
Jonathan Weisman of the New York Times: "Democrats snatched Republican Senate seats in Indiana and Massachusetts on Tuesday, averted what was once considered a likely defeat in Missouri and held control of the Senate, handing Republicans a string of stinging defeats for the second campaign season in a row."
"The War Women Won." Margaret Talbot of the New Yorker: "It now appears that the number of women in the Senate could go from seventeen to twenty-three. If it hadn't been for those antediluvian attacks on contraception, we'd be calling this the Year of the Woman. If there was a war on women this year, it looks like the women are winning." CW: and, as I noted in the Congressional tallies, women were the winningest in New Hampshire, where the entire Congressional delegation -- House & Senate -- and the new governor are all women.
The Tortoise & the Orange. In case you had any foolish hopes to the contrary, be assured that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) (here) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) (here) are still going to be dicks.
Elizabeth Dias of Time has an overview of the outcomes of some state ballot initiatives. If you live in Kentucky, you now have a constitutional right to go hunting.
Erik Eckholm of the New York Times: "Voters in Maine and Maryland approved same-sex marriage on an election night that jubilant gay rights advocates called a historic turning point, the first time that marriage for gay men and lesbians has been approved at the ballot box."
New York Times: "A one-two punch of worries about the post-election picture in the United States and economic weakness in Europe sent stocks reeling Wednesday, with major indices falling more than 2 percent. Some industry sectors, like finance and managed care, fell substantially more than that over fears they would be hurt by tougher regulations and other adverse policies in President Obama's second term."
NBC News: "A nor'easter dubbed Athena moved Wednesday into areas battered by Superstorm Sandy, causing new power outages and threatening to dump up to 12 inches of snow, flood coastal areas again and even turn debris from Sandy into projectiles. Hundreds of flights were canceled or delayed across the Northeast, while residents of a few areas hit hardest by Sandy were urged to evacuate. Gusts up to 60 mph were possible along the New Jersey coast and in the New York City area...." ...
... Here's the New York Times story.