Back in January, I said — on video; you can view it on my blog — that this year’s presidential election presented the American people with a no-lose proposition.
It was the first time in my career when the two candidates we (and I) enthusiastically endorsed for their respective nominations actually made it onto the November ballot. So how could we lose?
Well, there's one way — the guy we preferred between the two guys we liked didn't win on Nov. 4. But now that the other guy has won (and did you ever really think he wouldn't?), I'm putting that setback behind me and looking forward to what happens next, with Barack Obama as my president.
You could say I have no choice, but you'd be wrong. Unfortunately, we have before us a plethora of examples of how to have a perfectly rotten, stinking attitude when your preferred candidate loses, from the "Don’t Blame Me, I Voted for Bush" bumper stickers that appeared on Republican cars before Bill Clinton was even inaugurated to all that nonsense we've heard for eight years from Democrats about how the election was "stolen" in 2000.
We always have the option of being mean, petty, poor losers. But not me. Call me audacious, but every day I see fresh cause to be hopeful:
• First, there's Barack Obama himself. Just as John McCain was the best conceivable Republican to unify the country, Sen. Obama offered himself as the one Democrat most likely to put the bitterness of the Clinton/Bush years behind us. As we wrote when we endorsed him in the S.C. primary, "for him, American unity — transcending party — is a core value in itself." In a column at the time, I cited "his ambition to be a president for all of us — black and white, male and female, Democrat and Republican." When a guy like that wins an election, nobody loses.
• Sen. McCain’s gracious (and typical, for him) concession speech left his supporters no room for bitterness, as he wished "Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president."
To read the complete column, visit The State.