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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

A Toast

No doubt you need some good excuses to drink very liberally tonight as we welcome the New Year. So hoist yer tankards, mateys with gratitude to:

John and Jackie Norris, the Iowa power couple who engineered Obama’s winning strategy in the Iowa caucuses;
Will.I.am and Jesse Dylan for their mega-viral video, “Yes We Can,” a rallying cry for the hopes and dreams of millions of young voters;
Nate Silver for charting a more creative course for data-driven political journalism, as well as for nailing the presidential race outcome for both candidates within two tenths of a percent;
Legions of unheralded pro-Democratic lawyers in dozens of states, most of them volunteers, for doing a heroic job in preventing vote theft on Nov. 4;
The clueless Liddy Dole, for lacking the political acumen to see that attacking an opponent’s religious views is a really bad move;
Millions of Republicans who put America’s future before their party;
McCain strategist Steve Schmidt for first suggesting Sarah Palin as McCain’s running mate and campaign manager Rick Davis for helping seal the deal;
David Axelrod, for designing and implementing the strategy needed to elect a candidate who was a state senator four years ago and for skillfully navigating a course to victory through the myriad snares and traps of racial and class politics in America;
MSNBC, for Maddow and Olbermann, and for emerging as the best alternative to FoxTV we are likely to see for a good while;
Obama wunderkind speechwriter Jon Favreau, for crafting the best political speeches of the 21st century (so far);
Hillary Clinton, for grace in defeat and for proving herself to be a valuable team player;
Tina Fey, no guys, not for being way smokin’ hot, but for using comedy to wake up a lot of Americans to what was at risk;
Michelle Obama, for doing a tough job with grace and class, and making it look easy;
Barack Obama, for artfully channeling a little Lincoln, FDR, JFK and MLK, for remaining calm and steady, for doing his homework and speaking brilliantly, for mastering the tone of a winner and providing a template for future Democratic victories; and
Madelyn Payne Dunham, Obama’s grandmother, who died two days before the election, credited with raising a 10-year-old boy into a man who today provides new hope for millions worldwide.

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