Lead the way?


Here it is.  The day after the election that changed everything.  So what does this new world of Wednesday morning look like?

If you take the long view, as I do, it looks about the same as Tuesday.  Just as surely as everyone pronounced the Republican Party dead two years ago, the conventional wisdom has turned to call the Democrats and President Obama powerless.  These events must all mean something, yes?

No, not really.

Events are one thing, people are another.  Without leadership none of this will matter.

One thing I have to give the Republicans a lot of credit for is the very classy and humble way they accepted their wins last night.  Marco Rubio got to set the tone in Florida as the first big win to make CNN, and he was very gracious.  That will serve them well if they can keep it up as they assume control of 1/2 of 1/3 of our government.  They’ve enjoyed outsized influence as they gummed up the works as well as any opposition party could over the last two years, so perhaps they can now win more friends and continue to have outsized influence with a bit of grace.

Here in Minnesota, it’s recount time again, just like it was for Senator Franken.  Our governor’s race has come down to about 0.43%, which probably reflects the mood of the state better than anything.

Jim Oberstar of the 8th Congressional District lost, which when combined with the Democrats’ loss of the US House might mean a lot of trouble for rail projects in this state.  I wonder about the money for the Central Corridor, for example, which generally has been run through political channels directed by Oberstar and Rep. McCollum of Saint Paul far more than the usual methods.

Republicans have taken our legislature, which will prove very interesting.  They have also been very effective as blockers and not runners, having been out of power for far too long.  It will take them a while to get their legs and make that work.

The one race I really cared about was our local Sheriff’s race, in which Matt Bostrom ousted Bob Fletcher.  Words cannot express how happy I am.

But for all these changes we can’t say yet what they will mean.  All of them take leadership.  Our new Governor will have to balance the budget and face terrible choices.  The Republicans will have to learn how to run a legislature.  Sheriff Bostrom will have to reform his department completely.  It will all come down to the quality of leadership, something not really tested yet.