Slate.com. Barack Obama has said he wants to change the political system. Now that he is president-elect, we’ll see what that actually means. As he works to remove the troops from Iraq, reform the nation’s health care system, and promote American energy independence, we’ll see how well he keeps his promise to reach out to others with different ideas. He once promised that negotiations about his health care plan would be shown live on C-SPAN. Is he really going to be that transparent? — John Dickerson

Times Online. Yesterday’s results were head-spinning stuff. In electing Barack Obama president by a solid margin, accompanied by a congress with the biggest Democratic majority since the 1970s, Americans have signalled a dramatic change in the direction of the world’s sole superpower. The country regarded loftily by many Europeans as hopelessly racist and irredeemably right wing has voted to be ruled by a black man, at the head of a party committed to economic redistribution and a foreign policy rooted in peaceful diplomatic engagement. — Gerard Baker

New York Times. Mr. Obama won the election because he saw what is wrong with this country: the utter failure of government to protect its citizens. He promised to lead a government that does not try to solve every problem but will do those things beyond the power of individual citizens: to regulate the economy fairly, keep the air clean and the food safe, ensure that the sick have access to health care, and educate children to compete in a globalized world. — Editorial

CTV. There is little doubt that Barack Obama ran one of the best organized campaigns in U.S. presidential history, and the Democrat and his staff were largely responsible for McCain’s loss. But McCain, himself, did not help his cause. By the closing days of the election campaign, analysts noted that he was unable to give voters a consistent, pro-active message. For much of the campaign, it appeared McCain was constantly trying to persuade voters about why Obama was not fit for the White House. But political pundits said he did not give them clear enough reasons to vote for him. They noted that his campaign employed “tactics” without an overall strategy. — CTV.ca News

Time. [W]hen historians analyze the 2008 campaign, they’re going to remember that the two-term Republican President had 20% approval ratings, that the economy was in meltdown, and that Americans didn’t want another Republican President. They’ll also remember that Obama was a change candidate in a change election. And of course they’ll remember that America elected a biracial leader less than a half-century after Jim Crow. But that’s just about all they’ll remember. Politics is a lot simpler than the pundits pretend. — Michael Grunwald

The New Republic. There are whites out there who didn’t vote for him because of, or partly because of, his color. We heard all about them in a thousand earnest newspaper and magazine articles all summer and fall. We were told to worry. We did. And now we know what there was no way to know until now — we needn’t have worried. America really has come that far Yes, there are racists — but not enough of them to keep Barack Obama out of the White House. Do we really care that in a perfect America Obama would have won by _ points instead of _? What’s so special about perfection? Let’s celebrate. – John McWhorter

The Economist. Mr Obama survived a myriad of onslaughts, notably on his lack of experience and on his elitist and “celebrity” status. But he ran a calm and disciplined campaign, and most importantly managed to assure voters that he would be a safer leader in a time of financial and economic anxieties. Mr McCain, in contrast, fumbled when he mishandled his response to the economic turmoil of the past few weeks. Mr Obama also succeeded in persuading young people and black people to vote. — Economist.com

The American Prospect. Barack Hussein Obama was, arguably, the country’s most unlikely candidate for highest office. He embodied, or at least invoked, much of what America feared. His color recalled our racist past. His name was a reminder of our anxious present. His spiritual mentor displayed a streak of radical Afro-nationalism. He knew domestic terrorists and had lived in predominantly Muslim countries. There was hardly a specter lurking in the American subconscious that he did not call forth. And that was his great strength. He robbed fear of its ability to work through quiet insinuation. — Ezra Klein

Peter Fray

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