Barack Obama ran an exemplary campaign. He attracted a broad, diverse following and inspired a new generation of voters. In spite of all of that, however, he was extraordinarily fortunate in benefiting from circumstances beyond his control. His candidacy benefitted from the departure from conservative principles by the Republicans in office over the past eight years. Both the White House and the Congress expanded government in a manner that rivals the Democratic entitlement programs and gave too little attention and support to pro-life, pro-marriage and pro-family efforts.
In his acceptance speech, President-Elect Obama said that he wanted to listen to the concerns of those who did not vote for him and promised to be the president of all Americans. If he, indeed, reaches out with respect to those whose values are so different from his and abandons the rigid ideological commitments that characterize the hard-core leftists, his presidency has the potential to be for the Democrats what the Ronald Reagan presidency was for the Republicans.