[FOR PUBLICATION WEDNESDAY 7 NOVEMBER OR WHENEVER ALL THE COURT CHALLENGES ARE SETTLED]
After a campaign season that seemed even more vitriolic and interminable than any before it, America finally made its choice for President. To many, that choice was surprising, even unthinkable. To his supporters, of course, the win was a welcome vindication after so many difficulties and setbacks. Between the deluge of attack ads, the debate stumbles, and the lackluster polling, it must have seemed at times as if the odds were insurmountable. Despite all the roadblocks, however, things moved his way in the late stages, providing enough lift to secure the election.
Of course, nothing will be easy: with a divided Congress, the President will have a tough time making progress on his legislative agenda, and overseas challenges are no less acute now that the U.S. election has been settled. The budgetary situation is still a major problem, with the “fiscal cliff” and the prospect of yet another bruising Congressional showdown looming ever larger in the country’s headlights. The one bright spot is that — assuming the will is found to avoid plunging over the cliff — the economic recovery is likely to continue, albeit as slowly and cautiously as ever. To a populace wearied by the campaign, any positive news will be more than welcome.
(With apologies to The Economist.)