One thing I've noticed the absense of: the word "landslide". It is a landslide, but I don't think I've heard the MSM talking heads utter it. I don't see this word in the storyline, for example at CNN or CBS or MS-NBC or NY Times or Washington Post. One would think if the numbers were reversed, every other word would be landslide or mandate.
I imagine this is partly a reflection of the biases of the MSM, but also a reflection of the humility of the winner - as well as a genuine, shared sense that tonight's results represent a great historical event that, for the moment, transcends politics.
With the debates over, and barring any unforeseen external events, at this point the media is the only meaningful driver in the campaign. And as far as I can tell, there are only two good stories they can tell from here to the end if they want to make good ratings and sell papers. Story no.1 is the pendulum, the McCain comeback, the horserace, the momentum shift, the closing gap. Lord knows we saw that one enough times during the primary. Story no.2, which is a fresher story, is the landslide, the historic blowout, the implosion and collapse of the conservative regime, the redeeming civil rights moment, the proud national achievement, the accelerating momentum, the widening gap.
Obama's job, and our job, is to make story no.2 the story, while at the same time trying to guard against complacency and reduced voter turnout. I think the answer may lie partly in emphasizing that the margin matters, that Obama doesn't just need to win, he needs to win with a decisive, undeniable national mandate which will allow him to govern strongly in what will be extremely difficult times. People need to get excited about participating personally in this historical event. I know it is harder to motivate people with hope than with fear, unfortunately. Maybe Obama can achieve this in his national primetime address on Oct. 29.