Obama wins a sweeping victory to become the 44th president of the United States.

A summary of what's in the major U.S. newspapers.
Nov. 5 2008 6:44 AM

Obama Country

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Most importantly though, Obama will now have to decide how he will run his administration. As the LAT puts it: "Which Barack Obama will dominate as he begins to govern?" During the campaign he espoused twin ideals of setting out to change Washington while also remaining calm and collected during stressful times. Now, he could use his political capital to push legislation through Congress, but that would undoubtedly cause partisan bickering. By the same token, if he emphasizes compromise and bipartisanship, he would risk angering the people who elected him if he's seen as too cautious and slow to make decisions. Ultimately, can Obama "fulfill his promise to govern in a unifying and inclusive way yet also push an ambitious progressive agenda?" asks the WP.

The NYT talks to Obama advisers who insist "he would not be passive and would move quickly to demonstrate leadership." Of course, dealing with the economy will be his first priority, but it could be risky for Obama to try to espouse too much power before the inauguration. The LAT highlights that Obama is likely to "seek early, high-profile legislative victories with bipartisan support" and leave the more controversial measures for later. That means some of his more ambitious goals, such as health care and energy, would likely be either delayed or broken up into pieces.


The NYT's Thomas Friedman says the American Civil War officially ended last night. "The struggle for equal rights is far from over, but we start afresh now from a whole new baseline," writes Friedman. "Let every child and every citizen and every new immigrant know that from this day forward everything really is possible in America." In the end, though, there is so much work to be done that breaking the racial barrier may "turn out to be the least" of the changes an Obama presidency will bring. "The Civil War is over. Let reconstruction begin."

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.