Great win, Mr. President. You scared us in the first debate. I'm sure I'm not the first person to tell you that, but you kept your eye on the prize.
I think you demonstrated what many people have felt about you for a long time. You have a steady hand, you plan your work, and you work your plan.
You had a world-class campaign team: Jim Messina, Axelrod, Plouffe, Bob Gibbs, Stephanie Cutter, and Jen Psaki were great. They all seemed to reflect the No Drama Obama style.
So what is the path forward? You touched on some themes in your victory speech. Ed Rendell, former Governor of Pennsylvania, put it bluntly, saying, "We've got to get to work … the President has to lead." In other words, time is of the essence. Allow me to offer some thoughts on future steps.
1. Call Mitt and see if you could come and see him sometime in the next 10 days. Kennedy went to visit Nixon after the 1960 election, and it served them both well. It would be wise to offer him a substantive role of limited duration, like raising funds from the business community to be used in assisting in the repair of the damage done by Hurricane Sandy. Think of offering Mitt a job in the cabinet as Secretary of Treasury when Tim Geithner leaves. Seriously. That would be a bold stroke.
2. Schedule a visit to the Vatican before Christmas. Bring Cardinal Dolan with you, and talk to the Pope about things that you can work on together, like poverty, world peace, and advocating for religious freedom in countries like China, where the Catholic Church is suppressed.
3. Continue on to Israel, possibly for the start of Hanukkah. Meet with Bibi, of course. Be friendly and respectful, but expand your personal contacts in the Israeli body politic. A successful trip to the Vatican and to Israel will help you with conservative Catholics and Jews, who could use some personal attention.
4. Invite Speaker John Boehner and his wife for dinner in the family quarters of the White House. Include the Clintons and the Bidens. Keep it fun and social. Let Boehner smoke a cigarette out on the Truman balcony, and join him for a glass of wine. Schedule a round of golf for the four of you when weather permits. Set aside one day a week for a social dinner in the family quarters with one or more Republicans, and one or more Democrats. You have to do a better job of building relationships outside of your comfort zone. It's your job.
5. See if you can peel off some of the mega-wealthy who supported Mitt. Bring them in one-on-one and let them hear from you why what you're doing is reasonable and something that the country needs. Give them respect and appeal to their willingness to do the right thing by a country that has been good to them. The mega-wealthy don't need you to fawn over them, but they do want their life's work to be respected. Start with billionaire casino owner Steve Wynn, and Ken Langone, one of the founders of Home Depot.
6. Keep Bill Clinton busy on special high-level projects as much as you can. He's a unique asset with the world's best Rolodex.
7. Don't waste a lot of time, energy, and money planning a grandiose inauguration. You've got better things to do, and I think the country would appreciate a slimmed-down, less expensive event.
The main reason I started Wednesdays Wars was to have a voice in this election. My guy won, so the experience has been fun and successful. I'm going to give some thought to the future of the site, and will post again on Wednesday, December 5, 2012.
Comments are welcome at tomc[at]wednesdayswars[dot]com. Name and town if you wish to opine. Comments will be addressed in subsequent posts.