Peggy Noonan 2008 vs. Peggy Noonan 2004
The RealClearPolitics average of national polls as I write, rounded off, is Obama 50%, McCain 43%…But I find myself thinking of what that 43% means. It’s a big number, considering that this is the worst Republican year in generations…43% of the American people say, right now, in these polls, they are for him…And they will be a rock-hard challenge to Mr. Obama if he wins.
But here’s Nooner after John Kerry got 48.3% of the popular vote of this "center-right nation."
George W. Bush is the first president to win more than 50% of the popular vote since 1988. (Bill Clinton failed to twice; Mr. Bush failed to last time and fell short of a plurality by half a million.) The president received more than 59 million votes, breaking Ronald Reagan’s old record of 54.5 million. Mr. Bush increased his personal percentages in almost every state in the union.
It will be hard for the mainstream media to continue, in the face of these facts, the mantra that we are a deeply and completely divided country. But they’ll try!
So to recap, 43%>48%.
Back to Nooner, 2004:
George W. Bush, 43rd president of the United States, became the first incumbent president to increase his majority in both the Senate and the House and to increase his own vote (by over 3.5 million) since Franklin D. Roosevelt, political genius of the 20th century, in 1936. This is huge.
And Nooner today:
If Mr. Obama wins, and governs as a moderate liberal, not veering left…—he may know some success…But if he goes left—if it comes to seem as if the attractive, dark-haired man has torn open his shirt to reveal a huge S, not for Superman but for Socialist, if he jumps toward reforms such as a speech-limiting new Fairness Doctrine, that won’t yield success.
So in 2004, Bush was the Republican FDR, ushering in certain decades of GOP dominance after squeaking by with the narrowest win by an incumbent since 1912–and after losing the popular vote in 2000. But Obama, no matter the magnitude his victory, should cautiously heed the minority party that’s been kicked out of every level of government in two straight elections. Classic.
Finally, there’s this from 2004:
I do not know what the Democratic Party spent, in toto, on the 2004 election, but what they seem to have gotten for it is Barack Obama. Let us savor.
Don’t you love it when smug wingnut triumphalism boomerangs?