Barack Obama's Suburban Revolution

He ran as the kind of Democrat who could not get elected even a few years ago.

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Several important milestones were reached with President-elect Obama's historic win. I mentioned earlier, but want to discuss in greater detail, Obama's Suburban Revolution. This revolution was in evidence not just in the South but also in the Southwest. It is driven by the politics of liberal northerners from outside such states as Virginia, North Carolina, and Colorado, who flocked to new areas in great numbers—wooed by cheaper real estate and warmer climes.

Watching the returns come in on Tuesday night, I could not help but hum The Band's 1969 tune, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.

And the comparison is apt not only because a new political South and Southwest are emerging but, in many ways, the politics of the '60s have returned as well. Unlike President Clinton, who had to temper his support for abortion and gay rights while campaigning for office, Obama did little of the same. He won national office despite the National Journal's naming him the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate—an unthinkable feat considering the millennial conservative swing in American politics.

McCain's campaign slogan, "Country First," was a winner in the post-9/11 jingoistic frenzy to prove which party was the more patriotic. But as Americans' worries turn closer to home, jobs, and the economy, our patriotic "shpilkes" (Yiddish for "ants in our pants") settles down, too. Perhaps so-called Rockefeller Republicans of the '70s (fiscal conservatives, social liberals) may regain power as the GOP attempts to enter its own Reconstruction era. If the GOP sticks with Christian conservatives and Palin-style politics, it will banish itself to the hinterlands for many elections to come.

  • Click here to read more by Bonnie Erbe.
  • Click here to read more about Barack Obama.
  • Click here to read more about Campaign 2008.