Four years ago tomorrow, we woke up to find that George W. Bush had won re-election to the White House. Many of us were incredulous that observers of Bush’s performance could possibly vote to put the man back in charge of the country. Some of us were furious at the “Red States” that collectively gave Bush his electoral votes. One expression of that fury was an annotated rant you may recall: Fuck the South. “Fuck ‘em,” the author wrote. I lived in the South at the time, and even though I was being told to go fuck off by this guy, I laughed in bitterly sympathetic anger.
Tomorrow morning, what will we wake to find? My guess is that it won’t be a Bush clone headed to the White House. My guess is that Barack Obama will win in an electoral landslide. My guess is that southern states — Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, and maybe even Georgia — will put Barack Obama over the top. If those states to tip to Barack Obama, it won’t be due to Obama’s wishes and prayers. If those southern red states turn blue, it will be partially because the demographics of those states have changed. It will be partially due to Southerners independently changing their minds as they finally notice that, gee, the whole “have a beer with the president” voting plan didn’t work out so well. But in no small part it will be the product of a lot of work on the part of the Obama campaign, which organized like mad in southern states to get people registered to vote and to change the minds of people who were already registered.