Thursday, November 6, 2008

The ongoing battle

Peter Howard has a good post at the Duck about the battle over the post-election narrative:
"The reality is, numbers do not make a mandate. The mandate comes from the story that will become the conventional narrative as to how Obama won the campaign and the narrative of his governing agenda. The stakes in these election post-mortems are high, as it sets the priorities for the governing of the country."
Well said, Peter. And speaking of that, you won our fantasy baseball league because my best players got injured!

Really, you can see the battle over the narrative in the post-mortem analyses on all the networks. For example, I was struck on Tuesday night by how much the election was defined as a "victory for African-Americans" rather than a "victory for America" (although both are absolutely true). Now, the narrative battle is about which question will dominate: Will Obama govern from the center and restrain the "far-left" Democrats? Or, does Obama have a mandate to implement the policies he promised in his campaign? As political agenda-setting theorists would tell you, to the extent that the second question even gets asked, it will open more space for Obama to implement things like expanding health care coverage, exiting Iraq, more open diplomacy, etc.

No comments: