It is just a few hours since Obama was elected – and already events are taking on a retrospective aura of inevitability. The election of the first black president is a historic moment and so it is tempting to believe that it was somehow written in the stars. Obama himself liked to suggest to supporters that “we have a righteous wind at our back”.
The fatalists argue that Bush was so unpopular, the economy so bad, the McCain campaign so confused and the Obama campaign so brilliant, that the Democrat was simply bound to win. I don’t believe it. Don’t forget that shortly after the Republican convention, McCain was actually briefly in the lead. A Republican victory was far from inconceivable.