Press Talk: How would you write day after election story lead? And why?

By Lou Brancaccio, Columbian Editor



WASHINGTON (Nov. 7) President Obama has earned four more years in the White House as voters backed him in Tuesday’s election.

Yep. You heard it here first. That’s the lead I expect to see eight months from now unless the Republicans can get their act together.


And by the way, that’s not an endorsement. That’s an observation.

Many months down the road The Columbian — not me — will endorse someone for president. An editorial is our institutional voice. My column is a voice in the breeze.

The last time around we endorsed Obama. But before that we endorsed George W. Bush. Twice.

So institutionally, we’re not locked into one party or the other. We make a choice based on whom we think would be best for the country.

When I write this column I believe in being an equal opportunity examiner. Unlike most bloggers, you’ll see me on both ends of the political spectrum.

So if I were making book (excuse the sports betting term) why do I think the Republicans are 3-1 dogs in this high-stakes race?

They shouldn’t be, right? The economy is a mess (blame Obama), gas prices are soaring (blame Obama), and the laundry didn’t get washed last week (blame Obama.)

The government is too big (blame Obama), public workers are too rich (blame Obama), and the Cubs have no chance — again — to get to the World Series (blame Obama.)

And, yet, here we are.

So I ask again. Why?

Let’s examine the facts:

• Obama is überliberal and the Republicans are überconservative. But if you stack them up — side by side — the Republicans feel more like a fringe. They “feel” further out to the right than Obama feels out to the left.

• Who appears to look more presidential? Hey, don’t dismiss this point. It’s important to the masses. And, again, Obama does.

• Who comes across as more caring about us common folk? People believe, for example, that we should tax millionaires more.

• In the end, Republicans appear to be way off message. Talking about abortion and religion — important to be sure — is not what most of us want to hear. It’s the economy, stupid.

Sure, there is still time for the Republicans to recover. But this crop of prospects they’re putting on the field to play ball looks a little like the Seattle Seahawks. They’re stumbling and bumbling toward the end zone, but it doesn’t feel like they will get there.

Who knows, maybe a miracle will happen at the Republican convention. They could back-door a big name who doesn’t have so much baggage.

But if I were a betting man, and had to place my two bucks down right now, it would go down on Obama.

Hey, I could be wrong. I could take a few shots if a Republican wins. But that’s the way I see it today.

So I’m sticking to how I wrote the lead to the story the day after the election.

What would your lead be on a story the day after the election? Or if one of these presidential hopefuls were singing a song the day after the election, what would it be?

Give us your thoughts. Go to this column online at and join the conversation.

Lou Brancaccio is The Columbian’s editor. Reach him at 360-735-4505 or

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