November 4th, 2008
11:24 PM ET
6 years ago

Rosen: An election about Big Things

This election has been about Big Things. Our country needs healthcare reform, an energy policy, middle-class tax cuts, responsible fiscal regulation and an exit from a costly and ill-focused war. How are we going to get there?

The House of Representatives has a good working majority to support President Barack Obama. Most analysts are focusing on the number 60 as the number of Democratic seats that would be needed in the Senate to determine whether President Obama will be able to pass his agenda through Congress.

In short, can we assure Americans that the change they have voted for will actually come to pass?

Let's look back at some key issues that were the subject of a Senate filibuster in the last Congress and how many votes are needed to break the logjam: five votes to pass a rule requiring the government to negotiate prescription drug prices for Medicare, lowering costs for seniors; four votes to pass Stem Cell Research; three votes for The Lily Ledbetter Act guaranteeing equal pay for equal work; two votes to pass an investment in infrastructure to help local communities fix and protect roads and bridges and just one more vote to pass an alternative energy bill providing incentives to invest in alternative fuel sources and technologies.

Five more seats in the Senate and President Obama can get A LOT done. Eight more and we will have smooth sailing for the change we need.

Contrast that with recent history. When George W. Bush was elected president in 2000, he faced a Congress that was the most evenly divided in recent history. A Senate that was 50-50 and a House that had a 10-vote margin. It was, in short, a recipe for gridlock. And thank goodness, because most of President Bush's agenda was divisive and principally benefited the wealthy - stripping environmental laws, passing even more tax cuts for corporations, privatizing Social Security, etc.

Thankfully, gridlock will be a thing of the past. Well, at least for two years. That is the time period of the Obama honeymoon. I, for one, am hopeful about the Big Things.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. MC

    Very BIG things! None bigger than the fact that now we ALL must work TOGETHER as 1 nation!

    November 4, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  2. Southerner

    This article makes me want to puke. if Obama gets a 60 majority in the senate, the demise of the USA will be all that much faster.

    November 4, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  3. No Hillary = No Obama

    An election about hype.

    November 4, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  4. ceateach

    I am hopeful about the future of the direction that our country will be heading in the next four years. It is about time!!

    November 4, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  5. Sue

    Thank God almighty.. we are free at last!

    November 4, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  6. Ron

    Why must Barack Obama's victory in the election be reduced to that of a racial accomplishment? Why can't Obama's victory be seen for what it should be? One of if not the greatest achievements that an american can dream of. Standing for what america believes in....the ability to decide when change is needed. Racism is not needed in this analysis because his accomplishments are mine and I hope mine one day will also be his and this does not matter that I am white and he is black, but only that we are two equal human beings, for that I can share in his joy.

    November 4, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  7. friend in peace

    I just want to say that McCain was very gracious and decent in his downfall speech. I was truly amazed after all the negative stuff during the campaign. Sometimes he seems like he can actually be human. As for Sarah, bye bye, so long, it was really weird to meet you. Have a safe journey back to Alaska.

    November 4, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  8. David

    Tonight, I am (still) proud of my country, this election has shown the best of America!!

    The world is watching, and I think that they will approve!

    November 4, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  9. the Lorax

    Tonight we celebrate. Tomorrow the work begins. We have much to fix.

    November 4, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  10. Ed

    Are they lining up for the free money in Grant Park already? Sure looks like it, what a bunch of slackers. Get jobs losers. Let the redistribution begin.

    November 4, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Unfortunately everyone that believes in working hard will get shafted with a socialistic government in control.

    November 4, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  12. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Congratulations! When Changes takes place, Obama honeymoon will last longer! A great night!!!

    November 4, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  13. Reid

    I am very proud that we have finally elected a man of such stature to be the next president of the United States. I am also very proud of the closing speech McCain gave just a few minutes ago.

    However, I am very disappointed in the reaction by the McCain supporters during his speech. Every single time McCain mentioned Obama or Biden, there was booing and general disdain from the crowd. Even as McCain was trying to be respectful, the crowd in Arizona acted like a bunch of idiots.

    Republicans always are quick to point out that us "liberals" are anti-gun, unpatriotic citizens. Well, you have a new Commander in Chief republicans... Maybe you should act more patriotic as well!

    November 4, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  14. Sean Johnson

    Very UNbiased reporting from a News agency contributor. Nicely done. Or was this paid for by "The Committee to elect..."?

    Maybe if he can oust the sitting Supremes, we can really do away with the checks and balances.

    With a name like 'Rosen', I hope you're not Jewish, Hilary. I've heard the Muslims don't like you guys very much, and you never know what sort of "CHANGE" President Hussein has planned for us all.

    Regardless, I only hope that our great country is able to come together and remain the wonderful place that it is. If not, I hear the weather in Bora Bora is pretty nice – year round.

    November 4, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  15. Follow the leader

    I'll believe it happens when I see it. Research shows this is the same crap that's perennially brought up and nothing happens. Yawn. At least news outlets will quit yapping over it.

    November 4, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  16. Ihuoma onyendi

    Am a nigerian am happy that obama won.He will make america proud.Nigerians are happy.I wish hin all the best.

    November 4, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  17. Stephen R

    Just wait until you see the new energy policy. We will be cutting down the trees in our yards to stay warm. That is, if you are able to get a permit from the government to do so.

    November 4, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  18. Sarah

    Our country was built the way it is to prevent "smooth sailing." It was built with a system of checks and balances to keep any single agenda from dominating the government.

    A lack of balance is NOT a good thing for America. I would even argue that no matter what side your own, a skewed government is a bad idea. Without an opposing voice on any issue there will be little discussion, little debate, and little consideration for what is actually being voted for.

    Yes, I am a Republican. But I would be hesitant to praise a Republican congressional majority combined with a Republican president. Our country needs to debate issues, consider both sides and try to make a decision on what's best.

    November 4, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  19. CNN

    Eliminating all dissent since 1955!

    November 4, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  20. steve

    As a Canadian, i would like to express my congratulations to our neighbours to the south. You have elected on this day a president elect who can do what few could; he will revive the spirit of america and help to restore the faith of the globe in the leadership of your country. Perhaps he will fall short in some areas promised in the short term, but in the long term America is a HUGE winner this evening. God bless our American neighbours to the south!

    November 5, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  21. Sue in MI

    To the bitter end, McCain's followers could do nothing positive, but had to boo every mention of Obama. Do they not realize that this hatred and divisive behavior is why he lost? That Obama's message of inclusion and hope is for all? McCain spoke of unity, but he and Sarah did nothing but divide this country into "pro" and "con", rich and poor, haves and have nots-and America wants to be one. We invite McCain supporters to join us on this journey, and together, we can make America great again.

    November 5, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  22. Sue in MI

    To the bitter end, McCain's followers could do nothing positive, but had to boo every mention of Obama. Do they not realize that this hatred and divisive behavior is why he lost? That Obama's message of inclusion and hope is for all? McCain spoke of unity, but he and Sarah did nothing but divide this country into "pro" and "con", rich and poor, haves and have nots-and America wants to be one. We invite McCain supporters to join us on this journey, and together, we can make America great again.

    November 5, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  23. Freddie, Atl, GA

    It has been a long time comming, a Leader of and for America the People in spite of the America we had come to know.
    God Bless America and Our next President.

    November 5, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  24. Rob indetroit

    mccain lost.

    November 5, 2008 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  25. David, Indiana

    Congratulations and warmest regards to Barack Obama and Joe Biden and their families. Touching and inspiring to see them tonight getting ready to take up the challenges that lay ahead.

    Sarah has said it better but I agree, checks and balances for one thing help us to ensure that the best input and understanding drive law making and that we don't get stuck on one approach.

    It's been a long hard campaign, but it feels good to take part in some of the joy and kindness after all the rough and tumble.

    November 5, 2008 05:04 am at 5:04 am |