Who thought they didn't see it coming?
When a candidate works hard to woo the middle, s/he would eventually be crowned.
Truth be told - everybody lost.
McCain lost because he refused to back up his policies with a sense of resolve and urgency. He never gotten around, let alone bothered, to explain why the policies proposed by Obama were doomed either to failure or to severe scrutiny. Nor did he ever explain why his policies were better and more cost-effective in the simplest, least technical, terms. He failed the middle.
Barack lost because right about now he'll have to fugure out how to pay for all the goodies promised to the electorate. Sure... he looks great in a suit. He talks smooth. Yet he is beholden to the ideals of the modern day Democratic Party and the new-age "Liberals" from which he draws his insprations. Now, he beholden to the masses who cast their votes for and against him. Worse, he will be forced to walk the tighrope above those ravenous for results in order for him to deliver the agenda that he worked so hard to sell. For a bill still to be compiled and calculated, he failed the middle.
It's too easy to blame the "mainstream" media for the good/bad/ugly/fugly that permeated the campaigns. Many saw Barack to be the "Funky President" envisioned by the Godfater of Soul himself. Yes, Virginia... there is a difference between being funky, getting funky and smelling funky. And the sheeple who come to the trough, eat it up and take the innuendoes as gospel may yet grow to appreciate it in due time. Even the tabloid came to the attack when Palin (Sarah, not Michael) came on the scene, creating an outburst of PMS (Palin Malignment Syndrome), exposing the slightest of gaffes and simplest of shortcomings.
To their credit, Palin should've stepped up to the plate with more than a heartbeat and a smile. Most Americans were asking "Where's the beef" and she should've delivered. Yet when she failed to do so to the masses' satisfaction, the "mainstream" press would crucify her. It's easy to praise an unproven Messiah than respect a wisened Maverick, while the Rolling Stone was quick to crown the upstart the same way that Napoleon was quick to crown himself. The "mainstream" failed the middle.
In the end, when the dust has settled, there will be work to be done. As soon as it's done, the costs will be tallied, the cheques will be written, and the man who would be king will have a lot on his plate to divvy amongst those to which he would have to delegate, some of who have created crises that the previous ruler had to resolve, sometimes with pleasant results, sometimes with hideous outcomes. Eventually, it will be the novice's turn to work with the leftovers to create somthing that may appear palatable, yet distubingly familiar.
If he were to succeed and make things right, the middle may have won.
If he were to fail and create more new crises, then it would not be him who failed the middle.
It would be the middle themselves.