This is a great victory for the President. His popularity is deep and broad and he is trusted. His political enemies (and even some friends) have always underestimated him and they still do so. Now, with yesterdays results in mind, even a blind man ought to see that this is a serious person (as are the people around him) and he means to act in the world for larger game than what we have gotten used to under Clinton. We have moved into a mode of serious, high minded, politics. And, in some measure because of the war against terrorism, this is consequential politics. Bush is confident about his purposes, his means, the people he has around him. This confidence shows. The American people knew all this and voted accordingly. In this sense the election was "nationalized" by Bush. This is what the talking heads missed.
Yet for some (network newscaster, the New York Times, et al) this will be difficult to understand because they have gotten used to the Clinton/Demo mode of expediency and trimming and victory at any cost. It is the beginning of the end of winning elections by the repetition of little mottos: prescription drugs, faltering economy, etc. This sort of pap, delivered by the always boring and always predictable Daschle and Gephardt will have to end (although it will not yet end, of course) for them to get anywhere. In the meantime a new mode in American politics has been created, a mode that is really a continuation of Reagans massive good work that was temporarily interrupted by the Democrats miniaturization of politics.