The big 2010 election is over and the results are about what you would expect for a modern, mid-term election.
The president's party, which rode into Washington 22 months ago on a wave of victories, has now lost the U.S. House of Representatives and narrowly held onto its majority in the U.S. Senate.
Depending on whom you talk to, this either means gridlock in which nothing will get done, or a course correction that will keep the nation from veering to far to the left or to the right.
One of the most interesting analyses I read about the election is that the Republican Party might mis-read the results as a mandate to steer the country in a different direction. In fact, some polls show that the election was more a rejection of the status quo than an endosement of any particular party. So, Republicans need to be careful about over-playing their hand or they could find themselves thown out into the street just two short years from now.
The Tea Party movement, which got a lot of attention this year, and did claim some victories, also suffered its share of defeats around the U.S. So whether it will continue to have any impact on Washington or simply melt into the system, remains to be seen. It, too, could overplay its hand and find itself on the outside looking in.
I know we here at WTAP are glad the election is over so we can get back to business as usual.
But we know that 2012 could feature even bigger battles. Think about it.
John Raese could run against Joe Manchin for U.S. Senate again.
After we sort out who will be West Virginia's governor for the next two years, there will be an election for a full term in 2012.
The Oliverio-McKinley race is crying for a re-match in 2012.
And Charlie Wilson just might try to take back the seat he lost this fall to Bill Johnson.
Oh, and in case you forgot, 2012 will also be a Presidential election year!
So for those of you who are already missing all of the political ads, don't worry. They'll be back soon enough, probably starting a little more than a year from now!
That's this week's editorial.