Blue Wave Fizzles
Local Dilemma
Shot in the Arm
Puerto Rico and Dallas

Last week I talked about the polls misleading us. I, for one, didn’t see a high probability of a Biden presidency combined with a Republican Senate. But, pending recounts, legal actions, and some run-off elections, that’s probably what will happen. We will muddle through.

In fact, the optimist in me says this outcome is probably better than some of us think. Divided government isn’t necessarily bad. It can actually help force the different factions to bend a little and avoid extremes. I think, or at least I hope, they will come out of their ideological holes and talk to each other.

President-Elect Joe Biden has been a natural deal doer for the 47 years he has been in politics. In his Senate days he was clearly able to work across the aisle. He and Mitch McConnell are friends. With Republicans gaining seats in the House combined with a significant number of moderates within the Democratic House, there is the potential to get things done.

It is not unlike the Bill Clinton/Newt Gingrich years. Who knew we would be nostalgic for Clinton and Gingrich? While they may not have been pals, in the 1990s they worked together to forge a political package. Both gave a little on their preferred positions. If I remember correctly, this is called “compromise.” It produced the first balanced budget in decades.

Is hoping for more of that unduly optimistic? Maybe, but I’m a natural optimist. But I also recognize we have some big challenges. Today we’ll talk about the political changes, what they mean for the economy, and then how the latest vaccine news may affect the outlook.

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