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Opinion | Election Day Silver Linings!

Didn’t work. Will you be surprised to hear that Donald Trump is taking credit?

The other governor’s race, in New Jersey, was way more dramatic than expected, with incumbent Philip Murphy fighting off a surprisingly strong challenge from Republican Jack Ciattarelli, a former assemblyman. Very possible this one could still be in recount purgatory during the holidays.

I really hope Murphy, a rather fearless leader in the war against Covid, is not being punished for vaccine mandates and mandatory school masking, which Ciattarelli complained about endlessly. Or that the irritable voters wanted to get back at their governor for remarking, a few years ago, that if you’re a person whose only concern is tax rates, New Jersey is “probably not your state.”

Ciattarelli reportedly spent about $736,000 running that quote in a 10-day broadside of ads. But I’ll bet most New Jersey voters accept the governor’s view, however grudgingly. Almost all of them must have some state concerns besides taxes — schools? Street lighting? The end of black bear hunting?

Fortunately, you won’t be expected to argue that Tuesday was one of the great days in the history of American democracy. Otherwise, some detail-oriented colleague might mention that a House district near Columbus was won by the chairman of the Ohio Coal Association.

Yeah, and Minneapolis failed to pass its public safety program. It seems that Seattle will end up with a new law-and-order mayor rather than criminal justice reform.

On the other hand, there were loads of stories to remind you how our country, for all its multitudinous failures to live up to the American dream, still also manages to come through. A lot. Boston elected its first woman and first person of color as mayor. Pittsburgh and Kansas City, Kan., each elected its first Black mayor. Cincinnati chose an Asian American mayor, and Dearborn, Mich.’s next mayor is going to be an Arab American Muslim.

Cheer up, people. We made it through another election. Take the holidays off from politics if you want. Just ignore the new flood of emails asking you to donate to some worthy candidate’s quest for a House seat in 2022. What’s the rush? You’ll hear from them again next week. And the week after that. …

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