Obama's only consolation is that it could have been worse. He could have lost the Senate too, which would have left him unable to govern. But he kept it by a whisker, while being widely defeated everywhere else.
A conservative tide flooded the House of Representatives and state governments, giving the Republicans capability previously held by Democrats. The American people have spoken, loudly and clearly, saying they didn't like how they were being governed.
What can Obama do, facing all of this? He has two choices: blame the opposition for not being able to govern or adapt himself to the new situation.
What is the new situation? I'm going to explain it with examples: the new Speaker of the House is a dark man from Ohio, John Boehner, who has eleven brothers, who has scrubbed floors, washed dishes, not gone to Harvard but to a modest college and had the slogan "We must give America back to Americans."
The second example is the three warnings from Evan Bayh, one of the Democrats leaving the Senate, to his own party, "Lower taxes, tackle the deficit and approach the center."
It's exactly the same message the American people sent yesterday to their government: stop giving wealth away, because it's disappearing, and focus on creating it. To create wealth, private enterprise is better than public enterprise. Deficits are mortgages for the future and for children. And no elitism. The average American is a centrist, a stance which has been abandoned today. Those were the three sins of the Obama administration, which led him to take a tumble yesterday.
Obama can observe the warning or ignore it. It will determine whether he is reelected in 2012. We have reason to believe he will listen, go down to the street and create jobs, which is what the men in the street request.
In fact, he has already begun to do so, by offering the Republicans his collaboration. However, he will have to do it with facts, not words, and without hesitation. If he goes on with a social democratic agenda, he chose the wrong country. That may work in Europe, but not in America. And even in Europe, that approach is in the doldrums.
Finally, yesterday's elections also contain a warning for Republicans. Although the tide is now conservative, if carried to an extreme, it can lead them to make the same mistakes the Democrats did.
The triumph of the Tea Party is more apparent than real, since its radical candidates, who campaigned in some states as a third party, were the ones who prevented some Republican candidates from achieving victory and their party from getting the majority in the Senate. And most Americans are center. Right of center.