By the time the networks announced it, Barack Obama's Electoral Collegelandslide presidential victory was as inevitable as it had once seemed impossible. The election of the first black President of the United States of America had been an epic journey, not only by virtue of the racial barriers it smashed but also by dint of the campaign ingenuity and inventiveness that marked a generational shift in American politics. At the center of the drama was Obama himself, heroic but self-possessed, outdistancing formidable rivals, always the smartest and most charismatic figure in the room. It remains to be seen, of course, whether all the ecstatic political soteriology of his campaign can overcome the economic apocalypse Obama will inherit, along with a vexing list of adjunct crises from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the dysfunction in American education and health care. But for a moment on Nov. 4, Americans across the board were invited to renew their faith in the true magic of their country's story.