For Maureen Dowd, the election of Barack Obama means more than just an end to the Bush years; it's a chance for Washington itself to regain its moral standing. Outside the White House on election night—"there was no U-Haul in the driveway"—the New York Times columnist considers the monuments of her hometown, which "have lost their luminescence in recent years," and what an Obama-led capital would look like.
The White House has gone from Clintonite "Motel 1600" to Bush-era bunker, and other places have been similarly sullied: the National Archives holds a redacted Constitution, the Lincoln Memorial looks absurd after "the black neighborhoods of a charming American city were left to drown while the president mountain-biked." Obama might not be up to the task of rebuilding Washington, Dowd admits. But if he is, "he may be heading for his own monument one day."