Yes, We <i>Will</i> Survive

head shot of Bob Schieffer CBS

Some random thoughts as this presidential election continues to sort itself out.

One: The country will survive. The only nation ever to hold a presidential election during a Civil War has a tradition and respect for the law so strong it will find a way to get past this.

Two: Don't worry about all the rush to get on with the transition. Transitions were no big deal - until the government started paying for them.

Jack Kennedy put together his entire administration in his Georgetown home. Prospective cabinet members were ushered in the back door, interviewed in the living room, and those who made the cut were brought to the front porch and introduced to reporters waiting in the front yard.

Not only efficient, but cheap. Kennedy's daddy paid for the whole thing.

Three: Never try to figure out why people do what they do. In the famous 1824 race that was thrown to the House of Representatives to decide, John Quincy Adams needed the vote of the state of New York to secure the majority required to win the presidency.

But the New York delegation was split - and how Representative Steven Van Rensselaer voted would determine which candidate got New York's vote. Poor Van Rensselaer didn't know what to do and bowed his head in prayer. As he opened his eyes, he saw a ballot on the floor with Adams' name on it, took it as a sign from the Lord, and voted for Adams. That swung New York behind Adams and gave him the presidency.

I've seen no sign of divine intervention this time - but the way it's going, maybe we'd best be on the lookout.

  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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