By Pallas Hupé

The Republican Tide that swept the country yesterday ran smack dab into a Sierra sea wall that kept this state deep blue. It wasn’t entirely a surprise, with more registered Democrats than Republican voters. However, the fiscal crisis that’s left so many Americans facing foreclosure and unemployment has hit especially hard in California.

Clearly Republican candidates Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina were banking on some of the frustration turning the tide toward their way. They both took aim at Independent voters, who in the rest of the country swung back to the right last night. They didn’t in this state.

So now we have a Democratic Governor stepping into Sacramento as Senator Barbara Boxer goes back to Washington once again.  What does this mean for California?

In D.C., Boxer keeping her seat helped preserve the Democratic majority in the Senate, which some say keeps a healthy balance of power in Congress. She’ll head back, though, after fighting what she called the toughest fight of her life. One wonders what kind of impact that had. Last night, Republican Congressman Dan Lungren (who was re-elected) said in an interview he hoped her close call will make her more open to working with members of the “other” party.

In the state Capitol, as a political analyst suggested yesterday, the now 72 year old Jerry Brown should bring more wisdom to the office than he had when he served in his 30s. After promising during his campaign that he had the experience required to lead the state out of its budget crisis, he was wise enough to admit today the enormity of that challenge.

As much as we may want to be told that everything will be okay, today, Brown set no unreasonable expectations. Instead, he promised to give fixing the budget his best shot, to try and work with both sides…to serve with all he’s got. The Governor-elect put it this way: “I’m hoping and I’m praying that this breakdown – that’s gone on for so many years – paves the way for a breakthrough.”

Boy oh boy, are we hoping and praying too.