Well, another election is in the books. It wasn't the most surprising or the most compelling, but every election offers lessons for candidates and parties. So what did we learn? Let's get to the do's and don'ts of 2013:
DO: Dramatically outspend your opponent. It may not guarantee you victory, but it sure doesn't hurt.
DON'T: Wage a campaign against sodomy. People love sodomy. They just love it. Don't say you're going to make ice cream illegal, either.
DO: Get your cool teenage kids with awesome hair to cut ads for you.
DON'T: Come out in favor of kittens being run over by subways. Full-grown cats would be a different story, since they are Satan's representatives here on Earth. But kittens? Being crushed in a blur of steel and gore? Not good.
DO: Walk around disaster sites. Nothing says "I care" like looking over destroyed houses and hugging shocked residents. If you can arrange for the one-year anniversary of a disaster to come just before election day, that's even better.
DON'T: Be the anti-government candidate in a state with a couple of hundred thousand federal workers and contractors who just got furloughed. And finally...
DO: Get behind this marijuana thing. It's obviously going places. On the other hand, feel free to raise taxes on pot smokers if you have to raise taxes. They're so happy to be able to smoke legally that they're in a terrific mood, and they already have an ethic of sharing.