How do you spell R-E-L-I-E-F?


The empty suit that is Mitt Romney is now relegated to our bad-memory banks. He lost. Thank goodness he lost.

And Mrs. "This is Hard" Romney was right, because this turned out to be even harder for Republicans than they thought. Team Romney did everything they could to lie, cheat, and steal their way into the White House, giddy over the opportunity to take on a president who was trying to dig us out of the disastrous Bush economy with no help at all from the opposing party. Just the opposite in fact. But Republicans obstructed and smeared their way right out of a victory.

Who's giddy now?

What a relief that President Obama is still in the White House.

What a relief that he will be the one who will replace any Supreme Court justices who retire.

What a relief that he will continue to protect women's reproductive rights.

What a relief that he will continue to push for equal pay for women.

What a relief that he will make every effort to eliminate those insanely unfair Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

What a relief that he can continue to reduce the unemployment rate after having added millions and millions of private sector jobs.

What a relief that his Affordable Care Act will continue to benefit those with pre-existing conditions, women, children under twenty-six on their parent's health plans, and so many more.

What a relief that he isn't afraid of the word "regulation."

What a relief that he isn't afraid of the words "climate change."

What a relief that he isn't afraid of the word "inclusive."

What a relief for DREAMers.

What a relief that he embraces gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders.

What a relief that he's getting us out of Afghanistan.

What a relief that veterans will continue to have someone in the White House who cares about them.

And so, so much more.

But most of all, what a relief that Willard M. Romney is out of the picture.

We still have a ton of work to do. I have been critical of the president in the past, and will continue to be when I disagree with him. President Obama literally asked us to “hold him accountable," so we will.

I will keep fighting hard with other progressives for programs we still need, for civil rights issues that have yet to be addressed, and for improvements where I feel the president has disappointed. But nobody's perfect-- nobody-- so, that in no way discounts the enormous number of accomplishments and successes that President Obama has managed to pull off despite the onslaught of Republican money, voter suppression, and the nasty, vicious assaults on his agenda, his character... and his lineage.

So while there are major challenges ahead, the outcome of this election was a huge relief...

...A huge, major, gigantic, enormous relief that the empty chair in the image above belongs to Romney and not our re-elected president, Barack Obama.