In the 1972 movie "The Candidate," Bill McKay, after an unlikely victory in a U.S. Senate race, asks blankly: "What do we do now?"
Rigorous campaigns focus on winning, not on governing. Yet at some point when a candidate prevails, he or she must make the transition, and it's not that simple.
Campaigns are greased by effective ads and myriad promises. Often, candidates avoid controversial positions because they know it could cost them votes.
But elected officials, if they are going to be successful, understand that progress through governing does not come without tough, decisive leadership.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, following his victory over Republican Bill Maloney, must now move out of the near-constant campaign mode he has been in for nearly two years.
He has four unobstructed years to govern, though he'll no doubt be labeled a lame duck after the 2014 midterm elections.
It's important for Tomblin, if he wants to be known for something more than a caretaker governor, to set a bold agenda, beginning with the next legislative session in February.
A good starting point would be public education.
West Virginia's system of operating its public schools has devolved into a top heavy, inflexible and expensive bureaucracy that makes innovation nearly impossible.
As a result, students are underachieving when compared with national results.
We're locked into an antiquated system that pays all teachers the same regardless of ability or outcome. Restrictive hiring and firing guidelines are built into state law.