The conventional wisdom tends to enshrine certain "lessons" from each election cycle. Here are two that I hope get remembered:
1. Pick a qualified running mate. It's difficult to tell if the choice of Sarah Palin actually hurt John McCain -- despite her bad poll numbers, he did about as well as political science models expect. But for the sake of the country, I hope future nominees of both parties don't take risks like that in the future.
2. Don't smear your political opponents. After Michelle Bachmann suggested that Barack Obama and liberal members of Congress are anti-American, more than one million dollars in campaign donations poured into her opponent's campaign, making the race competitive. Though Bachmann ultimately pulled out a narrow victory, the possibility of a flood of online dollars is going to make incumbents nationwide think twice about mouthing off.