Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) should be thankful for the exposure on the national stage, the connections with top donors and the debate experience from hell. If he runs for president, he will know whom not to hire, what not to do and how not to talk to donors in an age when every conversation is being recorded by someone.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) should be thankful he didn’t get picked as VP, didn’t have to defend Mitt Romney’s immigration proposals and won’t be the only Republican talking about immigration reform.

President Obama should be thankful House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell know how to put together a deal even if he does not.

Americans in 49 states should be thankful they don’t live in California.

Democrats should be thankful Republicans handed them Senate seats in Delaware, Nevada, Missouri and Indiana.

Conservatives should be thankful for the revival of federalism, which offers protection against Obamacare and a way around the thicket of hot-button social issues that spell political doom for the GOP.

Fiscal conservatives should be thankful for the fiscal cliff, which may force the parties into bipartisan fiscal sobriety.

Even political junkies should be thankful for a break from debates, polls and debates about polls for a couple years.

Reince Priebus should be thankful that Newt Gingrich (who is at his best when not running) is also looking over campaign data for clues to where the GOP went wrong.(Lesson No. 1: Go where the voters are. “He noted disapprovingly that Romney turned down invitations to appear on The Colbert Report, The View and Nickelodeon’s Kids Pick the President, while President Obama was a guest on all three.”)

Republicans should be thankful for the multiplicity of voices and ideas on the right since true believers in free markets know that excellence emerges from the rough-and-tumble of competition.

The Free World should be thankful for the U.S. military, whose professionalism, heroism and integrity are not defined by any one general nor diminished by any administration.