If there ever was a politician who captured the spirit of the times, it’s Gov.-elect Paul LePage.

Coming out of a crowded primary field, the Waterville mayor established himself as an alternative to the career politicians and business leaders who would have been attractive candidates in a year in which voters did not feel let down by the elites.

Supporting policies in line with those touted by grass-roots activists in the tea party movement, LePage began the general election campaign in first place and rode his lead all the way into November.

LePage’s command of the zeitgeist seems apparent in the announcement that there will be no inaugural ball this year when the first new Republican governor since 1986 takes the oath of office.

LePage’s low-key reception will look small even compared to Gov. Baldacci’s second inaugural, which was also scaled back due to concerns about the state budget.

LePage is not the only governor to hold back on the party this year and it’s not a partisan trend. Democratic Gov.-elect Pat Quinn of Illinois says his inauguration will be “frugal.” New York’s Andrew Cuomo calls his plans “austere.”

But few will be able to match LePage’s goal of getting the celebration done by 8:30 p.m. so he can get a good night’s sleep before his first day on the new job.

There will be a lot of tough decisions in the months ahead and the LePage administration will face its share of criticism (probably including some in this space).

But few Mainers will object to his decision about how to kick off the first night of his administration.