It's hard to fathom, said James Rainey in the Los Angeles Times, but the "longest and costliest presidential campaign in American history" is about to come to a close. "Trivia dominated too many news cycles, to be sure," but voters can't wait to choose between the old Navy aviator asking to serve his country "just one more time," and the young senator promising to "launch the country on a new journey."
The conventional wisdom "seems to be congealing" around the idea that this was the greatest campaign ever, said Fred Barnes in The Weekly Standard online. But the bottom line is that the American people were leaning toward John McCain until the financial crisis changed everything. If this two-year fight is decided by a single event it should be remembered as "one of the worst" campaigns in history.
I used to think the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon campaign was "the best I ever saw," said David Broder in The Washington Post, but this year's drama topped it. McCain defied huge odds, including his age and past clashes with his party's base, and Obama "broke the historic color line on the presidency" by winning his epic primary fight with Hillary Clinton. And both candidates "promise the nation a more principled, less partisan leadership." It just doesn't get any better than this.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Secret Service stretched mission to protect employee, report finds
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- 10 things you need to know today: October 22, 2014
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to make corn dogs
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- Will Kobani be ISIS's Waterloo?
- Why is the Pentagon stuffing caves in Norway full of tanks?
Subscribe to the Week