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
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The troubling persistence of eugenicist thought in modern America
- Libertarianism's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea
- How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest
- 10 innovative furniture designs that brilliantly save you space
- Why the Chinese military is only a paper dragon
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- What the Romney boomlet says about the establishment GOP's feeble 2016 field
- Eric Holder blew it as attorney general. His replacement will, too,
Subscribe to the Week