I have been voting since 1968 . . .
The 26th Amendment to the Constitution, which lowered the voting age from 21 to 18 in America for all elections (local, state and federal), was not adopted until 1971. By that time I was old enough to vote with or without the 26th Amendment.
. . . meaning this will be my 11th Presidential election.
I do believe that in each and every one of those elections I have been told that it was THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION IN MY LIFETIME.
I can't prove it, but I suspect that with just about seven weeks to go in each of those 11 elections, there was an outcry that one side or the other was the victim of malpractice by a senior advisor.
The other day, Politico.com published a long piece about how senior advisor Stuart Stevens has single-handedly screwed up the campaign of Governor Mitt Romney.
Stevens, who used to be the advertising guru for Gov. George W. Bush among many other campaigns and titles, is the senior-ist of senior advisors to Romney.
He is known as being a "gunslinger" in the best meaning of the term. In 2000 George W. was supposed to run the table in the early primaries and win easily.
Came New Hampshire and Sen. John McCain crushed Bush by over 43,000 votes 115,490 to 72,262.
I was writing for a dot-com in those days called "Speakout.com." Stevens strolled into the filing center and announced, "Well, that was an old-fashioned ass-kicking" which I'm pretty sure was not what in the official talking points memo.
Many moons ago, long time Democratic strategist Bob Shrum - with whom I had been sparring on TV for some time - was similarly accused of messing up whatever campaign he was senior- advising at the time.
I called Shrum's office and told a young man to tell Mr. Shrum that if it was helpful for me to write something good about him I would do that; or, if it were more helpful for me to write something awful about him I would oblige.
A few days later the same young man called back and said, "Mr. Shrum asked me to thank you and tell you that he would be fine, but also that you were the only person in Washington who called to help."
That, I've always thought, was hyperbole, but it has made for a good story over the years.