As we have discussed before, someone - and I tried to find the source of the quote, but couldn't - said that "four years ago Barack Obama was on a crusade; this year he's in a campaign."
Obama won the crusade, but Mitt Romney will win this campaign.
I know … I know. The polls are close. The national polls are tied; the state polls tilt toward Barack Obama.
I know all that.
But, Romney will win.
As we have discussed for the past 127 years since this campaign began, the Obamas could not abide having the election be a referendum on his first term, so he has authorized (as the disclaimers on his ads have told us) maybe a half billion dollars in spending on destroying the character of Mitt Romney.
I can't remember a single positive ad from Obama's campaign. There have been some, I'm sure, but the overwhelming weight of personal, hateful ads about Romney are what stick in my mind.
They didn't work. I voted for Romney before I left for Ukraine.
You know all the data points:
-- Unemployment (pending this morning's report) is still way higher than we were promised.
-- The national debt is still way higher than we were promised.
-- The big banks are still thumbing their noses at all of use, in spite of what we were promised.
-- We are still spending about a billion dollars a day importing foreign oil while Obama and his Energy Secretary chased a multi-billion dollar rainbow of alternative fuels that has turned into a multi-billion dollar nightmare of failed companies and tax dollars funneled to political pals.
-- Our standing in the world - if the Middle East and North Africa are any indication - is lower than it was under George W notwithstanding Barack Obama's promise that the reaching out of his hand of friendship would be greeted with shouts of joy and smiles of welcome.
-- Trying to dodge Benghazi until after next Tuesday doesn't change the emerging facts. Our inability to steer events in Syria only serves to further erode our influence in the region and around the world.
Four years ago the nation rushed headlong to elect a Black man who appeared to be ready to change the tone and timbre of politics in America. In spite of my support for John McCain, I thought that Obama's election marked a positive turning point in American history.
But, along with millions of others, I have been disappointed - bitterly disappointed - in Obama's performance.
Obama's Presidency has been brutally doctrinaire in domestic policy, and deadly ineffective in foreign policy.
Obama's relationship with Capitol Hill has ranged all the way from dislike on one end of the scale to disdain on the other.
He railroaded his signature legislation - Obamacare - through the Congress costing his party 60+ seats in the 2010 mid-term election and guaranteeing GOP control of the House for the foreseeable future.
Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will go down in history as enablers of the sacrifice of Obama's Congressional allies on the alter of his enormous ego.
On the other side, Mitt Romney has been far from the perfect candidate. From the week leading up to his convention in Tampa until the first debate - about five weeks - the Romney campaign never spent an entire day on message.
But his senior staff is nothing if not patient. Throughout the primaries, during the summer, and through the Fall, they have avoided engaging in the day-to-day Twitter wars. While Stephanie Cutter and David Axelrod have been everywhere, all the time on behalf of Obama; the Romney campaign has put its collective head down and plowed ahead.
I will not be surprised if the Obama campaign doesn't pivot to a wall-to-wall fear campaign in an effort to energize the minority vote on Tuesday. If he does, I will be interested to see how the popular press covers it.
The Romney campaign has prepared for the end game and over the next five days will show that their ground game strategy and tactics were better than the Obama campaign's.
The tide of history is running against Barack Obama and, as the English King Canute said in about 1016 when he proved even with all his power he could not hold back the tide:
"Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings, for there is none worthy of the name, but He whom heaven, earth, and sea obey by eternal laws."
I don't know if "eternal laws" are involved here, but I do know that holding back the tide is an impossibility.
Romney will win.
Asymmetrical Politics: Republicans Act Like an Unruly Mob, Democrats Like a Regimented Army | Michael Barone