The message: Much is at stake, America can and do "bigger and better," our best days lie ahead, and we're serious about the challenges we face, but remain cheerful and excited to tackle them. Join us:
On the other side of the ledger is Barack Obama, who's closing on "revenge" while accusing Romney of fear-mongering. Even David Brooks -- the Obamaphile center-right New York Times columnist -- laments that the incumbent's re-election effort has been staggeringly bitter:
Four years ago, Obama went to the White House with a Team of Rivals — big figures with big voices. Now the circle of trust is much smaller and political. The mood has contracted. The atmosphere of expansive hope has often given way to a mood of aggrieved annoyance. He seems cagier, more hemmed in by the perceived limitations of his office. The man who ran on hope four years ago is now running one of the most negative campaigns in history, aimed at disqualifying his opponent. Most of all, the vision has contracted.
This is one of the consequential undercurrents of the election. If Obama prevails, it will send a message that a failed incumbent can run an almost exclusively slash-and-burn campaign, offer no real solutions or big ideas for a second term...and win. What a dreadful precedent that would set. Chalk it up to reason number 4,562 to toss him out of office tomorrow.