BOSTON (CBS) – It’s been a long, hard road to get to this day, don’t you agree?

One year ago today the big campaign news was Herman Cain and his efforts to defuse a blossoming sexual harassment scandal.

Remember that? Do you even remember who Herman Cain was?

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Don’t be embarrassed if you don’t. He was just another ultimately meaningless flavor of the month in a Republican primary process that proved to be pretty meaningless itself, culminating as it did with the nomination of the man everyone expected to be the nominee before it ever began.

It was entertaining to watch Cain, Bachmann, Perry, Gingrich, and Santorum rise up and melt down, but looking back, none of it really added that much to the campaign or our understanding of Mitt Romney.

Then again, nothing that happened after Romney secured the nomination proved to be especially edifying, either.

The carpet-bombing of Romney by the Obama campaign as a profit-grubbing sleaze, happy to ruin families and ship jobs overseas turned out to be a very expensive blunder, dropping hundreds of millions of dollars on myth-making that was easily blown away by Romney in the first debate and left the president – more than his target – with a damaged public image.

I argue that there have really been only two events in this entire campaign that have had lasting meaning: the continuing doldrums of the economy, which gives people a reason to want to change presidents, and Romney’s performance in that debate, where he proved he was an acceptable alternative.

The rest of this campaign?

Just a chance for the political campaign industry to make money, and a forum for America’s partisans to do what they do best, the only thing they seem to know how to do well – hate on each other.

And one thing worries me much more than who will win tonight – how will that man handle the grim reality that the campaign to undermine them begins tomorrow?

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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