Will historians remember 2012 contest?

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For sheer intensity and outsize characters, for a sense of history being made as it unfolded, the 2012 election has paled before the 2008 presidential race. However gratifying or dispiriting the possibility of winning or losing might be to partisans on both sides, this campaign has struggled, so far at least, to avoid feeling like a bitter anticlimax.

But maybe we should all take another look, because 2012 is shaping up in many ways to be more important to the direction of the country than 2008 was.

Unlike the last race, when both candidates competed for the center and the differences between the parties often seemed bridgeable, this campaign is asking voters to choose between starkly different paths.

Will the Keynesian principles that have guided economic policy for generations be affirmed or replaced by a belief that smaller government will make room for a more vibrant private sector?

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