Joe Biden and Paul Ryan were the Capitol Hill veterans known for friendly relations - sometimes even working relations - across the aisle. Mitt Romney was the competent pragmatist who turned around the 2002 Olympics and enacted health coverage for almost everyone in Massachusetts. Barack Obama was the youthful symbol of hope and change.
Where are these people and will we ever see them again?
The latest exchange of Campaign 2012 - Romney calling Obama a desperate, angry candidate running a reckless, hate-filled campaign, and Obama's team responding by calling Romney "unhinged" - was the most ferocious so far. This is not a campaign destined to enhance reputations. The only question is how much wreckage it leaves behind.