Ideas Matter

In an exceptional election, we focused on the themes--and the candidate--that defined it. And in the end, democracy triumphed

TIME 's 10.23.08 issue cover

Every Presidential campaign has a narrative arc. That's a fancy way of saying it has a beginning, a middle and an end. We always cover that story, and this year was no exception. In fact, in October 2006--more than two years before Election Day and four months before Barack Obama even declared he was running--we forecast the final chapter: Joe Klein's prescient cover story, "Why Barack Obama Could Be the Next President."

But in this campaign cycle, we made a special effort to explore and analyze the ideas that shaped that narrative arc. In elections, ideas matter--they are the themes that...

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