THEY ALWAYS LOOK BETTER AT A DISTANCE

THE DULL, HOMELY CAMPAIGN '96 MAY SEEM A LOT MORE SATISFYING A FEW YEARS FROM NOW

Ladies and gentlemen, let me ask those of you up front to move back so that everyone can see and hear, for I am about to perform a time-honored healing ritual of political journalists. With the able assistance of a corps of researchers, I shall produce a cornucopia of quotations bemoaning the state of our candidates and the campaign, only to reveal that--tah-dahhh!--these comments were about past political campaigns. Ready?

"The indifference of the public seems as marked as the excitement of the professionals seems feigned." That was from the campaign of 1880.

The candidate is "a highly impressionable person without...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!