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The bad news: November's victor could be a one-term disaster.
The good news: a great president may follow him
Whoever wins on November 4 will be ascending to the job at one of the most difficult times for an American chief executive in at least half a century.
When the votes are counted his people might ruefully conclude that the victor is not Barack Obama or John McCain.
The real winner will be Hillary Clinton, or Mitt Romney, or Mike Huckabee, or some now happily anonymous figure whose star will rise in the next four turbulent years.
2008 may be the best year there has been to lose an election....
Desperate times like these actually produce both types of president, sequentially:
a one-term disaster who paves the way for a true giant.