(CNN) - It's over. Hard to believe - since this presidential campaign has been going on in one form or another for something like two years. It's a campaign that has been wrapped in fear, vulnerability and stark emotion. Now we're just waiting for a winner.
The keep-us-awake warnings have been relentless. Whoever wins will inherit the worst financial mess since the Great Depression. Maybe a trillion dollar deficit. Close to 50 million uninsured. Boomers barreling along toward retirement. A shrinking economy and a global recession that could take years to turn around. A mortgage and housing mess that have yet to bottom out.
Toss in the usual foreign migraines - Osama bin Laden, China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, climate change - and it's a wonder anyone gets out of bed in the morning.
Yes, it's ugly out there. And Americans are scared. Polls show that nearly 9 in 10 think the country's going in the wrong direction. Our president's approval rating is just 28 percent. If is tired of hearing everyone moan about his legacy, he should just change the channel. Buy another baseball team. Or invest in a really nice timeshare in, say, Argentina. Most Americans consider his presidency a failure.
But let's not confuse challenging (okay, really challenging) with cataclysmic. I'm not turning a blind eye to the problems, or hiding behind rose-colored glasses. I'm just looking for a little context here - what these times are not.