(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.
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(CNN) - Whatever happens Tuesday in Kentucky and Oregon, John McCain knows he won't just be running against the Democrats this fall. He will also be running against George W. Bush.
In some ways, that may be the tougher campaign.
McCain is in a tough spot. He needs to distance himself from Bush, but he needs the party faithful to know he's a reliable Republican. He has to have support from the party's conservative base, but his general election prospects could well rest with independents. He's running on experience, but he wants to represent change.
Related: Click here to read Essence Magazine's interview with Sen. McCain
(CNN) - What if I told you the cattle call of air travel is going to get worse? You’d probably believe me if you’ve traveled recently.
But you might not realize just how bad it could get because you might not know just how bad things have already gotten. The airlines are getting pounded. They’re losing tons of money. Their stock prices are down. Several have already gone belly-up.
But almost every move the airlines make to turn things around is likely to make flying more expensive, less convenient and increasingly difficult for average travelers like you and me.