In my reviewing the 2008 election, I saw it as a foregone conclusion. President Obama had been running for the office for over four years and was specifically groomed for the office. Anyone who doubts that should only go back to his 2004 speech at the DNC. He wrote books to carefully lay out his views and everything he did in the Senate was to head him in that direction.
It was a candidate who could not lose. He was in the party that could not lose. The political and economic wind was blowing at the Democrats' back and in the Republicans' face. The war in Iraq and to a lesser degree in Afghanistan made the Democratic candidate an almost foregone conclusion.
And he was pitted against a candidate who could not win. Sen McCain was not a strong candidate. He admitted openly that he was not an expert in the economy and was more interested in debating than deciding.
Now it's 2012 (well, will be soon). I just heard an interview on WLFJ 660 AM with Michelle Bachmann and I am impressed. (I'm hoping to find the interview on their archives and will post a link here if I find it). Her answer during the debate to the "submit" question was amazing. I've also posted recently about Gov Perry's approach to solving school problems.
It's still early, but it seems to me that the Republicans have a much stronger group of candidates than they did in 2008. Will this be a different election?