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Campaigns, caucuses, smear ads and stump speeches. The Times Square ball that drops on presidential election years might as well be a gauntlet, thrown down before not only the hopeful candidates but before an expectant nation searching for—depending on your brand of fervor—either the best person for the job or the next great Hope. What’s different about 2012, though, is that “the next great Hope” is an incumbent (remember the Obama “Hope” posters?) whose path toward another term is strewn not with palm branches as in 2008 but with four years’ mixed reviews.
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Office of University Communications, "The Primary Puzzle – What Difference will N.C. Make?" (2012). Gardner-Webb NewsCenter Archive. 1943.