Sure Obama had an abundance of help from the media (especially from CNN’s Candy Crowley during the second debate). But if Romney didn’t want to be President in the first place it certainly goes a long way in explaining his posture during the final weeks of the campaign. If you don’t want to be President there’s a good chance you’re not going to beat a guy who wants to be President more than life itself. If you don’t want to be President then you certainly won’t be prepared to “kill” for it. Obama was prepared to “kill Romney”; Romney wasn’t prepared to “kill Obama.” That Romney now says it kills him not to be in the White House is a day late and at least $1 trillion short.

Yet all of this is not to castigate Romney. What’s done is done. Rather, this is a cautionary note to Republicans aspirants for 2016. Any Republican who makes a bid for the White House had better be damn sure that this is what he or she wants and wants it more than life itself. Because any Republican that does will have to accept everything that comes with it, up to and including being called a cheat, a felon, a murderer — and spend at least $1 billion for the trouble. The Republican nominee in 2016 will also probably be facing Hillary Clinton. Like Barack Obama, Hillary wants to be President more than life itself and plays for keeps. The fact that Hillary was denied her place in the White House by Obama in 2008 makes her all the hungrier to be President. There will be a huge target on the back of the Republican nominee in 2016. Whoever Republicans nominate had better be prepared to place a bigger target on Hillary’s back. Otherwise, in four years time, we will have yet another Republican telling us it kills them not to be in the White House.