With 42 days to go before the 2012 presidential election, the Shorenstein Center welcomed Alex Castellanos, a Republican political media consultant, to share his perspective on the Obama and Romney campaigns.

Castellanos described the map of this election as a bell curve: In contrast with other election seasons when “we always thought our children would have it better than we have it…now we think our best days are behind us.” While Americans don’t quite see the country as in decline yet, he said, “we’re just over the hump of the curve, and we see decline ahead.”

A presidential election amid this mindset, Castellanos said, is “big,” with so much at stake. “You would think this election would be about renewal, about how to take the country to a better place,” he said. Yet instead of corresponding “big” campaigns and forward-looking agendas, both the Obama and Romney camps are running “small” campaigns, Castellanos said.

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