--Obama never went negative enough for the media to charge him (as the Clinton campaign desperately wanted) with abandoning his "politics of hope"

--Hillary didn't go as negative as it briefly seemed she might after that ominous "no surprises" presser

--No private-behavior scandals hit the MSM

--No one publicly lost their temper or made a catastrophic gaffe

--No Clinton staff shake-up (winter)

--No Obama staff shake-up (fall) 

--Neither John Kerry nor Ted Kennedy endorsed

Photo: Highway I-80 somewhere east of Des Moines, Jan. 1. 

--Michael Crowley