Until McCain's selection of Palin I didn't think the 2008 presidential elections could get even more fun and exciting, but man, I was wrong! Even aside from the strong possibility of a Republican victory in November, this election season has been hands-down the most entertaining, fascinating, and brilliant that I can remember. That said, here's my recollection of past elections -- straight from my probably-faulty memory.
1988: I have a vague memory of seeing Dukakis in a tank, but my most vivid recollection is of a joke: Don't park your Bentson under a Bush or Quayle might Dukakis on it. This was the height of comedy for a politically engaged 10-year-old.
1992: I was completely shocked that Bill Clinton was able to defeat Bush the Elder, and even as I watch the results on election night I was sure that somehow whatever mistakes had been made would be rectified by morning. I mean, c'mon, Bush had just won a wildly popular war! I don't remember thinking about the breakage of "read my lips, no new taxes" at the time.
1996: I seriously thought Dole could win, but by about a month before the election I knew he wouldn't. Pretty boring election season. I remember liking Kemp as Dole's running mate, but now I don't know why. I also remember thinking that Dole's experience as a ski trooper made me think of James Bond, and that Dole should have been given more acclaim for that, because it was awesome.
2000: I never thought Gore had a chance. I really liked George W. Bush in 2000, and I was excited to vote for him. Al Gore was a robot, and I knew people were sick of Clinton and the Democrats.
2004: Howard Dean was amusing, but the election season was otherwise pretty boring. Bush cruised to victory once Kerry was nominated.
2008: The. Best. Ever. I wasn't excited about McCain or any of the other Republican prospects until Palin came on the scene. Now it's fair to say that I'm "energized".