It was as poignant a moment as we've seen in years: Addressing the world after the horrific tragedy in Newtown, CTPresident Barack Obama broke down in tears, live on camera. In that instance, he looked like less of an otherworldly authority figure and more like any one of us, people so emotionally devastated by the Newtown event that all we can do is sob.

Sadly, in four years, somebody else will step into the White House and try to follow in Obama's footsteps. There are plenty of capable, intelligent, and promising politicians in both the Democratic and Republican parties, and there's every reason to hope that 2016 will introduce us to the next great American leader. But there's also the possibility of another Mitt Romney, or, gasp, Sarah Palin somehow sneaking into the big seat. Not even the Mayans could have prepared for that.