“And like everyone who’s had enough, he wants more.”–Alexander Knox, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” (1979)

As these words are written, millions of Americans are preparing to go to the polls Nov. 6 to vote in the presidential election. As these words are read, the winner is known. And it wasn’t about “voting for revenge,” as President Barack Hussein Obama said last weekend.

For better or worse, Obama or Mitt Romney will lead our nation the next four years. Theirs was a duel for the ages, punctuated by pride and prevarication, passion and put-downs, platitudes and petulance, partisanship and provocation, prudence and patriotism.

Did Hurricane Sandy suppress voter turnout? Was it divine intervention for Obama–giving him photo ops in devastated New Jersey as Romney canceled campaign events?

Regardless of the final vote, byplay between the candidates and their supporters went from bad to worse. Personal attacks against Romney by Obama’s campaign were vicious.

One of the most vile examples was uttered last Friday night on national TV by HBO’s Bill Maher. To wit: “If you’re thinking of voting for Mitt Romney, Black people know who you are and they will come after you.” You heard right. That’s really what he said.

And despite the low road taken in TV ads by both sides, Obama’s eloquence attracted millions of white voters–just as in 2008, when he also got 95 percent of the Black vote. Yet, free speech works both ways. For example, U.S. Rep. Tim Scott of South Carolina–a Black conservative–said this during this year’s Republican National Convention: “The only thing I care about hope and change is hope to defeat Obama so we can change America for the better.” And he ended with this zinger: “Let me close by giving President Obama a heartfelt message from the people of South Carolina: ‘Hit the road, Jack, and doncha’ come back no more, no more, no more, no more.’”

Among the campaign’s lowlights were several major verbal gaffes by Obama and at least a dozen by Vice President Joe Biden. Following are a few of the most egregious.

Last Saturday in Ohio, Obama arrogantly told supporters that “voting is the best revenge.” In an October interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Obama called Romney a “bullsh–er.” And he once said he’s “traveled to all 57 states,” and on another occasion, he three times called a Navy corpsman a “corpse-man”–with a hard “p” like a dead body.

Obama’s most quoted gaffe was on July 13, when he dissed small business people with this incredible comment: “If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that–somebody else made that happen.”

In August, Biden told a mainly Black audience that Romney wants to undo Wall Street reforms, and in a contrived Southern accent said, “They gon’ put y’all back in chains.” Ugh!

In late October, Biden asked the father of Navy SEAL hero Tyrone Woods, who was killed in the terrorist attack in Benghazi, “Did your son always have balls the size of cue balls?” Whoa!

In Ohio, Biden said, “It’s good to be here in Iowa.” And in Virginia last week, Biden three times called U.S. Senate candidate “Tom Kaine,” instead of Tim Kaine.

In the final debate, Romney was leading the polls, played it safe and let Obama off the hook for his botched handling and ongoing cover-up of the terrorist murders in Libya of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans on the Sept. 11 anniversary. He took the high ground and looked presidential by stressing Obama’s terrible economy.

On the other hand, Obama was harsh, mocking, disrespectful and condescending while trying to paint his opponent as out of touch. In response, Romney’s best line was: “Mr. President, attacking me doesn’t make an agenda.”

And Obama–with no military service–said this to Romney: “You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.”

Obama apparently is unaware that bayonets remain a fixture of Army and Marine infantry troops for close combat, and that a submarine is a boat, not a ship. Uh-huh.

In the second debate, CNN’s liberal moderator Candy Crowley gave four minutes more to Obama and kept interrupting Romney. She also backed up Obama’s blatant lie about calling the Sept. 11 embassy attack in Libya terrorism when he spoke on Sept. 12.

In full cover-up mode, Obama said “no acts of terror” in general–not specifying the terrorists killing Americans in Benghazi. After the debate, Crowley admitted she goofed. Democrats Pat Cadell, a former Jimmy Carter pollster, and Doug Schoen, a former Bill Clinton pollster, both condemned Crowley’s favoritism for Obama. It was shameless.

In the first debate, Obama laid a giant egg. He rambled, stammered and was clearly flustered without teleprompters. His pathetic performance recalled Clint Eastwood’s empty chair at the GOP convention. Romney looked him in the eye, Obama looked down.

Romney’s commanding performance was concise, specific, confident, forceful and projected strength. Obama spouted platitudes–clearly not used to being challenged after being coddled by a fawning liberal news media that asks him only softball questions.

Bottom line: Whether you’re a Democrat, Republican or independent, America-at-large was the real winner in this election–which is what our country is all about. This is, indeed, the land of the free and the home of the brave. And that’s the name of that tune.