Endgame: the late stages of an activity, when previously gained advantages are played out, and few surprises remain.  In chess, it is often marked by an emptier board, as many of the more powerful pieces have been eliminated.

I saw something that made me realize we have reached the endgame.

I am an occasional wargamer.   On the computer, on tabletops, with cardboard and pewter, but most often while wearing medieval armor and swinging swords of rattan wrapped in duct tape.

I am an active member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, a medieval history organization where many of the arts of the period are practiced, including the arts of war.  We fight based on a code of honor, with a physical intensity comparable to football.  A stout blow to the head or body renders the recipient “dead”, for the duration of that battle.

At our largest war, we can have more than 2000 armored warriors on a side.  Once, I had the privilege to serve as general for our army.  I received much good advice from those who had led the army in the past.  The most important lesson I learned was this:  When you have reserve troops and your opponent does not, you are 90% of the way to winning.  Thus, a big part of your job is to make your opponent commit their reserves more quickly.

So how does this apply to the presidential race?

The 47% tape was yet another crushing blow on the Romney campaign.  They have tried to finesse it as “no big thing”, but the ongoing attention of the media has helped convince them that they must get the discussion off of Mitt’s misspeaking in May.  
So what was their response?  A lame, 14 year old tape with the word “redistribution”.  That’s all they’ve got?   They are desperate to change the subject, and this is the biggest “October surprise” that they can manage?   Friends, the opponent has committed his final reserves and has nothing left.  If they had anything more, they would have used it.

We have reached endgame.

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