Gong!

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, arrive to watch Prince William as he takes part in The Sovereigns Parade at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on Friday, Dec. 15, 2006. There were 446 Officer Cadets in the parade, of which 227 graduated and 14 different countries armed forces were represented.
Getty Images/Julian Herbert
With the day of reckoning at hand in the "most-watched Senate race ever," those who've actually watched it count the hours until it's over.

Truth is, Hillary Clinton's unprecedented run office has been a dud.

The first lady and her Republican opponent, Long Island Congressman Rick Lazio, have run cautious, plodding races. Their dialogue has degenerated, especially in this last week, into pandering for Jewish votes — that’s about 12 percent of New York’s voters — as both sides have exploited the deadly bombing of the USS Cole to create doubt about their opponent’s commitment to Israel.

In the beginning, New York reporters had salivated in anticipation of a Clash of the Titans between Clinton and New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was fixing to run as the Republican nominee. But Giuliani’s simultaneous health crisis and marital meltdown took him out of the running last May.

Enter Lazio, a regular guy who seems shrimpy next to Clinton despite his eight years of service on Capitol Hill.

Lazio spent several weeks running simply as the Anti-Hillary, tapping into that deep well of animus both in New York City and the hinterlands, where money-raising outfits like the Emergency Committee to Stop Hillary Rodham Clinton flourished.

The race’s first, maybe only, dramatic spike was the "soft money" challenge. The formerly "scrappy" Lazio graduated to bully by invading Clinton’s personal space in their first televised debate and badgering her to go on a strict diet of “hard” money, the kind donated directly to one’s campaign, and swear off all money from outside sources.

Both campaigns scrambled for the moral high ground on the issue—which didn’t catch on in New York quite the way it did for John McCain in New Hampshire.

A tentative deal was struck. But just days later the Lazio campaign fouled up by running a television spot bankrolled by the state GOP, giving the Clinton team the opportunity to say Lazio broke the deal.

In fact, throughout the campaign, the New York State Republican Party provided more hot sauce than the two candidates put together. From sexist fundraising letters that called Clinton an "angry, scheming, distant, power-hungry" woman, to phone calls that caused Clinton’s bad Muslim money story to boomerang on Lazio, the Albany GOP nasties were always good for at least a little color.

In other ads, Hillary brought out the big Jewish guns, former New York Mayor Ed Koch, who said "stop with the sleaze already," and Joe Lieberman, who called Clinton "a strong and consistent supporter of Israel."