1. Obama killed a Tim Pawlenty/bin Laden joke in his White House Correspondents Dinner speech.
2. Romney ran a Mad Men campaign.
3. Applicants had to go through an insanely rigorous process to get on Obama's big data team.
4. Michelle Obama dished to the "Latina Oprah" — telling her in an unaired segment that she was through having kids.
5. Obama had a socially conscious bartender on his side.
6. Obama got lucky on the margin of error in the monthly jobs report.
7. Obama cold-cocked Romney on Benghazi.
8. Al Sharpton helped make voter suppression a civil rights issue and drive up African-American turnout.
9. Chicago mastered Facebook.
10. Obama crushed Romney on the ground.
Jonathan Alter's book on the 2012 election, The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies, goes on sale June 4.
Alter is also the author of the New York Times best-selling book on President Obama The Promise: President Obama, Year One (2010). He has written a column for Bloomberg View since 2011, and was previously a senior editor and columnist at Newsweek.
Follow him here on Twitter.