election:

Too much news, too few magazine covers.

So TIME is launching three separate covers for its last issue before the election, on the Hurricane, Obama and Romney. Instagram is also involved. Boss Rick Stengel explains:

In the storm-ravaged Northeast, our cover spotlights our Hurricane Sandy story with a dramatic image captured for Time by photographer Benjamin Lowy using Instagram. The rest of the country—about two-thirds of our readers—will see covers with a Venn diagram for our election special…. one has the case for Romney on top; the other has the case for Obama on top.

The essays making the case for each nominee are by E.J. Dionne, the author and liberal Washington Post columnist, and Rich Lowry, the author and editor of the conservative National Review. Lowry’s closing argument strikes some petty notes (calling Obama “high handed,” contemptuous of opposing political views and displaying “shocking classlessness”) while Dionne makes a historical case for the gulf between the parties today (arguing Romney’s plans are “more suited to the Gilded Age” while Obama’s belief in a safety net harkens to the Progressive Era”).

For bonus points, satirist Joel Stein adds his take on Gary Johnson.