That year-long slog from the GOP primary to Election Day last November required a lot of money, according to officials at the Federal Election Commission, who told reporters today that the recent presidential election cost approximately $7 billion. That includes the money spent by candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney (who, together, spent $3.2 billion), the two major political parties, and Super PACs like Priorities USA and Restore Our Future who purchased TV ads on behalf of either candidate.

For comparison: $7 billion — for one election, in America — exceeds the GDP of Kosovo, a nation of over 1.7 million people. Still, the numbers didn't really impress the FEC:

"That's not really unusual. [Campaign expenditures are] all record breaking," FEC chairwoman Ellen Weintraub said during the panel's meeting Thursday.

Such cynicism! Weintraub also indicated that the 2012 election — the first presidential election to follow guidelines set by the landmark Supreme Court decision, Citizen United vs. Federal Election Commission — may have been the first in which SuperPACs, which don't have to disclose donor information, spent more than the official campaigns.