Nearly four years ago (2/10/07), then-Senator Barack Obama formally entered the 2008 presidential race. With about a year to go until the 2008 primary season started, he needed the time to build grassroots support, raise money and show that he could hold his own against the heavyweights of his party (Clinton, et. al.). Historically, the February of the year before a presidential election is an early date to enter the contest. However, in the modern American political system, it takes a lot of money to mount a credible campaign (which takes time to raise); primaries are also being scheduled earlier and earlier, shortening the time to organize. This dictates beginning early.
By modern standards, the Republican field of contenders for the 2012 presidential contest is shaping up slowly. By this point in the last presidential cycle, 8 candidates had already entered the race on the Republican side alone (3 of whom declared in the last quarter of 2006); 8 Democrats had also declared their candidacies. Heck, by this point in that cycle, one candidate had already dropped out of the race. Perhaps Republicans considering a 2012 run are waiting to see how events unfold over the next few weeks and months before they announce. While President Obama seems vulnerable to some at this point, a lot can change between now and November 2012. As they say, a week is like a lifetime in politics. Becoming president is an arduous task worthy of serious consideration. For some of the would-be candidates, 2012 will likely be their last shot; others can bide their time until 2016 or beyond.
Honestly, I don’t think it would be a bad thing if the primary season returned to a time closer to the actual election. Several ideas have been put forth by both parties to do that, but each state can do whatever it wants, so it is a hard process to control. But just think, if I had lived a few decades ago, I wouldn’t be writing this article for probably another 8 or 9 months. But then again, the internet wouldn’t have been around, so I probably wouldn’t be writing this at all.
This seems like a good point to let you know that I’m working on a new section: 2012 Contenders. I’ll use it to list the candidates that I think have a chance for the Republican nomination to challenge Obama. I plan to give a brief outline of the candidate including his/her background, political resume and what I perceive as their strengths and weaknesses. I hope to have the section up and coming in the next couple of weeks. Maybe by then, someone will be in the race (besides Herman Cain, who I don’t think is a real contender). Let me know what you think. Join the Discourse!