The Permanent Campaign
If the level of media coverage for the Republican Governors Association’s annual meeting in Miami is any indication, the race for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 is well underway. With high profile contenders like Gov. Sarah Palin, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, and Florida Governor Charlie Crist all in attendance, the media will have no shortage of story lines coming out of the three-day event.
It is possible the saturation coverage we are now seeing on the future of the Republican Party and possible standard-bearers for 2012 is being driven by media outlets trying to fill a post-election void in their very popular political horse race coverage. Perhaps interest in an election that is still almost four years away will wane a bit as we approach the holidays and next January’s inauguration of Barack Obama, but I am not so sure.
Aided by 24-hour cable news and internet coverage, the idea of the permanent political campaign has now become fully ingrained in the electoral process. The Republicans mentioned above, as well as a number of other serious presidential contenders, will most likely provide the media with an informal, but continuously running campaign narrative in opposition to the incumbent president, right up until exploratory committees start forming in late 2010 and early 2011.
So, it certainly feels like the invisible primary is not so invisible anymore, and a heck of a lot longer than it once was. And, it is no surprise to me that Barack Obama is bringing David Axelrod, the chief strategist of his presidential campaign, into the White House with him. Presidents Bush and Clinton made similar accommodations with their political strategists, but the grueling campaign we have just witnessed has taken the idea of the permanent campaign to a whole new level.


Posted On: 11-12-2008 19:45:41 by Jim Splaine
Yep, a permanent campaign -- you've got that right. AND the New Hampshire First-In-The-Nation Presidential Primary will be one week ahead of any other similar event, since we have a law requiring our Secretary of State to schedule it that way. Will be interesting to see what the national parties or the other states try to do this time.

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