Early 2008 Coverage Has A Silver Lining
Since I was in travel mode yesterday, Atrios beat me to the punch. Yes, it is way too early to have this much coverage on the 2008 presidential campaign, but the silver lining is this: the media is spending all its time talking about the Democrats. It's as if the GOP does not exist, and is truly a minority party on the way to oblivion.
All the media buzz is focused on the Democratic side of the race. It's as if the GOP candidates are an afterthought at this point. Does anyone really give a damn about anything the top three GOP candidates say? Sure, this creates a need for bloggers and others to keep the media focused on what is wrong with McCain, Romney, and Giuliani, but I for one do not think it is a bad thing that the majority of the media's attention at this point is spent on Obama, Hillary, and Edwards. Every month that goes by with the three of them being talked about as the possible next president and as agents of change or a new direction is one more nail in the coffin of any GOP candidate looking like Bush redux.
Once the narrative is established that any of the top three are credible as leaders, and that the second tier of Democrats are highly-qualified as well, it will be that much harder to sell independents on four more years of GOP rule, especially when such a large number of them according to the latest Gallup poll want American forces out of Iraq by the time the next president takes office. This poll, which had an abnormally large number of independents in its sample (41%), indicated that 63% of the public wants Congress to set a timetable for the withdrawal of all American troops by the end of 2008. The public accepts that Iraq is Bush's war, and wants Bush to end it before he leaves town. They also nailed the GOP for stopping the debate last week on Iraq, so it would seem that Iraq is surely the albatross around the GOP's neck in 2008.
Another poll shows that any GOP candidate who sides with Bush on the surge and doesn't commit to getting all troops out of Iraq by the end of 2008 will pay a price, especially at a time when Democrats are all talking about getting the country out of the war. The latest CBS News Poll shows that 63% are opposed to the surge, but resigned to see if it can work for at least six months before chucking the whole enterprise and demanding we end it. Each and every month that the Democratic candidates talk about Iraq as Bush and the GOP's war, and mistake, and demand that Bush deal with it before he leaves office is another month that the GOP has to oppose the idea and be more marginalized with the voters for 2008. And grabbing and holding the media spotlight as the months go by towards 2008, talking about the Number One issue from a position that is favored by the voters 2-1 is a good thing for the Democrats.