Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 10:51:48 AM PST
It seems the more longshot the race, the earlier a candidate throws his or her hat into the ring. Vilsack started things off. Now that we're in the holiday season, most will wait until January. Obama will likely wait a few months more since really, what's the hurry? He's got the fawning press all over him already. He might as well wait until that sort of peters out, announce, then recapture the media spotlight.
It was clear that Hillary wanted to 1) wait a while to announce (she'll have a bullseye on her when she does), and 2) skip Iowa. Now, with Obama in the race, she can't do either. People aren't chattering about Hillary anymore. They're chattering about Obama. So she has to announce and hope to steal some of that thunder. And given that Obamamania isn't dying down, she'll have to do that sooner rather than later. And with Obama in position to deal a knockout blow in Iowa, she'll have to compete there as well.
So Obama will be in position to squelch the Clinton media rollout with his own. It would be the sort of Machiavellian move that would signal his willingness to play tough politics.
Which brings us to Gore.