In the ever hastening race to start American presidential elections even earlier (who thinks George P. Bush will be throwing his hat in the ring in '12? Chelsea, anyone? DeTocq is busy scouting his friends' kids' pre-school classes for '36 candidates, by the way), it's no stretch to say that the American voting public has already been subjected to an onslaught of Presidential media attention.
How's this for the WHY: Everyone, save a few hardcore Evangelicals in Mobile, are dying for this term to be over. Just dying for it. The media might have finally run out of goofy Bushisms and is so sick of Iraq that they're out looking for the next story.
The benefit (silver lining?) is that it just might bounce a few of the jokesters out early. Take this guy with the perfect hair and goofy boxershorts -- Mitt Romney. Ruth Marcus does a nice piece in the Post (here) , where she paints a picture of a man who seems more concerned with winning the Presidency than actually standing for a conviction or two. Abortion is a tricky subject, but Romney walks the tightrope so carefully that it's transparent. What's wrong with standing to be judged?
When politicians, as the Mittster does in this article, are over 50 years old and use terms like "evolved" on a core issue relating to their moral character, 95% of the time it means "changed to make me more electable." With the obnoxiously early start of the election, journalists have just that much more time to pour over records and transcripts and bounce some of the hair-and-smile-but-no-substance guys BEFORE they raise enough money to be serious contenders.
UPDATE: On 27 February, Slate.com does a good article which supports the post above and and explains why Romney's so easily willing to flip flop: he's the consumate CEO who will alter his position at the drop of a hat to push his product. But there's the rub: people vote for Presidents because they want count on their officials to maintain the same point of view both before and after an election, not because said official is deft at altering his opinion to please the constituent, donor, or policy maker of the day. Good thing Romney is polling at 7 percent right now, let's stick a fork in him.