This Political Addict Needs Detox

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A confession: I am a complete political junkie. I love this stuff. The campaign trail, the candidates, their policies (yes, their policies), their foibles, their interaction with voters, the whole thing. So count me addicted.

But here's something I don't like: a campaign that is in full swing 21 months before the 2008 election. Maybe it's because cable TV needs something to cover besides Anna Nicole Smith and Britney Spears's latest hairdo. But it's probably because the candidates–like the rest of us–have become obsessive about keeping in touch and themselves, particularly in the most wide-open contest in decades.

But there is something else going on here, and it accounts for all of the early fundraising (Barack Obama hits up Hollywood tonight!). The entire nature of retail campaigning (as in Iowa and New Hampshire) could quickly dissolve into a national one-day primary election with big states like California, New Jersey, Illinois, Florida, and maybe even New York getting into the act in early February. That means Super Tuesday, as we junkies know it, becomes Super Duper Tuesday–decided on a wholesale level that we've never seen before. So money and being well known will help. Really help.

There could also be another outcome to this early campaign: The candidates will get fried early on, and that's a problem. How can anyone keep up this pace–particularly when you have another job (as in a Senate seat)? Anyway, there's a debate tomorrow in Nevada–with all Democrats except Obama. I guess I'll be watching.

Will you?