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News Link • Political Theory

2008? 2012 is so 2000-and-late


Talk to just about any political reporters, and they’ll tell you 2008 was the greatest presidential race they ever covered.

It was also the longest. By this point in 2007, the major national newspapers and newswires had already assigned reporters to the leading candidates – something that largely hasn’t happened yet this time around.

While no one expects a campaign with an incumbent president to match the intensity of 2008’s wide open field, even seasoned pros are surprised by how long it has taken for the Republican field to take shape and for the media to become fully engaged in covering the campaign.

“If you had asked me six months ago where we would be right now, I think I probably would have said that we would have a bigger and more dynamic field, a more engaged campaign, and debates, and a relatively full cast of candidate reporters out there following the kind of day-to-day activities of a presidential race,” said Richard Stevenson, political editor of the New York Times. “And clearly, this year, things have been very slow to jell.”

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