Sad/Wonderful/Inevitable truth: It is happening again.
Mike Allen gets to the bottom of some rumors that have been floating around in recent days, tid bits from ongoing discussions that are not yet finalized: Barack Obama is preparing to relaunch his campaign machine in early 2011, when Republicans like Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty are likely to come out swinging. (My own line has Sarah Palin as more of a long shot than many think–if only I could buy a credit default swap–now that she has been wrapped up in Roger Ailes web. The dark horse: John Thune, whose talents and limits a few Obamaites, including Dan Pfeiffer, know well. With Mike Huckabee talking healthy eats with the first lady, Rick Santorum, meanwhile, is studying the Sam Brownback playbook in Iowa, as Luke Skywalker to Emperor Romney, which could make for another exciting straw poll.)
The Obama White House has already shifted its attention to the midterms, but that means the reelect, which is still not a drop dead certainty, is not far behind. Jim Messina, who has proven himself an unflappable organization man in the White House, is being floated as campaign manager–a position he is now pressured to seek with his name in print. David Plouffe plays a bigger role. Anita Dunn remains in orbit. David Axelrod can finally give up the Beltway ghost and return to his windy city family, telecommuting the vision.
Allen lays out the details, which track, with all the requisite anonymous sourcing here.
But before we all start handicapping the horses, let us not lose focus on the fact that the election that matters now is months, not years away. Republicans have not yet convinced the handicappers, but it is still possible for them to pick up the house or senate, or both. And the governors races don’t look so hot for Democrats either.