We often talk around these parts about the frontloading of presidential primaries and caucuses, but the candidates do it too. I can't think of anything happening earlier in a given presidential cycle since Michigan and Arizona held first step caucuses in 1986 with 1988's GOP nomination in mind. This pre-dates even those moves. Look, neither Pawlenty nor the video say anything about 2012. However, this is an introduction. This is an action taken with something higher than merely fundraising for congressional and gubernatorial candidates as impetus. Normally, I'd shrug something like this off; especially given that it is happening during the usually (media) dead months of summer. This is the time of Gary Condit and shark attacks, not subtle presidential introductions. Yet, this is clever. It has been timed to make a splash but to do so so as to not overlap with the most intense part of the midterm election campaign. It is also timed to get someone who had less name recognition than the balloon boy to get his name out there before an actual announcement that could get lost amongst the bigger names early next year when the expected announcements will likely come.
There's a long way to go until 2012, and this may all be for naught. At the very least, though, it has given those of us who follow such things, something to talk about.
Speaking of Pawlenty, FHQ will have a 2012 trial heat poll update for him later.