The big campaign news this morning has little to do with what is happening around the country in two weeks, rather, what might happen in two years.
Sen. Barack Obama — he of less than two years experience in the Senate, a couple of foreign junkets, and a couple of books, oh, and some time in the Illinois legislature, don’t forget — was less than coy with Tim Russert on yesterday’s “Meet the Press” about a run for the presidency in 2008.
Obama’s potential run was given a lift when former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner dropped out of the race, at least for now. So is Obama running or not?
We’re hearing from insiders that Obama has at least made some commitments to dip his toe in the water for the 2008 nomination, perhaps not in a full scale campaign, but with something a little less. That said, we’re told that more than a month ago, Obama and some key advisers met with pollsters, media consultants and some of his longtime financial backers to discuss a potential run, and the message was clear: “He’s going to be doing something, but just how much of a serious, national operation is yet to be seen,” says someone familiar with Obama’s conversations. “The conversation seemed to focus on needing the resources to mount a credible Iowa and New Hampshire operation, with enough flexibility to move on from there or not.
In the past, Obama and his Senate team have pointedly said that despite his rock star image within the media and the Democrat Party, Obama felt he needed the full six years in the Senate and extensive foreign policy experience to pull off a presidential bid. To date, Obama has done little of substance in Washington, beyond speechify and pose for photos.