Christmas in August

Every media mention of the B-list political celebrities of America seems to be made with one eye on the magic year 2012. Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Bobby Jindal – heck, Ron Paul can barely escape appearing in the news cycle without having this cash-raising juggernaut or that groundbreaking piece of legislation appended with some commentary about “what it means” – “what it means for 2012.” “What it means for the Republican primary.” “What it means for the future of American politics.”

Many politicians and party superstars are unabashed about their presidential aspirations. Many of them don’t treat exploratory committees, massive polling efforts and careful issue positioning like the dirty little secrets of politics, such as they are often regarded. But consider today’s Politics Wire bit about a CNN poll of potential 2012 contenders. For those of us allergic to CNN don’t worry, the poll wasn’t the good part. The good part was the reaction of the Romney camp to finding out it was the moment’s king of the pile.

Romney confidant Kevin Madden: “2012 horserace polls are like pre-season football: Fun to watch for a few minutes until you realize they don’t matter.”

What is this poll possibly capable of indicating? Have Romney, or Gingrich or Palin actually been competing for these numbers at this point? I haven’t seen any Gingrich For President ads yet (except possibly from his ex-wife, accidentally). Yes, it should be understood that the true professional politician is always in campaign mode, but consider this: in the week leading up to the poll, Romney has had much fewer press mentions than the other candidates.

Seems like flailing media companies like CNN could be spending their money better than by farming out irrelevant Presidential straw polls, no?


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