Nevada Democrats are launching an early strike against the man they may face in next year's gubernatorial race...... Republican Congressman Jim Gibbons.
One consequence of our polarized society with talk radio, TV pundits and 24/7 news cycles may be a continuous campaign cycle. We saw it happen early and often in the last presidential campaign. We're apparently going to see it again.
The Nevada political landscape has changed. Time was at this point on the calendar political parties, especially the Democrats, would be in deep post election hibernation with the alarm clock set for next spring. No more. Next year's gubernatorial campaign is apparently underway. Local Democratic leaders today unveiled a billboard questioning Gibbons recent suggestions that Americans who don't support the Iraq War would make good human shields there. It's a pre-emptive strike and a very early one.
Nevada Democrats are hungry. They hold two of the state's federal offices and none of its state elected offices, but coming off the November election they've remained in full campaign mode. And they may have taken a page from the Republican playbook.
The Republican National Committee sends out daily e-mails to the media often targeting top Democrats like Senator Harry Reid. Nevada Democrats have become very active as well with frequent e-mails and now a website taking aim at Jim Gibbons.
Gibbons was unavailable for a comment today, but a spokesman told us from Las Vegas, the early attacks aren't unexpected.
" I think some people in their office are looking at the same numbers we're seeing," the spokesman said. " Polls showing Jim Gibbons as the frontrunner."
Gibbons, opened a Reno campaign office last month. There's nothing unusual about candidates laying ground work early. That's textbook politics. For the most part it usually takes place out of view. The public is granted a respite.