Politico reports on the campaigns' rapid response operations and the general ferocity of things in 2008-land, with an opening that includes the line: "and a determination to show they’re tougher than John F. Kerry was in 2004."
I think this is right, and it says volumes about what we can look forward to once the nomination process is complete. It's going to be an ugly year, so much so that I kind of wish there were a Matthew Broderick figure in politics to teach these candidate-computers how to play checkers, a la 1983's WarGames.
Or sit them all down in a room together for extended viewings of Dr. Strangelove, and pose critical questions about the philosophy of Mutually Assured Destruction in today's politics.
I'll say it again: it's going to be an ugly year, even uglier than usual as candidates battle the tactics of past contests. It's enough to make me want a national primary system held in August, with conventions the following week, and a mercifully short "general election" period for the chronically indecisive to wring their hands and decide whether or not to get in the game.