As you know, Gov. Vilsack has gotten out of the presidential race. Not a big surprise really. And arguably the big story so far in the 2008 cycle is just how fast the race is developing — how quickly frontrunners are being annointed, how soon formal announcements are being made, how quickly people are dropping out, etc.
And I’m curious how much of this sped up cycle is due to blogs and web media. I don’t mean to ask whether this is the ‘netroots’ flexing its muscle, though that’s an interesting question in itself. But the pre-primary presidential winnowing process is largely a matter of buzz and a feedback loop between buzz, organzing and fundraising. People generate buzz, they get supporters, they get more money, that leads to more buzz, etc. Or in other cases, people have a lot of money. So they look formidable. And they get supporters and buzz, etc.
We can argue over whether money is driving buzz or vice versa. But a lot of the pre-primary phase is this process of sampling, often with relatively small sets of people. And the perceptions of those samples pick up steam and often become self-fulfilling. So is it the web and the more rapid sampling it allows — partly in fundraising but much more in buzz — that’s ramping the process forward and making it so fast?