Just two days after the midterm elections—and with one U.S. Senate race still undecided—the race for 2008 begins. Tom Vilsack, Iowa’s Democratic governor, announced today his intention to run for the presidential nomination, saying “Americans sent a clear message on Tuesday. They want leaders who will take this country in a new direction.”

However, I think they also want leaders they know. I’m not sure many people outside Iowa know who Vilsack is. I hadn’t heard of him before today. That will most likely hurt his chances against better known politicians like Senator Hilary Rodham Clinton and John Edwards, who are the front runners in early polling.

The list doesn’t stop there. Senator Barack Obama told USA Today that he will seriously consider a presidential campaign now that the midterm elections are pretty much over. Obama is a freshman senator from Illinois, but has risen through the ranks of the Democratic party, becoming a widely-known name. He gave the keynote speech at the last Democratic National Convention. Last month, he told Tim Russert on NBC’s Meet the Press that he has been thinking about running for the nomination.

A Republican—California Rep. Deacon Hunter—also has announced his plans to run for his party’s nomination. He plans to make the announcement during a multistate tour at the end of the month.

And so, with the Nov. 7 election not even completely finished, the Presidential election campaigns now begin with two years of politicking to go.

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