Comparing this time following the 2006 midterm elections, it looks like most Republican challengers in 2012 will be taking it easy and biding their time before announcing their decision. However, it seems to me that the 2006 to 2008 time frame was ridiculously sped up by the media and Democrats alike eager to see President Bush sent back to Crawford. Perhaps an alternate title should be “2012 election cycle starting at normal pace” in comparison to 2006-2007 time.

This First Read post explores the time frame comparing now and then:

Dan Balz on the slow start to the 2012 campaign. “At this point four years ago, the race for the White House was already in high gear. Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) filed his declaration of candidacy soon after the 2006 midterm elections. Barack Obama, then just a junior senator from Illinois, stirred Democratic hearts during a December trip to New Hampshire. Talented operatives spent the final months of the year juggling offers from rival campaigns in a furious bid to sign up staff.”

“In contrast to all that, the Republicans’ 2012 campaign is off to a less-hurried start. Candidates are gauging fundraising needs and laying plans. Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) will be in Iowa this month. But the timetable for announcements and serious engagement has been pushed into next year.”

Republicans have 1 major constant to consider when deciding when to declare their respective candidacies. That constant is the media. Declaring very early for Republicans can mean extra months of scrutiny in the press which will not be fair to them in the least given what we witnessed in 2008. If you think the press was fair to all candidates in 2008, just speak to the Hillary Clinton campaign first, then start with treatment of Sarah Palin.