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JANUARY 25: TIME EUROPE COVER: THE RACE IS ON
Posted Tuesday, January 30, 2007
A Crowded Field, An Early Start, More Campaigning Money Than Ever. Inside, A First Look At What Promises To Be A Wild Run To The White House.


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(London, January 25, 2007) — In this week's issue, TIME reports on the early kickoff to the 2008 presidential contest and examines eight key factors in the campaign and the potential consequences of such a protracted race. This week's issue of TIME will be on newsstands from Friday January 26.

"It sure feels like the 2008 presidential-election season has reached full swing. There are at least 20 actual or assumed wished-for candidates — nine Democrats and 11 Republicans. Most of them have begun raising money, hiring staff and lining up endorsements. The past couple of weeks alone have brought announcements by three senators — Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on the Democratic side, Sam Brownback on the Republican — and one governor, Democrat Bill Richardson of New Mexico," writes TIME's Karen Tumulty.

"In the crowd there are, for the first time, credible contenders who give voters a chance to make history on a host of fronts — by electing the first woman President or the first African American or the first Latino or the first Mormon," writes Tumulty.

The eagerness for candidates to make themselves known and liked as quickly as possible is understandable, as this will be the most wide-open presidential race in generations and the first since 1928 in which no incumbent President or Vice President appears on a primary ballot anywhere.

The calendar is still in flux, but as things look now, 20 or more states will have their primaries or caucuses before mid February 2008. Practically speaking, that means candidates will need full-fledged national operations by this fall, and there will be little opportunity for the late-starting contender. It suggests that both parties will have settled on their nominees fully eight months before Election Day, giving a depressingly early launch to what promises to be a brutal general election campaign.

"The result could be a campaign that offers voters plenty of carefully managed themes but little in the way of policy solutions," writes Tumulty.

8 Keys To The Campaign
The high velocity of this race makes it different from any other but so do many other factors. TIME's James Carney, Perry Bacon, Ana Marie Cox and Massimo Calabresi report on eight key issues to watch in the campaign: Iraq, money, campaign operatives, last-minute campaigns, religion, the Internet and blogs, new faces and the popularity of the candidates' books.

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INSIDE TIME

Why David Cameron has Britain's Tories dreaming of Downing Street
"To me, Mrs. Thatcher — it's all a long time in the past," Cameron told TIME's Catherine Mayer. "People are voting at the next election who were born after Mrs. Thatcher left office." To read the full interview with David Cameron, go to www.time.com/cameron

TIME's 10 Questions: Bozidar Djelic
The hard-line nationalist radical party won the most votes in Serbia's Jan. 21 elections, but moderates hope to block it from power by forming a coalition. The Democratic Party, the strongest moderate group, has named Bozidar Djelic as its choice for Prime Minister. It would be Djelic's second foray into politics, having been Finance Minister under reformist PM Zoran Djindjic, who was assassinated in 2003. Djelic spoke with TIME's Dejan Anastasijevic in Belgrade. "Serbia offers the widest imaginable degree of autonomy to Kosovo within Serbia. International law is clearly on our side, and we are certain that Kosovo's independence would increase regional instability. It's time to leave the Balkan logic of fragmentation and move toward the European logic of integration."

Walter Isaacson: A NATO for the Middle East
Contemplating how George Marshall and Dean Acheson would face the new global threat of terrorism from Islamist terrorist, TIME's regular contributor Walter Isaacson writes that he suspects they "would be forging a new version of NATO. They might call it MATO: the Mideast Antiterrorism Organization." Isaacson writes that "membership in MATO, especially if it drains some of the bile from the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, could make the leaders and citizens in places such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia feel more secure. And that may make them more open to greater democracy and reform."

World Economic Forum: Lovely While It Lasts
A "mixture of short-term optimism tempered by longer-term worries emerged from a vibrant discussion of TIME's Board of Economists at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 24. Four of the five panelists agreed with the forecast that 2007 is likely to be "another Goldilocks year" made by Laura D. Tyson, a former chairman of the White House's Council of Economic Advisers. The world economy, the four concurred, seems set to continue its virtually ideal — not too hot, not too cold — performance. While the U.S. is slowing, Europe and Japan will continue performing solidly, and there's no sign of any letup in the torrid pace of growth in emerging markets. China, the economic marvel of the world, continues to expand at around 10% a year," writes TIME's Peter Gumbel. Even if there are some unexpected setbacks, said Jacob A. Frenkel, vice chairman of insurer American International Group, financial markets are now "so wide and so deep" that they will help to absorb the shocks. "In a fundamental sense," he added, "we are immune to bad policies."



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