2008 Race Already Heating Up

generic presidentiual election 08 Barack Obama Hillary Clinton Rudy Giuliani John McCain campaign white house (Mitt Romney)
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
John McCain made it official on Wednesday: He's in the race for the Republican nomination for president. Tonight, the Democratic candidates debate in South Carolina.

Incredible: It's still more than nine months until the Iowa caucus and we are in the thick of a presidential campaign.

I spoke with McCain this morning. He laughed when I asked if the Straight Talk Express had run off the road in Baghdad a couple of weeks ago. McCain should have known better than to try to hype the surge. He assured me he could catch Rudy Giuliani, who has surged to the forefront in the Republican polls.

Watching the Democrats should be fun. Barrack Obama has been slowly gaining on Hillary Clinton. The brand-new Wall Street Journal poll has him just five percentage points behind. He's got money, too. Money and momentum are hard to beat in politics. That's why we'll be tuned in.

Mrs. Clinton has a lot to lose. Mr. Obama has much to gain.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.

By Harry Smith