BOSTON (CBS) - With the formal entrance of Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio, the campaign for president is underway, and it will take hard work to ignore it for the next 19 months.
Based on past experience, and the early whiff I'm getting of this cycle, here's a rough timeline of how this will probably play out:
For the next 11 months, it's flat-out pandering by the candidates to their party regulars, that tiny slice of the electorate that actually pays attention to and votes in the party caucuses and primaries.
This phase will feature Hillary Clinton, a multi-millionaire who acknowledges she hasn't driven a car in nearly 20 years, railing against out-of-touch multi-millionaires and relating as hard as she can to people who struggle to keep a car on the road.
On the Republican side, expect a much more diverse pander-fest, played out over the course of nine debates sanctioned by the Republican National Committee between August and next March. Try to contain your excitement.
Once we get through next winter, the next big events are the party conventions in the middle of July in Cleveland for the GOP and Philadelphia for the Democrats. The only people left who care about these are high-rollers who like to party in the luxury suites as their puppets dance onstage, and even they may be reluctant to spent a midsummer week sweltering in either of those two garden spots.
From then until voting day, look for the Democrat to argue electing a Republican would return the nation to the 1830s, while the Republican claims we'll all be living under sharia law if Hillary wins.
And there you have it, the oh-so-edifying 2016 campaign roadmap, where I'll be spending most of my time debunking vile rumors and slander.
As you can tell, I'm really looking forward to it, and I'm sure you are too.
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