Although the Members of the 112th Congress - victors in the 2010 elections - were sworn in just last week, the next campaign season is already underway. Dozens of fundraisers were held in the few days after Congress reconvened, with scores more scheduled for the weeks ahead. Nationwide, candidates and potential candidates are considering their chances and laying the groundwork for their next local, state and federal races.
At the highest level, President Barack Obama is in the middle of a White House staff shakeup, designed in part to put key advisors in place for his 2012 reelection effort. And among Republicans, twenty or more presidential hopefuls are reportedly considering the race and planning visits to Iowa and New Hampshire. The first hopefuls are expected to formally announce their candidacies by spring.