While many would say that it's the numerous visits by as of yet undeclared candidates or the creation of exploratory committees or the actual declarations by many of those same candidates, it turns out it isn't the case.
The single most telling event that shows us that the campaigns are starting in earnest is the announcement that CNN, WMUR-TV (Manchester, NH), and the Union Leader newspaper (Manchester, NH) will be hosting two debates for candidates over two nights, with the hopefuls of one party debating on the first night, April 4th, and those of the other on the night after, April 5th.
The home of the First Primary in the nation will also be the home of the First Debate.
CNN, WMUR and The New Hampshire Union Leader will hold the back-to-back debates on April 4 and 5, the first such events to be held of the 2008 presidential campaign. CNN's Wolf Blitzer will moderate the debates with questions coming from WMUR's Scott Spradling and Union-Leader's John DiStaso. WMUR's Jennifer Vaughn will be moderating questions from the audience. The debate will be televised live nationally on CNN and throughout New Hampshire on WMUR.
Once again New Hampshire will be the focus of the nation as the 2008 campaign season begins.