Offices must be rented, cellphones purchased. Endorsements must be lined up and scores of surrogates deployed. A deluge of media inquiries will gush in not just from the national media, but also from far-flung local news outlets, many of them in strategically vital regions that cannot be ignored.
Simultaneous challenges abound: new TV ads to be produced and tested with focus groups, polls to be taken, brochures to be printed, and databases to be culled to target voters susceptible to persuasion through phone calls and mail...
Not least, operatives steeped in arcane state election rules must run petition drives to get the candidate’s name on ballots for primaries weeks or months away, a chore neglected early on — to their detriment — by Santorum, Gingrich and Rick Perry.
All the while, any Republican who manages to become Romney’s chief opponent will have to keep raising money at a breakneck pace and maintain a vigorous schedule of events — and compete against a front-runner whose national infrastructure is set firmly in place.