Republican Newt Gingrich has a message for all the presidential candidates: it’s just plain stupid to start running this early. . . .

“I think the current process of spending an entire year running in order to spend an entire year running in order to get sworn in January 2009 is stupid,” Gingrich said . . . . The only reason to start this early, he said, was to line the pockets of the high-paid political consultants.

Indeed. Plus, the sooner you start, the more time you have to screw things up. If campaign-ending gaffes are partly a function of simple bad luck (and I suspect that they are), then the longer you campaign, the more chances you have for a deadly gaffe on the part of the candidate or the staff.