Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) appearence on "Face the Nation" on Sunday opposite Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) pits two potential 2008 White House nominees. The exchange may prove a preview of the 2008 general election and provoke another round of stories about the impending presidential race. Remember McCain and Obama had a big dustup last February over ethics legislation? It was Obama's first public thumping.
Obama continues to build a national campaign organization. Here's a recap of my scoops on the Obama White House run and the political professionals he is drawing into his orbit.
Nov. 30: Obama's core players: Chicago media consultant David Axelrod and David Plouffe, an Axelrod partner; communications chief Robert Gibbs; chief of staff Pete Rouse and Hopefund political director Alyssa Mastromonaco.
Nov. 30. and Dec. 25: Chicago to be the headquarters for the Obama 2008 campaign.
Dec. 25: Obama has decided to run.
Dec. 18: Obama surge prompts New York Times magazine to start work on an Axelrod profile.
Jan. 11: Ploufee lined up to be the campaign manager; Steve Hildebrand, the South Dakota strategist on standby for Iowa and field organizing; Democratic National Committee staffers Devorah Adler and Shauna Daly who direct research chores at the DNC ready to move to the Obama campaign.
Jan. 11: In February, first spalshy Obama fundraiser; hosted in Los Angeles by Ari Emanuel, the Hollywood superagent and brother of Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.).
Footnote: Other campaign professionals who Axelrod routinely works closely with are expected to play key roles in the Obama 2008 campaign. That includes direct mail guru Pete Giangreco, a founder of The Strategy Group in Evanston. Obama is expected to be part of the parade of presidential hopefuls speaking at the Democratic National Committee winter meeting next month in Washington.