The ink is barely dry on the 2012 election certifications. The president hasn't even been inaugurated for his second term. And the Legislature doesn't begin its work in earnest until Feb. 4.
For a political junkie, what better time to sneak a peak into the 2014 campaign crystal ball, especially with nearly every statewide elected office back up for grabs?
The big prize, of course, is governor. Incumbent Mary Fallin's poll numbers looked solid last fall, but she's recently taken a thumpin' over her decision not to participate in the federal Medicaid expansion.
More than a few of her natural allies are steamed, particularly some hospital CEOs.
And this is before we get into a session that promises for all the world to be as wild as any we've seen recently with a new speaker, a pugnacious Tea Party caucus, and fiscal crises lurking around every corner.
Republican history would suggest that Fallin will be the party's standard-bearer without a serious primary challenge. But past is no longer necessarily prologue with the GOP.
The question in Fallin's case may be less whether she would face an uber-right challenge than one from a party member who thinks she's veered way into Don't Tread On Me land.
Someone to watch: state Treasuer Ken Miller.
Miller, an articulate, conservative, PhD economist, has broken ranks with some Republican colleagues recently over what he views as their misappropriation of conservative fiscal principles.
The fact is, he is emerging as the adult in the room -- the one who says you can't seriously manage the ship of state with simplistic sloganeering and fits of pique.
For his temerity, of course, he's been branded a "moderate" because he dared suggest that tax loopholes -- corporate tax credits, anyone? -- be subject to closure in order to responsibly create reliable sources of revenue to fund state services.
Miller and Fallin office next door to each other in the Capitol's east wing, second floor. The distance might as well be as far as Broken Bow and Boise City.
When Democrat Brad Henry was governor, the two offices were woven tightly. Then-Treasurer Scott Meacham was a member of Henry's cabinet and arguably his closest advisor. In fact, he was known as "Henry's Brain."
From the moment Fallin and Miller took office, it was apparent the tight relationship between the two offices was over. Fallin has her fiscal advisors -- primarily state Finance & Revenue Secretary Preston Doerflinger, the former Tulsa city auditor -- who do their own thing. Miller does his.
Would Miller, a former state representative who also teaches economics at Oklahoma Christian University, really challenge his party's sitting governor in the primary?
It's hard to imagine, given that Miller frequently invokes Ronald Reagan, who famously established the GOP's 11th Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.
Of course, Reagan would be too liberal for today's uber-right Republicans because he was the consummate wheeler-and-dealer who was willing more than once to -- gasp! -- raise taxes.
If other GOPers are surveying Fallin's potential vulnerability, it isn't known. But it is clear Republicans hope to create an air of inevitability: Oklahoma is so Red that it is futile for any Democrat to challenge Fallin or any of the statewide officeholders.
The good news for Democrats is that 2014 is not a presidential election year -- at least not a year with a black Democratic president at the top of the ticket.
(The anti-Obama fervor in Oklahoma is still something to behold.)
Democrats actually have fared reasonably well the last 20 years or so in gubernatorial races, though usually when it's an open seat. It's always tougher to beat an incumbent -- unless the incumbent has done something criminal or incredibly dumb.
Still, which Democrats might be able to mount the most serious challenge to Fallin?
Chatting with Democratic insiders you get a sense there is less a specific "dream" candidate than a mythical "dream" candidate based on a set of qualities that could appeal to mainstream Oklahomans and paint Fallin as out of the mainstream.
You know the name that comes up most in conversations?
The former Tulsa mayor and Henry administration education czar assures "the governor's race in 2014 is not on my radar screen."
But that's the type candidate Democrats think could knock off Fallin -- a smart, accomplished woman who's far more in the mainstream of political thought than Fallin's congressional and gubernatorial records would suggest.
Remember that image of Fallin on the U.S. Capitol balcony, when she was in Congress, waving the yellow Gadsden flag as part of the Tea Party revolution?
Actually, the only real 2014 campaign news so far is that Republican state Superintendent Janet Barresi would draw the first official challenger.
Barresi's tenure at the state education department has been stormy, to say the least. So news that Bennington Public Schools Superintendent Donna Anderson would mount a challenge from the Democratic side wasn't shocking. It was a question of who and when, not if.
Democrats view Barresi as anti-public education, part of an elitist cabal whose strategy is to set up public schools for failure -- to lessen public opposition to vouchers for private schools.
Will anyone challenge Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, who's kept a mostly low profile? Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who loves to spend the taxpayers' money tilting at judicial windmills? Insurance Commissioner John Doak, who's set himself up for problems by outfitting his fraud unit like a SWAT team and hopping aboard state aircraft for trips around Oklahoma that look to all the world like political campaigning?
Heck, it's early yet. The political hot stove league is just now heating up.
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