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imagePolitico and NBC are going to co-host the first 2012 debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

It is being planned for Spring 2011.

Former first lady Nancy Reagan announced plans Thursday to invite the leading Republican contenders to the first debate of the presidential primary season, to be held at her late husband’s presidential library and co-hosted by POLITICO and NBC News.

The debate, sponsored by the Reagan Presidential Foundation, will be held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, Calif., during the spring of 2011. NBC News will serve as the television partner for the debate while POLITICO is the online content partner.

The debate will be moderated by POLITICO and NBC News.

The foundation plans to sponsor a second debate on the eve of Super Tuesday during the height of the primary campaign. Media partnership for that event will be announced sometime in 2011.

“Ronnie would be thrilled that the road to the White House will begin at his presidential library,” the former first lady said in a statement. “I look forward to welcoming and watching the top candidates debate the issues next spring.”

I’m with Jeff.  Way too freaking early.  I know there is already precedent for  this since the Reagan Library hosted a debate in May 2007.  I think we can all agree that the 2008 presidential campaign was too long.  Considering the Iowa Caucus will be 7-8 months out when this debate is held I really don’t see the value of having it.  Especially when it is very likely not all of the candidates will have announced at that point.

I’m afraid that my complaints will fall on deaf ears so expect the 2012 race to kick off officially about 3-4 months from now.  Yippy Skippy.

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