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From a press release distributed by NBC:

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan today announced plans to invite all of the leading contenders for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination to two debates at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. The Reagan Presidential Foundation plans to play host to both the first GOP presidential debate of the 2012 election cycle in spring 2011 and a second GOP debate on the eve of the Super Tuesday primaries.

The Reagan Foundation has confirmed NBC News as the television partner and POLITICO as the online partner of the first debate. The media partners for the second, pre-Super Tuesday debate will be announced in 2011.

The exact date isn't given, but spring 2011 suggests it will take place at some point between late March and the end of May, meaning they expect GOP presidential contenders to announce their plans within the next three or four months. During the 2008 campaign, the first Democratic presidential debate was held in April 2007 and the first GOP debate was held in May 2007.

So get ready, the 2012 campaign is about to begin at full speed. And while you're waiting, here's something to chew on: if Sarah Palin manages to get the GOP nomination, by the time the 2012 election rolls around she'll have been an official candidate for either Vice President or President for as long as she was Governor of Alaska.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 10:10 AM PST.

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