'Tis the season for presidential politics

Remember when the general election campaigns started around Labor Day? Well, no more! The White House concluded a couple of weeks ago that Mitt Romney was going to be the Republican nominee, and that's why you saw Vice President Biden on "Face the Nation."

Baseball season hasn't even started yet, and Republicans haven't officially selected their nominee, but what we used to call the Fall campaign is up and running.

Which means we are finding out earlier than ever how the two sides will frame the contest.

Republicans will try to make it a referendum on Barack Obama, who they'll picture as a failed president who couldn't keep his promises but is determined to raise taxes.

Democrats will say it's about fairness, and paint Romney as an out-of-touch rich guy determined to keep taxes low for his friends at the country club.

Voters will listen to all this for a while, and then about the time of the World Series they'll begin to think about more serious things - the economy mostly, and who in the White House they'd feel most comfortable with in times of crisis.

And THEN, as they always do, they'll pick the next president.

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    Bob Schieffer is a CBS News political contributor and former anchor of "Face The Nation," which he moderated for 24 years before retiring in 2015.