Anyone out there who has ever flown on Southwest Airlines will be able to appreciate this analogy - at least the way Southwest use to do things. You see, Southwest used to give boarding passes based upon the order in which passengers showed up in line, so the first person there got ticket #1. Then, they would load in groups such as; 1-30, 31-59 and so on. This sounds like a great idea - you know when you will be able to board, so just relax, enjoy your crappy novel and chill until your group is called. But nooo. Inevitably there are people who just can't wait to stand in line and are foaming and frothing at the velvet rope just waiting to jump on that plane so they can get there favorite backwards facing seat! It becomes completely insane and the crowd actually becomes worse and unruly.
That's the '08 Presidential race. Obama announced early because he needed to make sure and continue his amazingly high bounce from the '04 convention speech. He knew that he would have to get out early to try and jump on top of the Hillary train and maybe overshadow her. And it's been working - who knows how long it will continue, but it is working. However, just like on Southwest flights - everyone decided to start lining up and announce their intentions and their exploratory committees. And now, we have a bunch of candidates on both sides (most will end up mercifully dropping out) that appear to be quite sheeplike in their mentality wanting to make sure that no one else to gets the better of them in the duelling press release race - see where I'm goin' here. . .
Big finish: Americans don't want sheep to lead them! That's why the people who have not announced yet are appealing to the populace - they appear to not care about what everyone else is doing. Therefore they, and again I use this word, appear to be leaders. It can be simple, we want leaders to get behind, not followers we have to keep pushing.