Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley is already campaigning for the 2016 presidential election. Earlier today, O'Malley gave a 20-minute speech at Iowa Senator Tom Harkin's annual steak fry in Indianola. A steak fry is, apparently, an event where steak is fried and politicians give speeches.

Naturally, O'Malley denies there was any presidential motivation behind the stop.

"That's not what I'm doing here. I'm here because my friend Sen. Harkin asked me to come," the Democrat told reporters before speaking to hundreds of Iowa Democratic activists.

He also said he was in Iowa to "help the people of Iowa elect a new Democratic governor in 2014."

Iowans on the ground, despite their choice of home state, are no dummies, though, and saw through O'Malley's ruse.

"He sounds like a rising star," said Kathy Young. "I think we'll be hearing from him again."

In addition to eating fried steak and talking to Iowans, O'Malley already has some of the framework necessary for a presidential campaign in place; earlier this year, he established a political action committee and last week he hired a former Obama aide as an advisor.

Of course, O'Malley is not the first potential candidate to get a huge head start on campaigning. As the AP notes, a certain gaffe prone republican candidate did the same thing in 2004.

Republican Mitt Romney headlined an Iowa GOP dinner in October 2004, a month before George W. Bush was re-elected. Romney, now the GOP's presidential nominee, unsuccessfully sought the 2008 nomination.

Just a reminder: there are still 51 days left until the 2012 presidential election.

[Image via AP]