Obama Launches 2012 Re-Election Campaign With Official Email and Video
As Charlie Sheen might say if asked about Barack Obama:”Running! Duh!”
President Barack Obama has officially launched his re-election campaign, email, You Tube-posted video and all — a re-election campaign that will take place in a sea of variables, not quite yet tsunami force but definitely mounting: a still ailing economy, three wars, mega-polarization and partisanship, a looming government shut down that could hurt the recovery, an increasingly dissatisfied liberal base, 24/7 talk show demonization, and a flowering conspiracy fringe element of “birthers” who polls show are winning over many GOPers and who now have a high-profile champion in millionaire-celebrity-supposed candidate Donald Trump.
Here’s the video now on You Tube:
And here’s the email he’s sending out:
Today, we are filing papers to launch our 2012 campaign.
We’re doing this now because the politics we believe in does not start with expensive TV ads or extravaganzas, but with you — with people organizing block-by-block, talking to neighbors, co-workers, and friends. And that kind of campaign takes time to build.
So even though I’m focused on the job you elected me to do, and the race may not reach full speed for a year or more, the work of laying the foundation for our campaign must start today.
We’ve always known that lasting change wouldn’t come quickly or easily. It never does. But as my administration and folks across the country fight to protect the progress we’ve made — and make more — we also need to begin mobilizing for 2012, long before the time comes for me to begin campaigning in earnest.
As we take this step, I’d like to share a video that features some folks like you who are helping to lead the way on this journey. Please take a moment to watch:
Watch the video
In the coming days, supporters like you will begin forging a new organization that we’ll build together in cities and towns across the country. And I’ll need you to help shape our plan as we create a campaign that’s farther reaching, more focused, and more innovative than anything we’ve built before.
We’ll start by doing something unprecedented: coordinating millions of one-on-one conversations between supporters across every single state, reconnecting old friends, inspiring new ones to join the cause, and readying ourselves for next year’s fight.
This will be my final campaign, at least as a candidate. But the cause of making a lasting difference for our families, our communities, and our country has never been about one person. And it will succeed only if we work together.
There will be much more to come as the race unfolds. Today, simply let us know you’re in to help us begin, and then spread the word:
President Obama on Monday kicked off his reelection campaign with a quiet video posting rather than the usual hoopla.
In addition to the video, titled “It Begins With Us,” the Obama campaign sent an e-mail to supporters announcing the drive for 2012. The announcement had been expected and was signaled in reports throughout the weekend.
Obama pledged to focus on his job, but will pick up the tempo of campaigning this month with several fundraisers. The campaign is hoping to raise a record $1 billion.
Obama is scheduled to be in Washington on Monday, emphasizing his on-the job strategy. Recent polls show Obama’s job approval ahead of those of Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush when they decided to run again.
At least 15 Republicans have indicated some degree of interest in opposing Obama.
In his campaign, Obama will stress the economy, healthcare reform and efforts to wind down wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
One of my favorite political analysts, Marc Ambinder, looks at Obama’s prospects and in his typical style leaves out spin and gives us real political meat:
For all of these problems, though, Obama has enduring strengths. Americans like him, and they like the idea of him. They believe he has their best interests at heart. They seem to understand that he surrounds himself with people who genuinely want to search for solutions, even if they get them wrong. And he has significant accomplishments to his name: the New START arms control treaty with Russia, the advancement of civil rights for gays, an education policy that is promising, a financial reform bill that shows signs of being tougher than expected.
Assuming that roughly 80 percent of the electorate will vote for their party, Obama’s reelection targets can be broken down by demography, propensity to vote and ideology. He can win if he replicates the coalition of young voters, blacks, Latinos, single women, and suburbanites that accepted his nebulous but optimistic message of change. He will have to peel back into the Democratic fold older voters who deserted the Democrats in 2010, and though the growth of minorities in key states can cushion the blow of defecting working class white voters, he needs to construct a floor underneath that constituency. A blowback over Republican efforts to deinstitutionalize labor might help him here.
Where Democrats have plans that address the structural difficulties that middle-class Americans face, Republicans tend to focus on what these voters don’t like.
Obama won by 192 electoral votes in 2008. But in 2012 terms, his margin is lower, thanks to the census. The country is growing in the South and the West—and not the coastal West. The flip side: Obama can afford to lose Ohio, or Florida, North Carolina—or all three—and still win the election fairly comfortably. Early, early polls show Obama is doing well enough in Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nevada, and North Carolina. He’s underperforming significantly in Virginia and Indiana.
He also offeres 5 advantages Obama has in another post on The Atlantic. Here a key one:
1. Independents remain fickle and not particularly enamored with Republicans, meaning Obama has a chance at winning them over. Also, the independents who voted for Obama in 2008 did so because he promised to restore America’s standing in the world. He can argue he’s done that in 2012.
Go to the link to read the others.
Also be sure to read Taylor Marsh’s take on his re-election bid HERE.
SOME OTHER VIEWS:
—Two tidbits from First Read:
*** Our 2012 battleground map: With Obama announcing his re-election today, here is our revised NBC Political Unit Battleground map for the 2012 election. It shows Democrats with 232 electoral votes either in the solid, likely, or lean column, and it has Republicans with 191 electoral votes. There are 115 electoral votes in the Toss-up column. A few states to keep an eye on THIS year when it comes to the Obama campaign: AZ, GA, and TX. All three are long shots, but all three showed significant population gains for minorities in the last 10 years. And the campaign is going to attempt to at least experiment with organizing in these three states to see if any of them are worth truly battling for when the calendar turns from 2011 to 2012….
*** Past poll tracking: This tells you a lot can happen between now and election day: Here are the Gallup approvals of current and past presidents in the April before their re-election: Barack Obama 45% (now), George W. Bush 70% (April 2003), Bill Clinton 48% (April 1995), George H.W. Bush 79% (April 1991), Ronald Reagan 42% (April 1983), Jimmy Carter 40% (April 1979), Richard Nixon 50% (April 1971), JFK 66% (April 1963), Ike 70% (April 1955).
Jim Messina will serve as campaign manager for Obama’s reelection effort. He worked as deputy chief of staff to the president for two years until last January. Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post notes that many of the names who helped Obama win in 2008 will be on board to advance his second presidential campaign.
The president’s 2012 headquarters will be based at One Prudential Plaza in Chicago. The location sits just a few blocks away from where he gave his victory speech in 2008 at Grant Park.
On Monday morning the Obama For America website greeted visitors, “This campaign is just kicking off. We’re opening up offices, unpacking boxes, and starting a conversation with supporters like you to help shape our path to victory.” The site also includes a store with Obama-Biden stickers and apparel for sale.
Obama’s decision to file in early April places him at the beginning of a new month and a new quarter in the fundraising cycle, giving him time to build in an impressive initial haul from donors. Both Obama and Vice President Biden have met in recent weeks with supporters at events billed as non-fundraisers, but which hosted a number of top donors whose financial support is likely to come quickly to the campaign. On top of that, the president has a major fundraiser scheduled for mid-April in Chicago, which could bring in millions for his campaign….
Obama’s reelection also precedes many Republicans’ official efforts to unseat him.
Few Republicans have actually entered the race at this point…..
Regardless, political analysts have said Obama has positioned himself well for another run, shaking off what he called the “shellacking” of the 2010 midterm elections.
Perhaps the biggest variable facing Obama is the state of the economy next fall. Polls of voters repeatedly rank the economy and employment as top concerns going into the election, and dissatisfaction with the pace of the recovery drove Republican victories in the 2010 midterm elections.
I know, I know … I should have expected the worn out ‘one neighborhood at a time’ and ‘I’m completely focused on my number one priority’ talking points, but seriously, is this man capable of anything besides the same warmed over cliches?
As the cycle gets underway in earnest, it’s probably fair to characterize the president as the 2012 favorite, but not an overwhelming one. Indeed, for every indicator that points in Obama’s favor, there’s a flip-side that suggests caution — the president’s approval ratings have proven resilient under challenging circumstances, but the support nevertheless hovers around 50%. Obama has a record of historic accomplishments, but those breakthroughs have struggled to gain popularity, and any additional successes are highly unlikely between now and next November. The economy is improving — and it vastly stronger than when the president took office — but most Americans are still feeling economic anxieties and pessimism.
Other intangibles — demographic shifts, the weakness of the GOP field, a powerful fundraising apparatus, the power of incumbency — appear to give Obama an added edge, but one also never knows what unpredictable crises or controversies may arise.
All things being equal, the president and his team are probably fairly satisfied with where they start the race. It often goes overlooked, but Obama is in better shape at this early stage than Reagan and Clinton were at comparable points, and if memory serves, they fared pretty well.
As I watched the video, I kept asking myself are these real Obama supporters or are they actors? I was struck with this question because so much has changed since 2008 that I find it hard to believe that there would be such enthusiastic supporters left. I imagine that most of those who will choose to vote for Obama in 2012 will be doing so more as a rejection of Republicans rather than fervent support for Obama.
In order to win in 2012, Obama must make the case that he is worthy of a second term. Based on his performance that is going to be a tough sell. As things stand now, I suspect Obama’s campaign strategy will be to paint whomever the Republican challenger is as unacceptable. Already the media is serving up steady stories about the foibles of potential Republican candidates (i.e. Gingrich’s infidelity, Romney and RomneyCare and just out today Jon Huntsman’s Rock and Roll years).
So long as the political climate remains roughly the same, any Republican who can keep the distractions down to a minimum and hammer away at Obama’s record is going to find themselves with more than a good chance of winning the White House.