Inside Obama’s 2012 campaign strategy
December 26th, 2010
11:58 AM ET
4 years ago

Inside Obama’s 2012 campaign strategy

(CNN) - President Barack Obama’s campaign strategy for the 2012 election will be very different from his 2008 approach that landed him in the White House, according to top adviser Valerie Jarrett.

As a senator in 2008, Obama was able to campaign continuously - something Jarrett said will not be the case in two years.

“Because he’s president of the United States, he’s not out there running the way he was before,” Jarrett said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “The American people expect him to lead - he’s their president.”

Yet Jarrett also said Obama is concerned he isn’t getting out of Washington enough and that he feels he spent too much time inside the beltway at the start of his presidency.

“He had to spend almost every waking hour in Washington focusing very hard on solving that crisis,” Jarrett said, referring to the state of the economy when Obama took office. “What he missed sorely was the engagement with the American people.”

Looking ahead to 2012, Jarrett said Obama shouldn’t pay too much attention to other presidential contenders.

"If he keeps America safe and he demonstrates that 24/7 that’s his priority, then I think the politics will take care of itself," she said. "I think he shouldn’t be distracted by what are perceived as threats."


Filed under: 2012 • President Obama • Valerie Jarrett
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    My advice is the President and his re-election staff should put a huge effort into getting the word out about all of his accomplishments for the American people. He's done a huge amount for us and is one of the hardest-working, most intelligent presidents we've ever had.

    His political opponents – Fox, Limbaugh and all the Republicans – will continue to lie and spread fear, hatred and division in their pursuit of regaining the White House.

    What else can they do? The GOP's policies don't work – they're all proven failures – and they have shown through words and actions that they don't care how much damage they do to our country and her people in the hopes of taking us so low that we'll vote for them our of desperation.

    Keep up the good work for us, Mr. President!

    December 26, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    Mitch McConnell (National Journal interview, October 2010:

    "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."

    The GOP strategy to do this is simple: Make things so bad for the American people that they turn to them out of fear and desperation.

    Wake up, folks, and stop supporting the GOP! They don't give a rip about you – that should be perfectly clear by now.

    December 26, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. jpmichigan

    The biggest problem this President has , is the disconnect he has demonstrated as President with the American people. The election in November proved that. He took an oath to uphold the CONSTITUTION and govern as to the will of the people. Both of which he has not done, nor have many on the Hill . Instead he is trying to change the Constitution and ignores the needs and will of the American people. The American people still don't know who Obama really is. Most information on him as to education and so forth are under lock and key. Rhetoric alone will not keep him in the White House for a second term.

    December 26, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  4. Monster Zero

    Let's see, 14 trillion and 10% unemployment reasons as to why not vote for this idiot...Social engineering to push every morally despicable act as socially acceptable, redistribution of middle class Americans wealth in the name of social just-us...
    Who has divided who along racial and economic lines, who has lied to who (transparency?), and who is spreading fear and feeling up Grandma in the name of National Security while our citizens are killed on our own borders? Obama 2012, I think NOT!

    December 26, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  5. Alf

    What accomplishments!?!? If he were a success any accomplishments would be glaringly evident, and there would be no need to market them. His strategy should be to step down and help find a leader to get America back on track – be it Democrat, Republican, or Whig. I don't really care so long as we have competence for a change.

    December 26, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  6. Irma in North Carolina

    I for the life of me cant figure out why he american people were so dumb to let the republicans get rule in the last election. All they ever did was say no to every thing the President tried to do. Then they had the racist Palin out there every day spreading lies and hate along with all of her fox friends. I was a republican till Sarah got out there this year, then I turned independent. All the republicans have done is try to bring the president down. I hope this group of people wake up before the next election.

    December 26, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  7. Marcus

    Monster Zero – 'Who has divided who along racial and economic lines, who has lied to who (transparency?), and who is spreading fear and feeling up Grandma in the name of National Security while our citizens are killed on our own borders?'
    In its proper order:
    1 – GOP, 'Kill him' rallies during the months before the election, 'Tax cuts for the rich or nothing!!!' during these past months comes to my memory.
    2 – Tell us one lie, or rather one unfulfilled promise that he did not come into public and 'I can't do that (now)'.
    3 – Yeah I don't like the latest safety/security stuff that we see in airports too. On the other hand, could you please stop listening to Brewster and Arpaio, they're discredited and proven liars!

    December 26, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  8. SandyC

    If you truly have a list of accomplishments, you don't have to tell the public what they are every day for 2 years!
    They will know...

    December 26, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  9. W L Jones

    Do not rock the boat, Mr. President let the boats rock, around you ,in the mean time slowly get the people back to work, you will be fine for 2012.

    December 26, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  10. vic nashville tn

    Obama winning 2012 chances are 50.0000001%

    1) Jobs
    Many can’t find jobs in their field they do other jobs but hard to pay the bills
    2) Immigration long do
    After Nov 2nd Many states now in conservatives hands they want to change immigration law similar to SB 1070 the Obama victory depend on how he handle immigration reform with republican’s house
    3) Tea party
    50.0000001% chance come from tea party If Sarah Palin is not on the ticket tea party base stay home ,If Sarah Palin is on the ticket independents will vote for Obama

    So Obama will win

    December 26, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  11. Matthew

    Obama is simply following in the footsteps of President Bush and President Clinton. He has threatened those that want open government, perpetrated the same lies and followed in the war footsteps that Bush set down by sending 60,000 more troops from Iraq to Afghanistan. The problem is not Obama, or Bush, or Clinton, but that we have forgotten what it means to be free and are allowing the government to make laws according to expediency instead of sound logic. Even the health care idea, which was a good idea in the beginning, was trashed when it turned into a bailout for the insurance companies and forced people to buy the policies or else. A hundred years ago we would have never tolerated that, but today we do?

    The problem is not the government, but that we have allowed the government to do it.

    December 26, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  12. Matthew

    ThinkAgain, the problem is that we DO see what he has done, and most of it is in direct opposition to freedom, liberty, and the rule of law. A health care law that mandates a fine for not buying a product. A car bill that removed a large number of good cars from the market making it difficult to find a good used car for more than a year. A tax bill that is massively destructive to small businesses. A food safety bill that hurts small farmers while giving breaks to the big growers by allowing them to police themselves. The Cap and Trade that would have shut down entire cities in Virginia and Kentucky. The Cow Tax that we are just now starting to pay for – in the grocery stores – in the form of higher prices. A bailout that was wasted in nearly every place it was spent. Bank bailouts that hurt everyone an allowed banks that employed bad business practices to stay in business. A treaty that will hurt every gun owner in the United States. Corruption in every level of government and slaps on the wrists for their crimes. Tax evasion. Memos marking veterans as potential terrorists. Free Speech Zones that keep the angry public away from the press. Just to name a few things. So yes, we are watching, we see, and we are furious – those that have not left the US yet, anyway. I have many friends who have, or have made plans to leave if it gets worse – which it will.

    December 26, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  13. I Like Ike

    Yeah I'm pretty disappointed in Obama's failure to more energetically push for the causes that he campaigned on. But of course his original agenda was all but replaced by the need to clean up the economic catastrophe left by Bush and the GOP.

    But beyond that, maybe his biggest failure was to fail to recognize, or idealistically refuse to believe, that today's Republican Party is not the party of Dwight Eisenhower.

    Instead, it is the party of K Street lobbyists, Wall Street billionaires, and job-outsourcing international corporatists. These are the GOP's constituents- not the American middle class. As we saw during the recent tax cut fiasco, they don't even bother to hide this anymore. They are the party of the Rich, and will do anything and everything to destroy any President who tries to represent the middle class.

    December 26, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  14. David

    Make sure to have Hillaire Clintion takes Joe Biden position as VP and Joe Bide as her place. Obama will win easy.

    December 26, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  15. MAC

    The whole country needs to look at what happens when the moneyruns out by seeing the results of loss of pensions for Pritchard Alabama City Retirees. California and Illinois are the states that will be next and alot of our major cities will be next. Obama should not bankrupt the country to bail out these fiscally irresponsible cities and states. I still do not beleive Obama and his administration are fiscally responsible. They are "Liberal Elitist" to the core!

    December 26, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  16. Jimbo

    Only time will tell how Obama governs in his last 2 years.....but I am not hopeful

    December 26, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  17. Blue in North Carolina

    @Monster Zero – you seem to be somewhat confused:
    14 trillion – most of that had to do with deficits run up under the Bush administration (including trillions of $ for Iraq)
    10% Unemployment – due to the almost 1929 crash due to Republican "hands off Wall Street" deregulation
    "Every morally despicable act" – you mean such as
    Wall Street reform so that 2008 wouldn't happen again (opposed by Republicans)
    Money for 9/11 first responders (which Republicans were against)
    Money to make sure our food is safe (which Republicans were against)
    Middle class tax cuts in the stimulus package (which Republicans were against)
    Making sure that medical care is available to people who now can't afford it (which Republicans were against)
    Extension of unemployment insurance to middle-class families where people had lost their jobs (which Republicans were against using the SAME arguments against the unemployed in 2000 that Republicans used against "Welfare Queens" under Ronald Reagan).

    And oh yeah, by the way, the biggest "redistribution of middle class Americans wealth in the name of social just-us" was the two year extension of the Bush tax cuts that gave literally millons of dollars in tax relief to multimillionaires and billionaires. Who exactly do you think will end up paying for those? You can bet it won't be any rich friends of Republican law makers – particularly since those upper income tax cuts will only go to buy somebody's fifth Ferrari!

    Don't talk to me about Obama's lack of morality!!

    December 26, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  18. Freedom

    Go Republicans!!! Elect somebody, anybody, BUT DO NOT ELECT OBAMA!!!! We are sick and tired of Obamacare, the failing economy, government takeovers, murders, and being too kind to wicked people like Ahmadenijad!!!

    December 26, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  19. Cedric Winston

    Yeah right Obama is going to win by a landslide cause irregardless of what some think Obamas court support black and probably hispanic will give him 95 % of their support. I suppose if he pulls 30- 40 % of the independents which he will cause of fringe elements in the repub party that turns people off. You know your palins of the world. I mean you truly have a problem when 7 out of 10 people who were asked said they wouldn't support you. Thats probably 5 dems and 2 independents so I say he is in a good shape as long as he dosen't do something stupid like pardon a taliban member or something. Also with the midterms the light is going to be on repubs and all the dems have to do is say no and will be elected in 2012.

    December 26, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  20. D. Bunker

    Wow, the teatards here really have no clue that Obama is center-right, and no where near the "radical" they imagine him to be. A real lefty WOULD be redistributing wealth, from the ultrarich back to the poor and middle class from whom Bush and the GOBP allowed that money to be stolen.

    December 26, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  21. Patrick from Minnesota

    jpmichigan, if you can even cite one Constitutional violation made by President Obama, I'll give you $20. You probably don't even know anything in the Constitution except the first and second amendments. I will also put a $20 on that.

    December 26, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |