Breaking: Obama launches re-election bid
April 4th, 2011
07:18 AM ET
12 years ago

Breaking: Obama launches re-election bid

WASHINGTON (CNN) - With a short video on, the sitting president of the United States has launched his bid for re-election.

With the message, "It begins with us," the campaign has told supporters that the kickoff of the campaign has started and that means the race for contributions is on.

A top Obama aide tells CNN the video is tailored to grassroots supporters to get them activated and engaged.

The familiar looking blue "O" over red and white stripes is back again for 2012. And at the bottom of the website, the candidates' names are clearly identified: OBAMA-BIDEN - for Vice President Joe Biden.

Shortly afterward, Obama sent an e-mail to supporters to say he will also file papers Monday with the Federal Election Commission.

"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," Obama said in his e-mail message.

He is expected to host his first re-election fundraiser in Chicago on April 14, according to the sources. A top Obama aide also says the president will not discuss the beginning of his reelection efforts on Monday and the presidential campaign will remain "in the background" for several months.

"The president has a day job," the aide said.

Obama is kicking off his campaign slightly earlier than is typical for an incumbent so he can get a jump on fund-raising in a season that's likely to shatter all records.

By comparison, former President George W. Bush filed his reelection paperwork in May of 2003.

The video features Obama supporters from North Carolina, Colorado and Nevada - key battleground states that the president won in 2008 and hopes to hold this year. Obama never appears in the video. Instead it highlights different demographics: three women – white, African American, and Latina – all crucial constituencies for the president to win.

The president's support among white men has eroded, and the video features "Ed" from North Carolina saying, "I don't agree with Obama on everything" but adds he still supports him. But the president's team points to only one of the interviews on the video as particularly telling: a college age man who was too young to vote in 2008 says he plans to get involved this year; the campaign will make an aggressive effort to bring in more first time voters.

Obama's team has been asking campaign bundlers to raise $350,000 each, no easy task since campaign finance laws limit gifts to $2,500 per donor.

Two sources tell CNN the campaign team hopes that in total their bundlers will raise $500 million, leaving the campaign to raise another $500 million and amass a record-breaking $1 billion war chest.

According to these sources, the president has made calls to top donors and conference calls are planned this week to supporters and key Democratic groups.

A top Obama aide adds the president plans to compete "in all states we did before" and shrugged off the party's poor showing in the midterm elections because many general election voters don't vote when a presidential candidate isn't on the ballot. The campaign will have a fight on its hands to hold some of the battleground states the President won in 2008 – including Florida and Ohio. One state the team believes could be in play in 2012: Arizona, which Obama lost by just 9 points despite the fact Arizona's own John McCain was the Republican presidential nominee.

Vice President Joe Biden is already planning to be in New Hampshire Monday and will meet with key supporters in that crucial early voting state.

For the past few weeks, Jim Messina, who will manage the campaign, and Patrick Gaspard, executive director of the DNC, have been flying around the country meeting with frustrated donors working to get them re-engaged.

So far no Republican contenders have formally announced. But these days, the likely Republican presidential contenders are making endless visits to key early voting states and meeting with supporters across the country.

One top Democrat says, "The Republicans are out there day in and day out beating up on the president - they're basically running without filing. So to say we're going first isn't totally fair." This person adds, "No one wants to start running now. The president is engaged in the country, this is about getting (campaign) staff up and running."

Additionally, top Democrats say two former White House staffers are likely to set up a third-party outside spending group.

Former Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton and Sean Sweeney, former aide to then-Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, have been approached by Democratic donors who are concerned about countering the influence of Karl Rove and the Koch brothers in the upcoming 2012 election.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Lawrence

    Let the games begin...

    April 4, 2011 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  2. diridi

    I shall vote for Obama. period.......this nation is on right track economically.

    April 4, 2011 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  3. the real ib

    Just what this country needs four more of Obama and his failed policies that has done nothing but double the price of gas in two years and inflation is running wild right now. Don't think so look at your grocery bill from week to week not to mention the price of gas goes up every other day. No Thanks you know what would freeze over before I would vote for him.

    April 4, 2011 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  4. Cindy

    Maybe this time Obama will have a birth certificate to prove he has the right to run for president of the United States.

    April 4, 2011 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  5. ConservaFascists

    Just tell me where to send my check.

    April 4, 2011 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  6. garey

    Go Obama" You have these Republikans,and their Radical Faction, Desperate, to lie and "Try to Act Smart' ON THE Rocks! Keep us older folks from Republikan oppression, Veto their cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

    April 4, 2011 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  7. GOP = Greed Over People

    I will vote for President Obama only because I could never in good conscience pull the lever for a member of the GOP ever again, but if you expect the support and financial donations that I gave in 2008, you are out of luck.

    You lost me when you signed on to make the Bush tax cuts the Obama tax cuts.

    I did not vote for you in 2008 to capitulate to the "christian" cons, I voted for you to help bring compassion back into this country.

    You were supposed to stop the 'Onward "christian" Soldiers' marching off to war and prevent the war from being waged against the poor, old, infirmed and children too young to fight for themselves and I mean the ones already here.

    Instead you have joined the "christian" soldiers marching in lockstep, by cutting heating subsidies to the old and helpless.

    You have failed them and for that I am having a hard time forgetting or forgiving.

    Maybe you can take comfort in the fact fewer people will freeze to death than will die when the GOP cuts Medicaid and WIC, but I do not.

    So, because your actions will kill fewer of those less fortunate among us than the GOP, for that reason, and that reason alone, you will get my vote.

    April 4, 2011 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  8. Indy

    Since the day Obama was elected by the people, the other people have been in attack mode against the President. Many on here complain that the POTUS has been in campaign mode since he was elected and in part that is true. When you are attacked every single day with everything under the sun the right thing to do is stand up for yourself and that is what Obama has been doing. Even though the majority of attacks are proven to be lies and all about spreading hate and fear Obama has to defend himself every day from the lies and unfounded rumors. Any man with any integrity would do the same as Obama and stand up for the truth, and that is why it seems like he has been campaigning since his election. This is what you call "manning up" and defending yourself, your family. your country and your party by going out there and blowing all the lies,fear and hate to shreds with accurate and truthful information. Looks alot like campaigning but sure would not want a weak kneeded President that would do nothing and sit there and allow the lies, fear and hate to go unchecked.

    April 4, 2011 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  9. Abe

    As much as people do not give the president credit for his accomplishments I still think he has the vision how the world should run and respect for the ordinary people. We need presidents who are not war mongers and have dignity for the human race. I know we have to keep our image in world politics/ conflicts but as long as who have a clear vision/ resolution we will live in a better world. I like our presidents vision that negotiation, good political dialogue is the best way to achieve peace or come to terms. I will vote for the president because he has what it takes irregardless what the Republicans think who have no agenda how to save the economy/ revive our strong stand in world politics and become doer's than complainers.

    April 4, 2011 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  10. Just Sayin

    Time for the Zom-bamas to awake ... 2 years of community organizing ahead. At least he does not have to deal with Libya now.... Gotta get re-elected.....

    April 4, 2011 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  11. New Age Independant

    Breaking News? Like he hasn't been campaigning for the past two years?

    April 4, 2011 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  12. FM

    Good move Mr. President. Now it is the turn to the other side (GOP). Oh! sorry! they are all scared to whom shall come first!

    April 4, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  13. gt

    ugh.... here we go again...non stop campaining...

    April 4, 2011 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Now the GOP candidates can finally throw their hats into the ring. No one wants to be caught campaigning against the wrong guy like when Lyndon Johnson made his surprise announcement that he was not seeking re-election.

    April 4, 2011 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  15. ABM

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

    VOTE DECIDED and it will be for re-election!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 4, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  16. Name Rob Camacho - California

    Awesome, I am signing up to volunteer and donate to his campaign. Go President Obama in 2012 and Hillary Clinton in 2016.

    April 4, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  17. Name Creole

    Man Let's Do this MR. Obama!!!!! The best thing that has happen for the USA!!!!! We can not go back to the Bush Years.......we are coming out of the ditch. And Obama is doing it all in Three Years....And when Bush lied many are now dead for a false War. But not with Obama........2012 Baby

    April 4, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  18. Donald

    President Obama will be Re elected in my view,i think people understand that he could not fix
    the Bush mess this quickly. Theres been a lot of stuff written about him that just was'nt true and
    most people realize that his opposition was probably behind the negative articles.
    He has showed a true interest that he wants to better the country as a whole and does.nt just
    think about his politics only like many are doing.

    April 4, 2011 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  19. Fair is Fair

    Hey Obama... most Americans "Hope And Change" has morphed into "Hoping For A Change". You bamboozled a lot of people last time. It's not happening again.

    April 4, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |