President Barack Obama began his bid for re-election in 2012 by releasing a campaign video on his website and sending an e-mail to supporters that said the job of preparing for his campaign “must start today.”
“We are filing papers to launch our 2012 campaign,” Obama wrote in the e-mail. “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 organising block-by-block, talking to neighbours, co-workers and friends. And that kind of campaign takes time to build.”
The campaign will be “farther reaching, more focused, and more innovative than anything we’ve built before,” Obama said. “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.”
The filing with the Federal Election Commission will allow Obama to begin fundraising and other organisational efforts for his goal of winning a second White House term. The campaign will have its headquarters in Chicago, his adopted hometown and base for his 2008 victory.
Obama, 49, said this will be his “final campaign, at least as a candidate,” and signed the message, “Barack.” The two-minute video features interviews with supporters and doesn’t include any spoken words from Obama. It includes images from his historic 2008 campaign, when he was elected the first black US president. ‘Back seat presidency’
The Republican National Committee immediately struck back, distributing to reporters editorial criticism from newspapers and blogs saying that Obama is conducting “a backseat presidency” by failing to tackle “exploding costs of entitlement spending” in areas as Medicare and Medicaid.
“Obama has shown a distinct lack of leadership on the budget debate,” the RNC said, adding that he chose “politics over substance by sitting on the sidelines” on overhauling programs. The president is beginning his campaign as he confronts his biggest foreign policy challenge with the turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa and continued economic stress at home.
The national unemployment rate is projected to be 8.3 per cent in 2012, according to a median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News in March. While that would be down from 8.8 per cent now, no president since World War II has been re-elected with the jobless rate higher than 7.5 per cent.