Obama Announces He Will Run Again in 2012
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President Barack Obama announced Monday that he will indeed seek a second term.
"Today, we are filing papers to launch our 2012 campaign,“ Obama noted in a message to supporters. “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.”
The Obama team launched a video and a redone campaign website Monday.
While the video focuses on Obama backers and why they support the president’s bid for a second term, the website does have one telling feature: It includes a reference to “Obama-Biden.” While there has been speculation that Vice President Joe Biden would be replaced on the Democratic ticket, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the most likely option to take his place, announced last month that she has no interest in the position.
Obama’s announcement came as no surprise. With a handful of exceptions -- James K. Polk, James Buchanan, Rutherford B. Hayes, Calvin Coolidge -- most presidents who are eligible have sought additional time in office. Unlike Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush, the last three presidents who were denied re-election, Obama has not drawn a serious challenger for the Democratic nomination, though pro-life activist Randall Terry -- founder of Operation Rescue -- has thrown his name into the mix, and former U.S. Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska, who ran for the Democratic nomination against Obama in 2008, has left the door open for another bid.
Republicans quickly responded to the announcement. Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, who has formed an exploratory committee to seek the Republican presidential nomination, released a video of his own responding to the news.
“How can America win the future when we’re losing the present?” demanded Pawlenty in the video. “In order for America to take a new direction, it’s going to take a new president.”
A poll from Quinnipiac University released at the end of March gave Obama the lowest marks of his presidency, with 42 percent approving of his performance and 48 percent expressing disapproval. Polls have also shown Obama with a slight lead over former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, two of the front-runners for the Republican presidential nomination. Obama does better against some of the other Republican hopefuls, including former Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia.
Political activist Fred Karger has already announced that he is running for the Republican nomination. Gingrich, Pawlenty, former Gov. Buddy Roemer of Louisiana and businessman Herman Cain have launched exploratory committees. Other candidates considering the Republican nomination include Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi, Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana, former Gov. Jon Huntsman of Utah, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, former Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico, former Gov. George Pataki of New York, businessman Donald Trump and two rivals from Alabama -- former Gov. Bob Riley and state Chief Justice Roy Moore.
Obama's team will be based out of Chicago and led by campaign manager Jim Messina.
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