Reported in the Independent:
Obama to launch bid for re-election – and embark on quest for big-money donors
Taking out insurance in case he is unable to generate the same grassroots enthusiasm among young voters and small political donors as he did in 2008, President Barack Obama is set to launch his re-election bid with a coast-to-coast tour of big money Democratic fundraisers.
The Obama campaign is expected to fire the starting gun of the presidential race this week – filing papers with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) as early as today – and then hit the circuit for what is expected to be the most expensive election in history.
The White House is playing down the time Mr Obama will have to take off from his presidential duties to prepare for the showdown in November next year, saying it expects the campaign to be relatively subdued until spring 2012, but his campaign staff hope to stuff his war chest with money from rich supporters long before a Republican challenger is nominated.
For the past few weeks, Jim Messina, the Obama campaign manager, and Patrick Gaspard, the executive director of the Democratic party, have been criss-crossing the country meeting frustrated donors, hoping to re-energise them. Major donors are being set a target of raising $350,000 apiece.
Mr Obama is already slated to appear at party fundraising events this month in Chicago, New York, LA and San Francisco. Filing formal election papers with the FEC means that money from those events can now be split between the party and the President’s re-election campaign.
One has to wonder what last evening’s lack of leadership in the possible “Government Shutdown Crisis” (never waste a crisis) will do to the fund raising machine…
This story reported in Politico may offer a clue to the obstacles:
Not a stranger to criticism of the White House, freshman Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is again faulting President Barack Obama’s ability to lead, this time saying that the president employs “a different form of leadership than I’ve ever seen.”
“It’s not what I’m used to and it’s not what I’ve yet seen to be effective from my vantage point,” he told ABC News on Thursday.
In early March, Manchin made a floor speech in which he said Obama had “failed to lead” on the budget. On Thursday morning, he wrote to Senate colleagues asking them to consider donating their pay or returning it to the Treasury if there is a government shutdown.
“There’s one person who can say ‘wait a minute, this is what’s good for all Americans, this is who we are as Americans, these are our values as Americans and this is where we draw the line,’” he said, and that is the president.
Ultimately, Manchin said, voters will decide whether Obama’s leadership skills satisfy them.
A little historical reference for those who like to dig deeper.