Good news: Super busy president already gaming out reelection campaign

I’m not sure how much outrageously outrageous outrage is truly warranted here — given the realities of modern campaigning, it’s no surprise that the inner circle’s already chatting about 2012 — but the optics of it are so gruesome as to make it irresistible. The team that spent month after month neglecting jobs measures so that they could obsess about ObamaCare nonetheless found time to start working out the details on … their next campaign?

Given how The One’s master strategy has played out in the polls, if you think you’re pissed to read this, imagine how the left feels. They wanted a perpetual campaign and they got it:

President Barack Obama’s top advisers are quietly laying the groundwork for the 2012 reelection campaign, which is likely to be run out of Chicago and
managed by White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina, according to Democrats familiar with the discussions…

David Axelrod, White House senior adviser, may leave the West Wing to rejoin his family in Chicago and reprise his role as Obama’s muse, overseeing the campaign’s tone, themes, messages and advertising, the sources said…

The DNC sees Republican challengers ramping up earlier than ever and has decided to begin defining potential opponents early. Operatives are already assembling research and drafting unflattering narratives to push about the leading possible 2012 candidates…

The themes for Obama’s campaign are not yet chosen, but a top adviser said not to expect a radical surprise: “He knows who he is.”

My humble suggestion for a campaign slogan: “I am who am.” A quickie Google search reveals Bush’s reelection planning was already in full swing 18 months before the election, with Rove conducting “in-depth interviews” with Republican bigwigs about previous campaigns and aides noodling the pitfalls of moving Bush around NYC at the convention without seeming to exploit 9/11. The One’s obviously moving even faster than that — the election’s 32 months away(!) — but (a) it sounds like they’re only in the very earliest stages of talking about it, i.e. who’s onboard, where should the HQ be, and (b) considering how the primary season seems to begin earlier every cycle, there’s some sense in starting earlier themselves. Romney’s already all but declared, and since the field’s wide open, dark horses have an incentive to start visiting Iowa, New Hampshire, etc, as soon as possible. President Spock, quite logically, wants to be as prepared as possible. But he sure doesn’t want people to know about it. Thanks, Politico!

You’ll be pleased to know that all the old favorites are coming back for the sequel, including Anita “My favorite philosopher is Mao” Dunn and, as the story notes, Jim Messina. He was the guy who reassured nervous Democrats after the health-care townhalls last year that the White House would “punch back twice as hard” against critics; tea partiers and alienated independents have been beating the hell out of the left ever since. In today’s piece, an unnamed colleague of Messina’s crows that he’ll be bringing “the bare knuckles” next time. I can’t wait.

Update: An excellent point from the comments that had completely skipped my mind: Didn’t The One tell us just a few weeks ago that he’d rather be a great one-term president than a mediocre two-termer? I guess he’s … planning for mediocrity, then?

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David Strom 7:01 PM on June 06, 2023