It begins: Obama team already gearing up for 2012

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.

David Plouffe, the Obama for America campaign manager, described by one friend as “the father of all this,” will be a central player in the reelect, perhaps as an outside adviser.

“The conversations are beginning, but decisions haven’t been made,” a top official said. “If you look at David Plouffe’s stepped-up level of activity with the political organization [as an outside adviser on the 2010 races], that is obviously the beginning of the process.”

Anita Dunn, former White House communications director, will be intimately involved, too.