Will Obama's campaign be about his presidency or his last campaign?

Finally, at precisely two minutes and 13 seconds into the video, we reach Jan. 20, 2009, when Obama is sworn in, although he doesn’t really start working for another 10 seconds. Only two minutes left to get through the next three years! A banjo adds a sense of urgency. The passage of the health care law takes all of about seven seconds. Sonia Sotomayor and Elana Kagan scroll by. He kills a fly during a TV interview. He signs the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. He sings Al Green (that was just a few weeks ago). He repeals “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (that was a few months ago). He announces the killing of Osama Bin Laden (that was almost a year ago). He rescues the auto industry, helps create jobs, and fights for the middle class (all of those projects are, as they say, ongoing). And he ends the war in Iraq.

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So what does this whirlwind tour of the Obama presidency tell us? First, it is a useful reminder that Obama is a formidable campaigner, one who has yet to turn his full attention to his re-election. Second, when he finally does, his campaign is as likely to focus on the magic of 2008 as on the reality of 2012. If all else fails, maybe nostalgia can motivate the base.

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