With term half done, Obama seeks second

2011-01-21 12:02
Washington - US President Barack Obama passed the halfway point of his four-year term on Thursday and revealed he is already plotting to win a second, boosted by a sudden upswing in popularity.

Obama's spokesperson Robert Gibbs divulged the worst-kept secret in Washington, saying that his boss would "likely" ask voters to send him back to the White House in 2012.

"We've made some progress on getting our economy back in order, and I think the president wants to continue to do that," Gibbs said, adding that Obama would file official candidacy papers in the coming months.

Officials meanwhile gave the most detailed information yet about Obama's plans to set up his campaign headquarters in his home town of Chicago and to separate the machinery from the work of the White House in Washington.

The president plans to close the White House's political office and send his deputy chief of staff Jim Messina to run the campaign, along with two other Democratic operatives Julianna Smoot and Jennifer O'Malley Dillon.

The plan, first reported by the New York Times, reflects the need to lay the foundation of a structure to replicate Obama's 2008 grass roots campaign, though the election is nearly two years away and Obama has no clue who his Republican opponent will be.

Focus on governing

It also sets up an almost paradoxical situation, whereby Obama will be seeking to woo newly empowered Republicans after their mid-term election triumph, even as he plots to undermine them in the next election.

But Gibbs said, that while Obama was formally moving towards a campaign, his focus remained on governing.

"It is important to understand, just because the president sets up the machinery of ultimately running for re-election does not mean to say you are going to see the president do a number of political re-election events."

News of the re-election effort came exactly two years to the day when Obama raised his hand and took the oath of office, on a chilly day in Washington, accompanied by soaring expectations.

There was no serious thought that Obama would not seek a second term, a historical benchmark of a successful presidency, despite a quixotic comment that he would rather be a good one term president than a bad two term leader.

Obama will run for re-election arguing he staved off a second Great Depression, renewed the US image abroad after the polarising presidency of George W Bush and got US troops home from Iraq while saving the US mission in Afghanistan.

Obama will seek to turn his landmark healthcare reform into an electoral asset, say that that Republicans cannot be trusted with the economy and urge Americans not to change course in the middle of a recovery.

Improving employment rate


Republicans will likely try to exploit an unemployment rate - currently 9.4% - forecast to remain high in 2012 and accuse Obama of bankrupting US finances with a torrent of government spending.

However recent official economic data suggests that the jobless picture may be at last be improving, albeit slowly.

Obama's thoughts are turning to re-election at a moment of surprising political momentum, after he outmanoeuvred Republicans after a November mid-term election rout, and following his handling of the Arizona shooting.

A string of polls have shown that voters are increasingly appreciative of Obama's job performance.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey showed Obama's approval rating surging to 53%, eight points higher than in December.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll pegged Obama's approval rating at 54%, up five points from the previous month.

State of the Union address

However, the ABC survey showed warning signs for the president, in that his rating on individual issues, like the economy, health care and the war in Afghanistan were all below 50%.

Obama will next week make his State of the Union address, his first chance to set the early political battleground running up to the 2012 campaign.

The looming election means that Obama's coming budget battles with Republicans will all be viewed in a highly political context.

Most often mentioned Republican candidates to take on Obama include Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, a failed 2008 contender, and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, former Bush budget director Mitch Daniels and Mississippi governor Haley Barbour are also possible candidates.

And the intentions of the most high-profile Republican in the country, Sarah Palin, are attracting fevered speculation.

Read more on:    barack obama  |  us  |  us healthcare  |  us shootings
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.