Today: Apr 23, 2024

Election 2012

Sarah Green

Moving into 2011, many issues are weighing heavily on our minds: spring semester classes, tax season, and our New Year’s resolutions. As usual, the commander in chief is similarly preoccupied. Yet one of the focal points of President Obama’s attention this year is the 2012 election.

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs recently announced that Obama will soon be filing his papers with the Federal Election Commission and formally announcing his candidacy. And the White House staff is already shifting into campaign mode–Jim Messina, Obama’s chief of staff and 2012 campaign manager, is already looking for the administration’s campaign headquarters in downtown Chicago.

The Obama campaign crew will also include two deputy campaign managers: White House social secretary, Juliana Snoot, and Jennifer O’Malley Dillon. While Snoot served as the finance director in the 2008 election, Dillon–who currently acts as the executive director of the Democratic National Committee (DNC)–focused on the battleground states. These two campaign veterans, alongside Messina, promise to make a dynamic team.

Other changes to the White House staff include the closure of its political affairs office. The functions of this office will be moved to the DNC as the 2012 campaign season kicks off. Tim Kaine will continue to serve as the DNC’s chairman and gain the weight of the current political director, Patrick Gaspard.

Many other staff changes accompany this shift in focus in the West Wing. In particular, the departure of Robert Gibbs–who will act as a consultant this election–and the move of senior advisor, David Axelrod, to the Chicago campaign headquarters.

It appears that all of their efforts will not be in vain. Current predictions in the political realm point to Obama as the 2012 presidential winner. Aside from the power of incumbency, the head of state has many other reasons to feel optimistic.

Obama has yet to encounter the round-the-clock criticism that many past executives and presidential hopefuls have faced. Plus, his campaign coordinators are truly an experienced “A-team” and may surpass all electoral fundraising records. Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post has stated that the Obama campaign could be the first to raise one billion dollars.

Furthermore, actions may speak louder than words, but if that is the case, Obama has nothing to fear. The president has long been recognized for his excellent oratory, but according to recent polls, most Americans do feel that he has been producing results as well. While the improvements have been slow in coming, unemployment rates are down, and the stock market is rising–and 40 percent of Americans believe that the economy will continue to improve in 2011.
Despite the “white flight” from the Democratic Party in the 2010 midterm elections, the younger voters, women, and minorities who emerged in November 2008 should be back in 2012. Plus, Obama is currently viewed as a moderate–another factor which could earn him votes next election. With this strong voter base, and the seemingly dismal prospects of the Republican party, it looks like the man who championed “change” might be very well return for a second term.

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