Next year’s presidential election campaign kicked off on Monday, when President Obama via an elegant little video on barackobama.com launched his re-election bid under the headline “Are you in?”
“This campaign is just kicking off. We’re opening up offices, unpacking boxes, and starting a
conversation with supporters like you to help shape our path to victory. 2012 begins now, and this is where you say you’re in.”
It endes with, “It depends on us.”
It is nineteen months until the election and it may seem early to get started now. But in the perpetual American election campaign it’s not, for it takes a lot of money, upwards of one billion dollars is said to be the Obama campaign’s goal, to win.
It’s just that Obama has no opponents yet. A Republican panel discussion with all the candidates was planned at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley in California later this spring, but it has been postponed until the fall for lack of candidates. Everyone seems to be waiting, except those who have already pulled out. All this is also of course a reflection on a sitting President’s traditional advantages, which for Obama also means, that with no challengers within the Democratic party, he has the added advantage of not having to wage an expensive and grueling primary campaign.
So, right not, we have to be content with a lot of speculations about various more or less familiar names as possible Republican candidates. How, said an old friend and democratic activist recently, can anyone of them have a chance against Obama!
I ask myself the same question, but, I hasten to add, we know from experience, from 1968 with Lyndon Johnson, 1976 with Jimmy Carter, and 1992 with Bill Clinton, that a lot can happen in an American election campaign. It seems that Obama does not want to take anything for granted.