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Obama’s reelection campaign moves into high gear

Like all first-term presidents, Barack Obama has been running for reelection since the day he took office. But recent days have seen a flurry of activity, including the unleashing of Vice President Joe Biden.

By Staff writer / March 18, 2012

President Barack Obama speaks during a 'Lawyers for Obama Luncheon' fundraiser at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago. On Friday, Obama attended five fundraisers, three in Atlanta and two in Chicago.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

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It’s official. President Obama has launched his reelection campaign.

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Well, not “official” in the sense of brass bands and patriotic bunting and “a chicken in every pot” (which Herbert Hoover never said, by the way). And cynics, of course, will say that he’s been running for a second term since the minute he finished taking his oath of office January 20, 2009.

But last week seemed to kick-start things in a big way.

The Obama campaign released its documentary film “The Road We’ve Traveled,” directed and narrated by Academy Award winners Davis Guggenheim and Tom Hanks. As the Monitor’s Linda Feldmann reported, “It’s an infomercial, aimed at reminding the legions who voted for Obama four years ago why they liked him and why they should get excited again – and donate and volunteer.”

On Friday, Obama attended five fundraisers, three in Atlanta and two in Chicago. And he’s unleashed Joe Biden to do what the Vice President does best: stir the political pot with full-throated campaign rhetoric designed to secure friends and needle political opponents.

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Obama (so far) has not criticized the Republican presidential hopefuls by name, although he has begun mocking them – as “founding members of the Flat Earth Society” for dismissing alternate means of energy production, for example.

But Biden, relishing his political attack dog role, has not held back.

Speaking to members of the United Auto Workers union in the swing state of Ohio last week, Biden said:

"Look, I want to tell you what's real bankruptcy. The economic theories of Gingrich, Santorum and Romney – they are bankrupt. If you give any one of these guys the keys to the White House, they will bankrupt the middle class again."

It’s the kind of rhetoric that’s helped win Obama the 2012 endorsement of major labor unions, including the UAW, the Communications Workers of America, and the American Federation of Teachers – sources that will provide contributions and grassroots campaign volunteers.

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