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Obama about to launch his reelection campaign. It could cost $1 billion.

President Obama is expected to officially launch his 2012 presidential reelection campaign this week. The organization is forming up in Chicago, and it could spend as much as $1 billion.

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The economy is recovering, if slowly. Last week’s employment news helps. And the likely GOP challengers are still jostling for position – those who haven’t already dimmed their chances with verbal faux pas, a shopworn image, or general weirdness.

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At the same time, the war Obama inherited – Afghanistan – is now fully his own and seems to have no end in sight. And the conflict in Libya – “Obama’s war” for sure – could turn out messy as well, even though the administration has tried to turn it over to NATO and regional allies as quickly as possible.

Obama spent much of his first year dwelling on health care reform, the outcome of which was not particularly gratifying for his base while providing a major target for “Obamacare” haters.

Liberal columnist E. J. Dionne of the Washington Post recently tweaked Obama for failing to push his own priorities in the congressional budget brawl at a time when GOP lawmakers seem intent on dismantling liberals’ favorite programs.

The White House is so determined to keep the president antiseptically distant from the untidy wrangling on the budget that it will not even allow its allies in Congress to cite the administration's own analyses of how harmful some of the Republican cuts would be,” Dionne wrote. “They can use the facts, but not let on that the administration put them together. What's up with this?”

Obama is doing so-so in the polls. The latest, according to Gallup, is a 47 percent approval rate – including a (for him) troubling 58 percent disapproval rate on how he’s handled the economy.

On the Sunday talk shows, Republicans needled Obama for launching his reelection campaign at a time when the nation faces the threat of a government shut-down because of budgetary squabbling.

"I find it kind of ironic that the week we're trying to engage the President, the Democrats, and the country with an honest debate about our budget – with real solutions to fix this country's problems and prevent a debt crisis – the president is launching his reelection campaign," said Rep. Paul Ryan on Fox News Sunday.

"You see the president really missing in action, and you see him planning his announcement for his reelection bid next week,” Sen. John Cornyn said on CNN’s State of the Union. “And it's kind of like, where are your priorities?”

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