President Barack Obama plans to announce his reelection campaign early next week in an electronic message to grass-roots supporters, Democratic sources say.
Obama launches with a recovering economy and a weak, fractured Republican field, but with chaos in the Middle East that adds unpredictability to an environment that points to likely reelection. Obama’s campaign, which could raise $1 billion or more, will be based in Chicago, just a few blocks from the headquarters of his historic 2008 race.
The most likely day for the campaign to file registration papers with the Federal Election Commission is Monday, but officials are not committing to a specific date in case some transcendent event in the world would overshadow the kickoff. Obama aides want to tell their supporters first, and so are not encouraging preview stories by the press.
The president’s announcement will be transmitted directly to supporters through text messages, email and social media, not with an appearance by Obama, the sources said.
The launch could come any time, according to the sources. The website is ready, the donation button has been tested, and call sheets to key political supporters are set.
David Axelrod, who returned to Chicago after serving as a White House senior adviser for the first two years, will once again be Obama’s strategic guru.
Obama campaign organizers have long planned to launch at the beginning of the second quarter so they can show a fundraising juggernaut in their first report to FEC. But they couldn’t pull the trigger on the first day of the quarter, April Fool’s Day, and then the next two days were weekend days. Obama is scheduled to raise money for the campaign in Chicago on April 14, and the campaign had to formally organize before that date.
Former West Wing staffer Jim Messina, Obama’s likely campaign manager, has been holding donor meetings around the country, and the president is scheduled to hold a series of fundraisers in New York and California over the next few weeks. The campaign expected to raise $750 million to $1 billion.
On Friday, White House press secretary Jay Carney teased reporters about the FEC filing, one of the worst kept secrets in Washington, inserting a breathless, dramatic pause into a typically monotone readout of Obama’s schedule for the next week.
“On Monday, the president will …” Carney said.
“File?” suggested Chip Reid, a CBS reporter.
“Wait for it, Chip,” added Carney, with a chuckle. “On Monday, the president will attend meetings at the White House.”
Last month, POLITICO reported that Obama aides were planning to announce creation of Obama’s reelection campaign in early April. On Friday, Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Obama’s staff planned to file the reelection paperwork Monday.