It's All Politics
Obama Re-Election Video Covers Key States, Demographics
Originally published on Mon April 4, 2011 8:24 am
Colarado, Nevada, North Carolina, Michigan. These four states are political battlegrounds that will help decide whether President Obama gets a second term.
So Obama supporters from those states get plenty of face-time in the president's video, released Monday, that announced his re-election bid.
The video makers chose to let the president's rainbow coalition of supporters make the case for his re-election instead of having the president do it himself.
Thus, the president doesn't appear at all to argue directly for four more years in the video announcing his own re-election bid. The only images of him are drawn from his first presidential campaign — his 2007 announcement in Springfield, Ill. and a photo of him used on Election Night news coverage of his victory.
But that's not much of a loss since the president's image is with us in virtually every news cycle. Plus, the president will be front and center as his campaign proceeds.
The video, as well as the email sent out by Organizing for America, and an Obama campaign Twitter feed, are meant to fire up members of the president's vast grassroots operation from 2008.
It's clearly meant to rekindle some of the excitement of the 2008 campaign when Obama's message of "hope" and "change" drew massive audiences in the U.S. and abroad and brought in many people who had never been active in politics before.
And as Alice in Michigan says in the video, Obama is fairly busy being president so he needs his supporters to take the next few months to get organized and begin campaigning on his behalf.
One of Obama's favorite rhetorical riffs during the 2008 campaign and his presidency is the line "It's not about me, It's about you." The video is the embodiment of that line, with glowing Obama supporters giving their reasons for backing the president.
Not only are key battleground states represented in the video but key voter demographics.
The video opens with Ed in North Carolina, a white man who appears to be sitting on a porch. Ed would represent the voter demographic Obama does the worst with, southern white men.
He could just as easily represent many of the independent voters crucial to Obama's re-election.
Ed makes a statement the Obama re-election campaign team must be hoping enough other voters, especially independents, will make. Ed says:
"I don't agree with Obama on everything. But I respect him and I trust him."
There's also Gladys, a Hispanic voter in Nevada.
As a community, we all have the same concerns. We all want our kids to go to school and learn, we want them to graduate, we want jobs to be out there, we want people to have homes, we want people to have opportunity ... There are so many things on the table that still need to be addressed. And we want them to be addressed by President Obama.
The message, obviously, is that there's much unfinished business that's best left for the president to complete in a second term.
A recent Pew Research Center poll showed Obama faring well with Hispanic voters, with two-thirds supporting his re-election. The president has tried to reinforce that support by saying that immigration reform is a priority on his agenda.
Staying on the theme of polling and where Obama's voter approval rating stands as he announces his re-election, the aforementioned Pew poll found that Obama led a generic Republican candidate by 47 percent of 37 percent.
With no Republican officially in the race and the eventual outcome of the GOP nomination fight still likely a year off, a generic candidate opposing Obama is about the best we can do at this point.
Still, Pew's poll suggests that Republican voters are giving Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, about the same level of support as Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor. Both men ran for their party's nomination in 2008.
While Romney is seen as highly likely to run for the 2012 nomination, a Huckabee run is seen as less likely.
Obama's announcement also clears the way for his campaign to legally start raising money for his re-election.
The 2012 presidential campaign is expected to cost $3 billion, all told, compared with the $2 billion spent i 2008, according to a Bloomberg News story by reporters John McCormick and Roger Runningen.
Analysts who track fundraising say they expect the 2012 presidential election to cost $3 billion, about 50 percent more than the $2 billion the Federal Election Commission said was spent in 2008 by candidates, the political parties and outside groups. Obama raised a record $745 million in 2007 and 2008 for his presidential campaign and was the first major-party nominee to reject public financing for the general election.
One of the most interesting demographic slices portrayed in the Obama video is Mike in New York who was too young to vote for the president in 2008 but was excited by the campaign that year. He says:
"I knew that someday I'd be able to re-elect him. And that's what I plan on doing"
Obama's campaign people clearly intend to win enough of these new voters to give the president the edge in some of these close battleground states.