With President Barack Obama announcing his re-election campaign on Monday, early expectations suggest he is on track to pass the record $750 million in campaign contributions raised for his 2008 victory, this time raising $1 billion or more.
Obama’s filing of official campaign papers with the Federal Election Commission came on Monday, according to CBS News. He announced his re-election on Monday at www.barackobama.com as well as through emails and text messages to his supporters.
During his initial run for the White House, Obama received donations from a record 4 million donors, and while early reports suggested his small-time donations were vital to his winning the election, final tallies show only 25 percent of those donors were in the $200 or less category, the Campaign Finance Institute (CFI) reports. As such, Obama will once again be heavily dependent on large campaign contributions and special interests, action he has previously criticized.
Last year’s Supreme Court ruling on the Citizens United case could have a major impact on Obama’s re-election efforts, replacing his energizing message of hope and change after eight years with George W. Bush at the helm of the country with unlimited campaign donations.
No longer the new kid on the block, Obama’s incumbency assures him additional press coverage and his foreign policy on Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and Libya is certain to bring conflicts of interest to war hawks who traditionally lean toward the Republican’s conservative agenda on war policy.
White House photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama gestures during a meeting in the Oval Office
However, the president is expected to lose many of those small-time contributors who helped him ride an unprecedented wave of energy to the presidency. “That's something that we're not going to see this time around, that level of excitement about the Obama candidacy that we saw last time, from people who are not traditional donors or traditional Democratic primary voters,” said Anthony Corrado, a professor of government at Colby College, as well as an expert on campaign fundraising, Reuters notes.
Former White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina will run the re-election campaign, and the Washington Post reports he has already asked 400 of the Democratic party’s biggest supporters to each contribute $350,000 in 2011, a move that would fuel the Obama campaign with $140,000,000 by the beginning of 2012.
Obama’s campaign headquarters will be based in Chicago.