It is that time again: Election 2012
It was with interest that I noted the low key, but no less significant, kick off of the Obama for 2012 campaign on April 5th 2011. Currently he is the only candidate and it would seem he is getting in very early, or is he?
In the 2008 elections I can remember watching the whole presidential candidate selection process taking place, then the whole campaign for president itself and then finally the election of Barack Obama as Americas 44th President. All in, this campaign saw McCain raise some $400 million and Obama's own war chest top $700 million. This election campaign is tipped to see Obama's team raise $1 billion in campaign funding, hence the early campaign kick off.
The only thing that can be said for Obama's campaign financing is that he rejected public funding for his 2008 campaign, but can he ignite the same passion in 2012 amongst Americans.
Is this all really necessary?
How is a president, or any world leader for that matter, supposed to get down to the business of leading a country when he or she is back in the fight for re-election 30 months later. Now you wouldn't hear the people of countries such as Egypt, Yemen, Libya or Syria complaining about 4 year terms given they have been repressed for 20+ years, but this seems ludicrous at best. How can the people see a return on investment after 2.5 years.
Obama spends most of 2008 fighting off Hillary Clinton and then John McCain, becomes president and officially takes office in early 2009, spends 2009 fighting the Republicans over his proposed Health reforms and trying to navigate the US through the financial quagmire it finds itself in, spends 2010 licking the wounds of a swing back to Republicans and now will spend big parts of 2011 gearing up for 2012. One billion will be raised and spent and that is only the Democratic Party, the Republicans would have taken note and won't be caught napping on the power of Social Media this time around.
So can Obama win in 2012?
Now this is an interesting question. Obama has a battle on his hands. On his side of politics Hillary's fan club never fell in love with Obama, that was one acrimonious campaign to remember, but did fall in line. Who can say where they will vote this time around. Currently the Presidents approval rating is sitting at 42%, against Hillary's own Gallup rating of 66% as of writing.
The Republican National Committee countered Obama's 2012 campaign launch with a new fund-raising website of their own entitled "Hope Isn't Hiring," which highlighted the US official unemployment rate of 8.8%. Add to this the comments from RNC Chairman Reince Preibus that "Despite a looming government shutdown, a new military operation in Libya and Tax Day around the corner, President Obama made the decision to focus on kicking off his billion dollar campaign," and it would seem that Obama has one hell of a fight on his hands.