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One year in, Obama campaign declares itself 'ready to go'

April 04, 2012|By Michael A. Memoli
  • The Obama campaign website details the organizing efforts it has made since launching a year ago.
The Obama campaign website details the organizing efforts it has made since… (BarackObama.com )

The White House maintains that President Obama still is not in full-bore campaign mode yet. But in Chicago, his reelection team is marking a milestone and declaring itself "ready to go."

Fired up, too.

"Happy bday OFA!" campaign manager Jim Messina announced on Twitter, using the shorthand for Obama for America.

Indeed it was a year ago Wednesday that the campaign to reelect the president was launched, an announcement that came not from Obama himself, but in a YouTube video that aimed to present the effort as one driven from the grass-roots, not from the center of power in Washington.

To mark the year that's passed, the campaign released yet another Web video featuring a star of the president's initial 2008 run for the White House.

Obama would punctuate each of his events with the story of a visit to Greenwood, S.C., where he met a woman named Edith S. Childs, who proceeded to enliven an otherwise downbeat campaign stop.

"I'm the one that got Barack Obama fired up," she says in the video, referring to her signature chant, "Fired up! Ready to go!" that Obama soon adopted as his own.

The story, Obama would tell supporters, shows "the importance of one voice." And it's a theme the campaign hopes will catch fire again as it seeks to energize voters for 2012.

Part of that, too, is a heavy investment in the ground game that has been made in the last 366 days. The campaign says it has operations open now in all 50 states, has received donations from 1.8 million people, held nearly 30,000 events where volunteers organized to build their local networks and register new voters.

The campaign compared that to how the Republicans have conducted their own operations in the same time period.

"We launched this campaign in order to build a grass-roots organization across the country," campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said. "The Republicans have bet that they can win this campaign on the air, with their 'super PAC' allies carpet-bombing each other on the air without building anything on the ground."

The Republican National Committee countered with its own metric: more than five-and-a-half weeks worth of time spent raising money rather than focusing on his day job.

"Since declaring reelection, the campaigner-in-chief has shown where his true priorities are," party chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement. "America cannot endure another term of a politically self-serving president."

michael.memoli@latimes.com
twitter.com/mikememoli

Original source: One year in, Obama campaign declares itself 'ready to go'

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