Posted on April 24, 2011



President Barack Obama opened his splashy, 2012 re-election campaign in downtown Chicago, and it was a meticulously orchestrated event to position the president as an outsider-insider incumbent and the inevitable winner of the president sweepstakes.

Chicago will be the center of the political universe for the next two years. The president is positioning himself as a moderate.

Obama told the crowd of 2,300 small-ticket donors, “I want our campaign to be here because you guys are the ones who got me started.”

He claims to be the first president to run a re-election campaign outside Washington “in modern history.”

The president is positioning himself at the center, politically and geographically.

Obama’s speech argued we “began a new conversation in Washington about how to reduce the deficit while protecting crucial investments in our country’s future. But we seek to build an organization based outside Washington… one all of us can use to start conversations with our friends and neighbors about what’s at stake in this election.”

The president’s deficit reduction plan raises taxes on the wealthy and opposes the Republican plan for Medicare vouchers. Polls show the president’s deficit reduction plan to reduce government spending and tax the wealthy is approved by over 60 percent of the people.

Obama must cultivate the pragmatic center, pacify the disgruntled left and woo wayward independents during a time of economic malaise and three wars.

The president’s potential challengers are saddled with their own triple challenge. These Republican challengers are plentiful (good for Obama); in disarray (even better); and pandering to the Tea Party and to the right (three-point shot).

The games have already begun.

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