Obama 2012 Gears Up For a Tougher Fight

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Obama's reelection campaign is quietly revving up, reports TIME's Michael Scherer. Over the summer, Obama 2012 will reach out individually to hundreds of thousands of campaign 08 veterans to get them back on board Nobody's expecting a straight replay of 2008. "Obama 2012 opens its doors on a landscape that barely resembles that of the good old days," notes Scherer. For starters, there's a sluggish economy with Obama's name all over it, a resurgent (and George W. Bush-less) GOP, and a much less fired-up – if not disillusioned – liberal base. "The campaign that made 'Change you can believe in' a national slogan must now present a more complicated, and less emotionally stirring, case for continuity," he writes. On the upside, Obama has a one-year headstart over whichever Republican comes out the other end of the primary campaign meat grinder. One thing won't change: "Everything in 2008 was in service of the hand on the door knocker," says Joe Rospars, the campaign's top digital strategist and one of several top 08 hands – including David Axelrod and, possibly, Robert Gibbs – "That's the one thing that will be exactly the same." Yet Team Obama knows its got a lot of work to do in the next 12 months. "I can't tell you what a gift, if we use it properly, this year is," says David Plouffe, Obama's 2008 campaign manager. "If we don't, shame on us."

Read Rolling Stone's story on how Obama has neglected his most fervent supporters – to his cost

Source

• 'Obamaword 2012' [Michael Scherer, TIME]