President Obama announced that he is running for re-election on April 4, as if no one knew he was going to run again. But his official announcement sets the tone and time for campaign funds. This time Obama intends to break the bank by raising one billion dollars. That’s the goal. Does it take that much to run a presidential campaign these days? If he raises these funds, it would serve as a first for American campaign history. This go round, Obama will not be running as the person with the funny name with the little Senate record. Instead, he will be running as the incumbent president. And the energy that was exhibited the first time around will not be the same. This time, Obama is the establishment and not the underdog running against the Clinton machine.
While Obama will be able to raise substantial funds, the campaign will still need to engage youth, former first time 2008 voters and independent voters. That will be easier said than done. The euphoria that was felt in 2008 is now being replaced with reality. And reality is not nearly as sexy as euphoria. In fact, reality quite frankly sucks. Reality means that too many are still unemployed despite what the recent unemployment figures show. Reality means that those who worked hard for the American dream of home ownership now find it foreclosing on them. Reality means government may shutdown. Reality finds us engaged in 2 and possibly 3 wars. Is this reality the change we voted for?
While much of what has happened is not the making of President Obama, he cannot now escape the responsibility to fix it. Everyone seems to have forgotten who brought us the recession, failed banks, failed economy, 2 wars and failed 8 years of GOP leadership. They just want it fixed. I look forward to President Obama’s second term. And yes, given the Republican choices, I think it’s a simple prediction that he will win. Most Republican challengers cannot decide if they want to run or not, causing a change in the dates for Republican debates. My hope is that for Obama’s second term, he will be a true change catalyst.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said that the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Since Obama will not be able to run for a third term, I hope that he throws caution to the wind, in terms of creating radical change. I hope that he effectuates major change for immigration reform, African Americans, women and gays. While change is done in measured steps, it also takes courage to make bold change. And that’s what we elected Obama to do in the first term. I hope he doesn’t let us down for the second term. Let’s hope the Billion Dollar Man makes as bold a change for America as his radical fundraising efforts.
Post Script: In the first 24 hours following his re-election announcement and filing, the re-election campaign took in cotributions from 23,000 supporters with 96.9% for $200 or less.
LegalSpeaks will soon display a countdown clock to the days till the second election of President Obama. Stay tuned.
Debbie Hines is lawyer and political and legal commentator. She also writes for the Huffington Post. She holds a Juris Doctorate from George Washington Law School and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.