Folks who registered email addresses with Barack Obama's presidential campaign in 2008 got a message from the president Monday.
It notified them that Obama's running for re-election, and he wants their help, again.
"Today, we are filing papers to launch our 2012 campaign," read the email that went out before dawn Monday. "We're doing this now because the politics we believe in does not start with expensive TV ads or extravaganzas, but with you -- with people organizing block-by-block, talking to neighbors, co-workers, and friends. And that kind of campaign takes time to build. So even though I'm focused on the job you elected me to do, and the race may not reach full speed for a year or more, the work of laying the foundation for our campaign must start today."
Obama's 2008 catch phrase "hope and change," often derided by critics, may not have come to fruition in a still-sour U.S. economy with multiple crises occurring overseas, but Obama's message says the impetus continues.
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"We've always known that lasting change wouldn't come quickly or easily," he wrote. "It never does. But as my administration and folks across the country fight to protect the progress we've made -- and make more -- we also need to begin mobilizing for 2012, long before the time comes for me to begin campaigning in earnest."
Obama said he wants to start building a grassroots foundation for his re-election bid now: "In the coming days, supporters like you will begin forging a new organization that we'll build together in cities and towns across the country.... We'll start by doing something unprecedented: coordinating millions of one-on-one conversations between supporters across every single state, reconnecting old friends, inspiring new ones to join the cause, and readying ourselves for next year's fight."
Obama's 2008 campaign made extensive use of social media to connect supporters and arrange local events, outpacing his opponents in establishing a network from which the essential framework remains.