Barack Obama, 44th president of the United States, made it official on Monday, April 4, that he planned to live at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. for four more years.
The announcement came before dawn in the form of a YouTube video and emails.
Obama presented himself as the candidate of change in 2007 and worked to lure Democrats with ads that promised heady possibilities: “We Can End a War," "We Can Save the Planet," "We Can Change the World."
The 2012 announcement was more tempered and reflected a candidate who has the bruising experience that comes from occupying the Oval Office. He has:
- Wrestled with a crushing recession marked by relentless high unemployment that shows little possibility of significantly dropping before Election Day.
- Fought with Congress and reached 11th hour compromises to avoid government shutdowns and default that were unpopular with many in his 2008 political base.
- Spent much of his first year in office so focused on health care reform that political opponents and some supporters said he lost sight of what was foremost on Americans’ minds – jobs.
Obama, 50, and considerably grayer than when he was elected in 2008, did not appear in the video launching his 2012 campaign. Instead, it presented supporters taking what is arguably a more realistic approach to winning the election.
"Unfortunately President Obama is one person," says a woman identified as Alice from Michigan. "He cannot go -- plus he's got a job. We're paying him to do a job so we can't say, 'Hey could you just take some time off and come up here and get us all energized?' So we better figure it out."
One supporter, Ed from North Carolina, goes as far as to say, "I don't agree with Obama on everything, but I respect him and I trust him."
Obama has set up his campaign headquarters in Chicago rather than Washington, which is uncharacteristic for an incumbent president running for re-election.
- Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii
- Family: Michelle Robinson (wife); Children: Malia and Sasha.
- Religion: Christian.
- Job before candidacy: 44th president of the United States.
- Political experience: Successful campaign for White House in 2008; U.S. Senator from Illinois; Illinois State Senator.
- Most recent book written: “Change We Can Believe In”
More on Barack Obama: 'Hope' and 'Change' meet reality
Pros: Rich campaign war chest; power of incumbency; ending war in Iraq, as promised; passed health care reform as promised; foreign policy successes, including death of Osama bin Laden.
Cons: High unemployment rate; low favorable ratings in polls; compromises with congressional Republicans that have disillusioned some supporters; continued intense political opposition to health care reform program.
Obama on the Web: