President Barack Obama's 2012 re-election campaign got underway officially today, filing papers for his candidacy and launching its first commercial. Titled It Begins With Us, the ad features a series of vehemently everyday Americans talking earnestly about how, as much as why, they're going to re-elect the president--and not coincidentally, very little of the man himself. The campaign has backed way off the "change" theme of 2008 (naturally) and has moved to the everyman approach, reinforcing that Obama has got our backs.
An e-mail signed by Obama announcing the re-election campaign explains: "[T]he 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 the ad seeks to reinforce that.
"Ed," an older white guy from North Carolina, starts off the commercial with the observation that "it seems like the last couple of elections we've had have been kind of 'turning point' campaigns," perhaps suggesting this isn't one, and that instead we should hold the course. We meet "Gladys," of Nevada, who's a bit nervous about the election, and Katherine, of Colorado, who reminds us that Obama was an "underdog senator" when he started campaigning last time. There's "Mike," sitting in what appears to be a dorm room in New York, who liked Obama's "energy and hope" during the last campaign, even though he wasn't old enough to vote at the time. Then "Alice," in Michigan, reminds us that Obama does have a full-time job to do in addition to campaigning for re-election.