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President Obama finally starts his 2012 campaign

By Doug Powers  •  May 6, 2012 11:36 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

Yesterday, after a hundred-something fundraisers and countless other rally-style speeches not officially labeled campaign events, President Obama officially kicked off his 2012 campaign.

Maybe it’s because Obama has been in perpetual campaign mode since taking office that this “first 2012 campaign rally” didn’t pack the house to the rafters like in ’08:


The above photo was tweeted by the Romney campaign, and other pictures also show an empty upper tier (click for full size):


Sticking to the campaign theme, the crowd was asked to move Forward™:

The rally was one the Buckeye men’s basketball team might have envied, with the revved up audience repeatedly chanting “four more years.”

But the event fell short of the 20,000 supporters the campaign had forecast as organizers moved people from seats to the arena floor in front of the dais to project fullness to television audiences. Obama volunteers had worked feverishly over the last week to gin up a crowd, making multiple calls to residents believed to be supportive of the president.

From the Toledo Blade:

At the same time, he acknowledged the pain that still exists more than three years into his presidency. Two years ago, when campaigning on the Ohio State campus for former Gov. Ted Strickland, he drew some 35,000 people. There were a lot of empty seats today in the Schottenstein, which seats 20,000.

The enthusiasm may be waning compared to 2008, but as you can see here, Obama can still cast a spell on those willing to suspend disbelief (click for full size):


If you look closely at one of the photographs you can see that Julia was in attendance:


To convince Julia to show up, the campaign told her the rally would feature Joe Biden riding around the arena in a golf cart shooting free contraceptives into the crowd from a hot dog cannon, but that never happened, and early reports are that Julia left unhappy.

Update: Three promises Obama made in 2008 that he made again yesterday.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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Categories: 2012 Campaign, Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, Media