The Great Debate UK

Obama blows the starting whistle – who will his opponent be?

OBAMA/-Andrew Hammond is an Associate Partner at Reputation Inc, and was formerly a Special Adviser in the UK Government and a Geopolitics Consultant at Oxford Analytica. The opinions expressed are his own.-

With U.S. President Barack Obama announcing his re-election campaign bid on Monday, the unofficial starting whistle for the 2012 election has been blown.

In a highly unusual move, Obama will be the first U.S. president in modern history to place his campaign headquarters outside of the Washington DC and suburban Virginia corridor (basing it instead in his home city of Chicago).  The president hopes that this break with recent precedent will help recapture the spirit of his hugely successful 2008 campaign as he seeks to become the first candidate in US history to raise $1 billion in presidential campaign finance.

Monday’s announcement aside, the most striking feature of the presidential race so far is the complete absence of any Republicans officially announcing their candidacies to challenge Obama.  This is especially interesting as, with the U.S. economy still weak, the president remains vulnerable to defeat in 2012.

from Tales from the Trail:

Reuters/Ipsos poll: 52 pct don’t think Obama will be re-elected

President Barack Obama is not up for re-election this week, but the outcome of congressional elections will be seen as a referendum on his policies.

A Reuters/Ipsos  poll predicts that Republicans will take control of the House of Representatives by winning 231 seats, compared with 204 seats for Democrats, in the midterm elections Tuesday.