WASHINGTON, April 4 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama announced his 2012 re-election campaign bid Monday via a YouTube video telling viewers, "It begins with us."
The video incorporates images of America -- churches, schools, families gathered together, the American flag among them -- and individuals expressing their views of what the 2012 presidential election means.
"There are so many things on the table that need to be addressed," "Gladys" of Nevada said. "And we want them to be addressed by President Obama."
While not unexpected, the announcement marks Obama's formal entry into the 2012 campaign.
The 2012 election must "reflect the changes we've seen in the last two years," Katherine of Colorado said, later saying, "Politics is how we govern ourselves."
The 2-minute, 10-second video fades to blue with white text reading, "It begins with us," and reveals the Obama 2012 logo, which incorporates the familiar red-white-and-blue "O" from the 2008 campaign.
The video accompanied an e-mail sent to supporters, in which Obama said he was filing papers with the Federal Election Commission to launch the 2012 campaign Monday, The Washington Post reported.
"We're doing this now because the politics we believe in does not start with expensive TV ads or extravaganzas, but with you," the e-mail read. "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 said his re-election effort would succeed only "if we work together. There will be much more to come as the race unfolds. Today, simply let us know you're in to help us begin, and then spread the word: http://my.barackobama.com/2012."
The announcement was paid for by Obama for America.
Obama's re-election bid announcement comes as Washington faces a possible shutdown amid record federal debt, Republican lawmakers said on the Sunday news shows.
"I find it kind of ironic that the week we're trying to engage the president, the Democrats and the country with an honest debate about our budget, with real solutions to fix this country's problems and prevent a debt crisis, the president is launching his re-election campaign," U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said on "Fox News Sunday."
"We don't need a good politician. We need a strong leader," he said.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, appeared on CNN's "State of the Union" saying that instead of demonstrating "presidential leadership ... you see the president really, you know, MIA [missing in action]. And you see him planning his announcement for his re-election bid. ... And it's just, kind of, like, you know, where are your priorities?"
Filing with the FEC will let Obama, 49, start raising money for his re-election effort. The campaign headquarters is in Chicago, his adopted hometown and base for his 2008 victory.
Obama will begin a national fundraising campaign in Chicago April 14, followed later in the month with Democratic fundraisers in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Campaign organizers intend to raise a record $1 billion, CNN reported. Obama brought in nearly $750 million in 2008.
No Republican challengers have filed FEC papers yet, but former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has set up a fundraising committee, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann have been busy soliciting donations without committing to a run. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia set up a Web site to gauge support.
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