Obama launches campaign, reaches for 'soccer moms' 

President Obama officially launched his reelection campaign with little fanfare on Monday through an e-mail to supporters and a video targeting grassroots organizers.

"Today, we are filing papers to launch our 2012 campaign," Obama's email read. "We're doing this now because the 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."

The president's strategy is pretty clear: He doesn't want to appear preoccupied with campaigning while the U.S. military continues airstrikes over Libya and Congress continues battling over a budget deal.

In the reelection campaign's two-minute video ad, Alice from Michigan says, "Unfortunately, President Obama is one person ... plus he's got a job. ... We're paying him to do a job, so we can't just say, 'Hey, could you just take some time and come and get us all energized?' So we better figure it out."

The video begins by flashing a photograph of a farm, then a church, then a middle-class home adorned with an American flag. 

The first speaker in the ad is a white-haired businessman with a southern drawl from North Carolina. 

"I don't agree with Obama over everything," he says. "But I respect him and I trust him."

The ad also features three women: one white, one black and one Hispanic. Two of the women are shown in their kitchens – one cooking dinner with family and the other beside her refrigerator, which is plastered with colorful block-letter magnets. It's an obvious reach for suburban women, the  "soccer mom" contingent who emerged in Bill Clinton's reelection campaign. 

Also appearing in the ad is a young Gen-Xer, chatting with friends in what appears to be a college dorm. He wasn't old enough to vote in 2008, he said, but he could still help drum up support for Obama. 

Obama makes only the briefest appearance in the video – stock footage of him speaking in 2008 – reinforcing the message that he will focus on his job, not the campaign, for now.

"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," he wrote to supporters.

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Hayley Peterson

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