President Obama’s inner circle is already privately laying the groundwork for his 2012 reelection campaign. The planning so far consists mostly of informal private conversations, in between more rigorous 2010 planning, but insiders tell Politico that the consensus is that the campaign will be run out of Chicago, managed by current deputy chief of staff Jim Messina.
Among Obama’s old hands, David Plouffe will play a central role—one friend describes him as “the father of all this”—and David Axelrod will probably leave the White House to resume his chief strategist duties. DNC operatives, meanwhile, are already gathering opposition research on the likely Republican contenders. Obama’s team hasn’t decided on any campaign themes, in part, a top adviser says, because it’s not a concern. “He knows who he is.”