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Obama announces re-election campaign

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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: It’s now official. President Obama is running for re-election. But the timing of this morning’s web announcement isn’t just a coincidence. Its focused on — you guessed it — money.

Marketplace’s Gregory Warner reports.

GREGORY WARNER: By filing papers with the Federal Election Commission today, the president can officially start fundraising for his re-election. That gives him the entire second quarter — April, May, June — until his campaign has to tell anyone how much money they’ve raised. They’re going for maximum sticker shock.

I called up Tony Corrado he’s a campaign finance expert at Colby College in Maine.

WARNER: But the money you raise is itself an ad.

TONY CORRADO: That’s correct. Especially in the year before the election. Fundraising is one of the main metrics used to assess a candidate’s strength.

President Obama raised $750 million in 2008. Now Corrado and others are talking about this being the first billion dollar campaign. That means meetings with big ticket donors. And also lots of Facebook and Twitter campaigns to reach out to small donors.

CORRADO: The technology in 2012 is even more powerful than the technology in 2008 and they’ll make use of that in their campaign.

Because in the war of campaign war chests — its not just about how much money you raise, but who is writing the checks.

I’m Gregory Warner, for Marketplace.

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