Tags: obama | tough | race | reelection

Obama Admits Re-election a 'Tough Race'

Thursday, 19 May 2011 11:14 PM

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President Barack Obama conceded Thursday night that he is facing a tough fight for re-election.

Obama spoke at a dinner for 50 people at the Washington home of lawyer John Phillips, who was on Obama’s 2008 national finance committee, and his wife, Linda Douglass, who was spokeswoman for the White House Office of Health Reform until last year.

He touted his administration's successes, he laid out how difficult he thought his re-election will be.

"This is going to be a tough race because the economy is still recoveirng, a lot of people are still suffering.

"I'm extraordinarily proud of the record we have amassed over these last two and a half years, but some of the underlying anxieties, frustrations, difficulties that middle class famliels are experiencing out there they are still feeling," he said. "They expect us to deal with it."

He continued, "So part of what this campaign is going to be about is not just talking about the past but also talking about the future."

Obama explained, "It really has to do with two different visions of the future. Are we going to continue make investments that allow us to win that future . . .  Are we going to continue to make sure senior citicens have the safety net of social security and medicare intact . . . Are we going to live within our means in government but do so in a way that ensures that burden is shared by all and not just some?"

Obama said that, although his administration has helped the economy grow again, “our goal was never just to get back to where we were in 2007 and 2008.”

He listed implementation of the healthcare overhaul and the financial regulatory law, along with a new clean energy policy, as things yet to be done, and said he is confident that he will get “five and a half more years to finish the job” his administration has started.

Obama has opened his 2012 re-election campaign headquarters in Chicago, and he raised millions of dollars last month at events in Illinois, California, and New York.

The president is similarly active this month: On Monday, he raised more than $1 million at two DNC fundraisers in Washington. On Wednesday, he raised money for the DNC at two events in the Boston area — a reception with about 900 people at the Boston Center for the Arts, where he raised an unspecified amount, and a dinner with 130 supporters at a home in suburban Brookline, Mass., where the host, Jack Connors, the chairman emeritus of the marketing and communications company Hill Holliday, said $2.2 million was raised.

The total cost of the 2012 presidential election campaign is likely to exceed the more than $2 billion the Federal Election Commission said was spent in 2008 by candidates, political parties, and outside groups.

Obama raised a record $745 million in 2007-08, and he was the first major-party nominee to reject public financing for the general election.

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