Jan 212011
Authors: McClatchy-Tribune

WASHINGTON –– President Barack Obama, as expected, has chosen Chicago as the headquarters for his 2012 re-election campaign, an official said Thursday.

The announcement came on the two-year anniversary of Obama’s inauguration.

The campaign headquarters is to open in the spring, according to the Obama campaign official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Chicago is Obama’s adopted hometown and the first lady’s actual one.

Obama’s 2008 presidential bid was based in Chicago. The news came as senior adviser David Axelrod prepared to leave the White House and return to Chicago soon after the president’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday in order to spearhead the re-election bid.

As recently as late last month, White House officials said Obama had not decided where to locate his re-election headquarters. Observers, though, fully expected Chicago. The decision bucks recent history.

Every two-term president in the last 30 years –– George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan –– set up their re-election campaign offices near the White House or in suburban Virginia.

Observers said a key factor in Chicago’s favor is the anti-Washington climate that has swept the country. Another is the insurgency candidacy anticipated from Obama’s rivals, who are expected to make the case that the times are bad, the nation’s capital is broken, Obama has been captured by Washington –– and they offer voters an alternative.

Running the re-election effort out of Chicago won’t stop those arguments, but it could blunt them. A Chicago base offers plenty of advantages: The city is loaded with longtime loyalists, many with fundraising muscle.

It’s within striking distance of battleground states Obama must court: Iowa, Ohio, Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.

 Posted by at 8:40 am

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