WASHINGTON (The Blaze/AP) -- President Barack Obama formally launched his re-election campaign Monday, urging grass-roots supporters central to his first campaign to mobilize again to protect the change he's brought in his first term.
The official start of his second White House bid comes 20 months before the November 2012 election.
"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. And that kind of campaign takes time to build," Obama said in an e-mail to supporters.
He told them he was filing the necessary paperwork with the Federal Election Commission, and directed them to his new campaign website where a launch video featured snippets from supporters testifying about their continued backing of the Democrat.
The step was widely expected and planned to coincide with the second fundraising quarter of the year. Filing paperwork will allow the president to begin raising money in earnest for what advisers hope will be a record-breaking haul of more than $1 billion.
Obama's e-mail statement is below:
Today, we are filing papers to launch our 2012 campaign.
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. And that kind of campaign takes time to build.
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.
We've always known that lasting change wouldn't come quickly or easily. It never does. But as my administration and folks across the country fight to protect the progress we've made -- and make more -- we also need to begin mobilizing for 2012, long before the time comes for me to begin campaigning in earnest.
As we take this step, I'd like to share a video that features some folks like you who are helping to lead the way on this journey. Please take a moment to watch [see video above].
In the coming days, supporters like you will begin forging a new organization that we'll build together in cities and towns across the country. And I'll need you to help shape our plan as we create a campaign that's farther reaching, more focused, and more innovative than anything we've built before.
We'll start by doing something unprecedented: coordinating millions of one-on-one conversations between supporters across every single state, reconnecting old friends, inspiring new ones to join the cause, and readying ourselves for next year's fight.
This will be my final campaign, at least as a candidate. But the cause of making a lasting difference for our families, our communities, and our country has never been about one person. And it will succeed only if we work together.
There will be much more to come as the race unfolds. Today, simply let us know you're in to help us begin, and then spread the word: