It is never too early. Quietly, separated from the public business, President Obama's political aides are gathering information and lining up team players for his probable re-election bid in 2012, which likely will again be run out of Chicago, Politico
The closed-door planning focuses first on the midterm elections this year, with talk of a presidential campaign sandwiched into the private conversations.
Politico's Mike Allen says that White House senior adviser David Axelrod may leave his West Wing office to rejoin his family in Chicago and resume his role as the campaign guru, setting its tone as he oversees themes and advertising. David Plouffe, the 2008 campaign manager, will also be an important member of the team, though possibly as an outside adviser or consultant.
"If you look at David Plouffe's stepped-up level of activity with the political organization [Obama for America], that is obviously the beginning of the process," a top official told the Washington-based political newspaper and Web site.
Also expected to take part in a 2012 effort: former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn; Democratic National Committee communications aide Brad Woodhouse; and Deputy White House Chief of Staff Jim Messina, who may end up as the campaign manager. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is expected to remain at the White House.
With Obama giving every indication he will run again -- and Republicans already conducting straw polls and talking up would-be front-runners -- the "re-elect," as Obama aides call it, is likely to launch early next year, Politico said.