Watch CBSN Live

Obama launches 2012 campaign with web video

President Obama announced the start of his re-election campaign Monday with an email to supporters and a video featuring individuals from around the country speaking about the need to re-elect him.

"I don't agree with Obama on everything, but I respect him and I trust him," says a man identified in the video as Ed from North Carolina.

The launch of Mr. Obama's 2012 campaign comes after two years of slow economic recovery, continuing wars and escalating military situations abroad, and contentious debates over issues like health care reform and economic stimulus. Still, 20 months before the election, unemployment levels are at a two-year low, and the Republican 2012 field has yet to truly take shape. The president's approval rating stands at 49 percent, according to the last CBS News poll.

The president's video acknowledges that he's disappointed some voters and that, as president, he won't have the time to campaign as vigorously as he did in the last election, CBS News political analyst John Dickerson said on CBS' "The Early Show."

"What's interesting about the video the president put out is, he's barely in it," Dickerson said. "There are only images of him from before 2008. It's all about the movement. All about those people who gathered in 2008 and walked the precincts and signed up their friends. And that's what the campaign is trying to rekindle again, is that feeling of 2008."

By filing the paperwork with the Federal Election Commission and launching his campaign now, Mr. Obama has some time to rekindle that feeling and to fundraise while still doing the job of the president.

"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," Mr. Obama said in the email sent to supporters this morning. "And that kind of campaign takes time to build."

While he's reaching out to the grassroots supporters who played a large role in his 2008 campaign, Mr. Obama is also already seeking out the support of wealthy donors and independent fundraising groups. His campaign manager Jim Messina has already asked 400 major donors to each raise $350,000 in 2011 for the president, the Washington Post reports. Last week, Mr. Obama met with wealthy donors at fundraising events in New York, such as the 50-person, $30,800-a-head dinner at the Red Rooster Harlem restaurant, hosted by the Democratic National Committee.

Mr. Obama raised $750 million in the 2008 campaign and is expected to beat that in this election cycle.

Some of the president's potential Republican challengers were quick to release responses to Mr. Obama's announcement today, focusing their message on the economy.

CBS News political analyst John Dickerson discusses President Obama's 2012 campaign launch below:

View CBS News In