… Simple question, simple answer: His lips will be moving.
When Obama announced the opening of his campaign for reelection on
April 4, 2011, two thoughts came to mind: a) The opening of the campaign seemed to be out of sync with tradition for such announcements, and b) Obama spoke softly as he made the announcement, apparently hoping not to disturb Joe Biden’s catnap.
Thinking that Obama’s announcement seemed a bit premature, I dug into the archives to see exactly when modern day Republican presidents have announced their plans for reelection. Here’s what I found:
President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced his plans for reelection during a White House press conference on September 19, 1956, months after the final state primaries and caucuses and just two months and seventeen days before the November 6, 1956 General Election.
President Richard M. Nixon announced his plans for reelection on January 5, 1972, just nineteen days prior to the Iowa caucuses and ten months and two days prior to the November 7, 1972 General Election.
President Gerald R. Ford, having never been elected to the office and anticipating a strong primary challenge from former California governor Ronald Reagan, announced his campaign for the presidency on July 8, 1975, six months and eleven days ahead of the Iowa caucuses and fifteen months and twenty-five days prior to the November 2, 1976 General Election.
President Ronald Reagan announced his reelection campaign on January 29, 1984, twenty-seven days prior to the Iowa caucuses and nine months and eight days prior to the November 6, 1984 General Election.
President George H.W. Bush announced his reelection campaign on October 30, 1991, four months and eleven days ahead of the Iowa caucuses and twelve months and three days prior to the November 3, 1992 General Election.
President George W. Bush announced his plans for reelection on March 3, 2004, one month and twelve days after the Iowa caucuses and seven months and thirty days prior to the November 2, 2004 General Election.
Barack Hussein Obama, a man who clearly loves to campaign for public office, but who abhors the actual work of governing, announced his plans for a second presidential campaign on April 4, 2011, ten months and two days ahead of the 2012 Iowa caucuses, and nineteen months and two days prior to the November 6, 2012 General Election.
Date of Months and Days Months and Days Candidate Announcement Prior to
Iowa Caucuses Prior to General Election
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Sept. 19, 1956 N/A 2 Months & 17 Days
Richard M. Nixon
Jan. 5, 1972 19 Days 10 Months & 2 Days
Gerald R. Ford
July 8, 1975 6 Months & 11 Days 15 Months & 25 Days
Jan. 29, 1984 27 Days 9 Months & 8 Days
George H.W. Bush
Oct. 30, 1991 4 Months & 11 Days 12 Months & 3 Days
George W. Bush
March 3, 2004 N/A 7 Months & 30 Days
Barack H. Obama April 4, 2011 *10 Months & 2 Days *19 Months & 2 Days
*While Republican candidates have always minimized the time between the announcement of reelection plans and the beginning of the primary season and subsequent General Election, Barack Obama has proven that he finds no difference between campaigning and governing. In actual fact, Obama began campaigning non-stop for president on the day that he was sworn into the United States Senate on
January 4, 2005… a period of seven years, one month, and two days prior to the 2012
Iowa caucuses. By the time the American people go to the polls on November 6, 2012, Obama will have been campaigning non-stop for seven years, ten months, and two days, a record that is sure to stand until the day that the world’s second black hole (the first being the Obama era in American politics) swallows us all.