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Barack Obama 2012 Campaign Underway, But GOP Keeps Charging

WASHINGTON — Running for re-election, President Barack Obama is employing powers not available to his Republican challengers. Just this week he’s holding town halls in three states, arriving in grand style on Air Force One and granting cove…

WASHINGTON — Running for re-election, President Barack Obama is employing powers not available to his Republican challengers. Just this week he’s holding town halls in three states, arriving in grand style on Air Force One and granting coveted interviews to local TV news anchors.

He doesn’t have the field entirely to himself and his poll numbers are sagging a bit as he feuds with Republicans over spending and deficit cutting. With Congress in recess, dozens of GOP lawmakers are holding their own events to tell constituents why they believe they have a better plan for cutting spending and revamping social programs.

Obama’s busy week leaves no doubt that his 2012 campaign is underway. The three-day, four-stop trip to California and Nevada, starting Wednesday, is his most extensive travel since announcing his re-election plans April 4.

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