President Obama sets stage to launch campaign

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President Barack Obama will officially open his 2012 re-election campaign as early as Monday, according to people familiar with the decision, a step to be followed by an announcement to supporters and a series of fund-raising trips across the country.

The president would be launching his campaign amid high-stakes budget negotiations in Congress from which Mr. Obama has maintained a distance, and could fuel irritation among some Democrats worried that Mr. Obama has already been crafting positions and a strategy with 2012 in mind.

Mr. Obama plans to hit the road this month to raise money for his re-election effort. He will headline a fund-raiser in his hometown of Chicago, home to his campaign headquarters, over the next two weeks.

Full story: Obama sets stage to launch campaign