The White House is gearing up for re-election, preparing to launch President Obama's 2012 campaign in the next few months.
A senior administration official tells Fox's Mike Emanuel the first step of the process is the closing of the political affairs office in Washington. As first reported by the New York Times, the re-election office will open in Chicago by the end of March when President Obama plans to file papers with the Federal Election.
The staff shuffle at the White House continues, as Deputy White House chief of staff Jim Messina transitions to campaign manager. President Obama's 2008 campaign manager David Plouffe has recently returned to Team Obama in the form of senior advisor at the White House.
With the closing of the political affairs office, White House political director, Patrick Gaspard, will move to the Democratic National Committee. Gaspard will manage the day-to-day operations of the DNC while working with Tim Kaine, the current chairman.
Once the papers are filed and the Chicago office is up and running, the Obama 2012 campaign will officially start raising money and hiring campaign staff. David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs have announced their departure from the White House to better help President Obama with re-election.
Back in Washington, the White House will lack an office of political affairs. This strategy is the administration's attempt to avoid repetition. Politics will always be part of the West Wing operations, especially with Plouffe and new White House chief of staff Bill Daley heavily involved in all things politics.