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President Obama's Re-election Campaign Officially Starts

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AP/Then Senator Obama campaigns in 2008

In case there was any confusion, President Obama is officially running for re-election in 2012, his campaign announced Monday morning in a web video.

His campaign website, BarackObama.com, was updated with a "2012" logo and a video featuring grassroots activists.

The short message actually doesn't even prominently feature the president at all, trying to emphasize getting people involved on the ground. 

The site also had this message, "This campaign is just kicking off. We're opening up offices, unpacking boxes, and starting a conversation with supporters like you to help shape our path to victory. 2012 begins now, and this is where you say you're in."

Monday's date also has a little play on numbers: the announcement comes on the fourth day of the fourth month for the 44th president.

Obama also formally put in his paperwork with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) Monday, which means he can really hit the fundraising trail.

He's also expected to hold a conference call Monday with supporters and donors.

This campaign is expected to break records and possibly hit $1 billion in campaign funds for Obama's re-election, after hitting the $750 million mark last cycle.

Democratic sources confirm former White House staffers Bill Burton and Sean Sweeney are likely to launch an independent fundraising group in an effort to counter outside GOP groups that were highly successful in the 2010 election.  Working with such an organization would be a striking reversal for the Obama camp, who has criticized influence of outside, independent groups in the past.

"I don't agree with Obama on everything but I respect him and I trust him," Ed from North Carolina says in the video.  Absent from any of the messaging are the words "hope" and "change," which were hallmarks of his 2008 bid. 

Shortly after the web video was posted, an e-mail went out to supporters. In the e-mail, signed simply "Barack," he noted he's focused on the "job you elected me to do" and said that "we've always known that lasting change wouldn't come quickly or easily."

The president also noted that it would be his last race of sorts, "This will be my final campaign, at least as a candidate. But the cause of making a lasting difference for our families, our communities, and our country has never been about one person. And it will succeed only if we work together."

There were also follow-up tweets sent by the campaign under the president's name:

"While I stay focused on the job you elected me to do, the work of laying the foundation for our campaign must start today."

"Today, we're filing papers to launch our 2012 campaign. Say that you're in: http://OFA.BO/bWjHd7 #Obama2012"

Obama's re-election effort is going to be based in Chicago, a different approach to many of his predecessors and an attempt for the campaign to be seen as outside of Washington.  The headquarters will be just a few blocks from Grant Park, where Obama gave his big speech on Election Day in 2008.

He's scheduled to go to the windy city on April 14 for a fundraising event. 

Vice President Biden will be in the key political state of New Hampshire Monday and holding an event with supporters in the afternoon. 

So far Republicans have been slow to jump in the race.  Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty  is the only so-called "big-name" GOP candidate to test the waters.

He released his own video Monday, saying "I've got a question for you. How can america win the future, when we're losing the present?"

By this time in the 2008 cycle, dozens of candidates had already jumped in.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) posted a video rebuttal to the president's announcement, attacking him on jobs, saying "hope isn't hiring."

Fox New's Mike Emanuel contributed to this report.