Obama 2012 kick-off: Fund-raisers in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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WASHINGTON — On Monday I revealed that the Obama 2012 campaign is kicking off with a series of fund-raisers starting in Chicago on April 14 and now I have more details: President Obama hits California on April 20 and 21 for fund-raisers in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The date Obama registers as a 2012 candidate with the Federal Election Commission is soon, I’ve heard, though “no decision has been made,” said Democratic National Committee Press Secretary Hari Sevugan. Anyway, there is no real suspense. Everyone knows Obama is running for a second term. There are a few considerations for the final timing, especially if there is a government shutdown as a result of congressional budget battles, or if the Libya military action takes an unexpected turn for the worse.

Still, there will be some hoopla surrounding the “official” announcement, and in the planning stages are a string of “official” launch events, in a variety of apps, in the e-world and the real one. Marc Ambinder over at the Atlantic says the re-elect team wants to keep the announcement date a “secret” so they can first send out e-mails or text messages to supporters. Stringing out the announcement (sign up and be the first to know!) will help Obama 2012 organization build its lists.

The Obama team has fund-raising as a top priority. Obama’s main war chest for a second term, I’m told, will be called the “Obama Victory Fund 2012. On Tuesday, Vice President Biden prospected in Washington with about 75 big wallet Democrats, while Obama raised $1.5 million at a fund-raiser in New York City for the Democratic National Committee, his main political operation until the re-elect is created.

The Chicago visit will likely consist of two events: a very high-dollar dinner and a lower-end reception. Remember: it was Chicago’s elite donors who bankrolled Obama at the start of his 2008 presidential campaign.

The Chicago national Obama 2012 headquarters, I scooped Monday, will be in the Prudential Building. More details:

The Obama 2012 ground game will start soon — as early as May, a source told me, with re-elect staffers setting up shop first in battleground states. Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Wisconsin and others. The pro-labor protests triggered by GOP Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to strip public unions of their collective bargaining rights has already provided a test run for the DNC’s Organizing for America arm, energizing the group that launched as Obama for America in 2008.

The top Obama 2012 staffers will be in Chicago before the April 14 Obama event. Campaign manager Jim Messina is already in the city; with deputy managers Jennifer O’Malley Dillon and Julianna Smoot and fund raising chief Rufus Gifford and others soon to follow.

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