The campaign to getting Barack Obama re-elected in Florida starts in Ybor City

Garcia (seen at right), a political junkie who first got involved in campaigns in 2010 helping Democrat Diane Rowden in her unsuccessful bid for the state House, is as enthusiastic as they come, but she's not naive. She realizes that this is unlike four years ago, when the barely known Senator from Illinois was in the process of just introducing himself to the public, with so much hope attached to what he might be able to for America.

"I’ve heard the word disappointment a lot, which is totally understandable, but I think people have to realize we have made a lot of progress," Garcia, who will intern with the campaign until early August, and then attend USF as a political science major. "It's maybe not been what everybody had hoped for," she admitted, as the economy continues to struggles. "I know there was a lot of things that the president had on his plate when he took office, but he’s done so much, I could list you so many things that he’s done that have inspired me," she said.

31-year-old Plant City resident Mindy Romero (seen at right) says she was too busy to help out Obama in 2007-2008, so she's happy she can get involved this election cycle. Like Garcia, she's heard the disappointment from other Democrats about some of the things that have, or have not been achieved under an Obama administration, but that doesn't deter her one bit.

:I feel right now this is a perfect time to get involved, and I feel people are being lax right now and they feel like they’re disappointed by Obama, but I think in some cases they’re not informed properly - they don’t realize it takes time to change."

On CNN's State of The Union on Sunday, one of the main strategists in getting the president re-elected, veteran Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod, was circumspect in trying to try to rise above ripping into any of the Republican candidates in the race, but couldn't seem to help himself by going after Mitt Romney, though not by name.

AXELROD: ...Again, Let me emphasize that, when we get to the election, it's going to be a choice between two candidates. I have no doubt that our base is going to be very, very solid. And in fact, the polling that I've seen is a little bit contrary to that. I think our base is going to be very, very solid because they'll understand what the choices are and the direction which he wants to lead and the direction in which the Republican candidate will want to lead.

And I think one of the things that's going to inform that campaign is whether that Republican candidate is going to yield to some of the forces within his own party or her own party that is driving their — their party further to the right.

That will, I think, make independent voters step back. Because what independent voters want is for us to work together, both parties, to solve the problems facing the country. They don't want harsh partisanship. They don't want unremitting ideology. And the president is a pragmatic leader who is willing to work with whomever is willing to work with him to try and solve the problems of this country.

CROWLEY: But it's to your benefit to portray whoever comes out of the Republican process as a right-wing conservative, sort of...


AXELROD: No, I'm not — I'm not interested in characterizing the candidate as a right-wing conservative. I am interested in looking at their views and whether those views are consistent held.

One of the things that people are going to look at is not just the positions that the candidates take, not just their records, but also the character of their — of their leadership and politics.

And part of that character is do you have the fortitude to stick with your positions or do you shift according to the political moment?

CROWLEY: That sounds like a Romney argument.

AXELROD: Well, I mean, it could fit any number of people. It's not unusual in politics for people who are ambitious to change their points of view on fundamental things to try and win an election.

But that's not what people want in the president of the United States

Axelrod also told CNN's Candy Crowley that he was surprised that former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, who served as Obama's Ambassador to China, is going to run for the GOP nomination for President (he officially announces tomorrow). Axelrod said that he had the impression from Huntsman himself that he would run in 2016, but said, "obviously circumstances change."


This past Saturday was the first national "Day of Action" for the 2012 Barack Obama re-election campaign, with volunteers from all over the country canvassing around the country to sell their man to the general public once again.

In Ybor City, approximately a dozen or so people appeared at 5 p.m. to receive instructions about how to engage prospective voters, equipped with clipboards and "I'm in" cards in which they would collect names and phone numbers of acknowledged supporters - all for an election still 16 months away.

Believing that there is nothing like the enthusiasm of young people, the action on Saturday was being supervised by summer organizer Ashley Garcia, just 17 years old and a week out of graduating from high school in Spring Hill.

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