National Security

Campaigner in Chief

Obama has already made more campaign stops in 2012 than President Bush made in the first six months of 2004.

Through April 24, Obama has taken Air Force One to 76 official visits in 22 states, including multiple trips to battleground states including Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. He has peppered his official stops with local fundraisers that have pulled in millions for his reelection campaign.

The New York Times described the "blurry line" between Obama’s duties as president and his desire to get re-elected:

Facing 5,000 enthusiastic students at Florida Atlantic University, President Obama rolled up his sleeves and raised his voice to chastise Republicans for their spending cuts and "broken-down theories," evoking chants of "Four more years!"

And that was the nonpolitical stop on Mr. Obama’s swing-state itinerary for that day early this month. The president sandwiched the 34-minute speech, billed as an official address on his so-called Buffett Rule for a minimum tax rate for the wealthiest Americans, amid three overtly partisan fund-raisers that accounted for the bulk of his time along the south Florida coast.

Mixing policy and politics, Mr. Obama is picking up the pace of his travel with that ultimate incumbent’s perk — unlimited use of Air Force One. The trips are mostly to about a dozen swing states that will decide the election and to two reliably Democratic states, New York and California, for campaign money.

Bush made 75 official visits to 29 states between January and June 2004.