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Running unopposed, Obama still launches Iowa counter-offensive

President Barack Obama is running unopposed in the Iowa caucuses, but that didn’t stop him from launching a counter-offensive in the state Tuesday night. The president held a live web discussion with his supporters in all 99 counties.  He thanked them for their hard work and tried to fire them up for 2012. “You guys inspire me every day” said Obama.

The president answered two questions during the web event which lasted nearly 27 minutes.  Roseanne from Coralville asked the president if he still believed in “hope and change.”  The president told Roseanne that he is “more optimistic than when I first ran.”

Administration officials have insisted that the president will not start officially campaigning until Republicans have chosen their nominee.  But his re-election team seems to be kicking into high gear.  They have set up 8 campaign offices in Iowa, held 12-hundred grassroots events, made 350 thousand calls to supporters and held over 4-thousand one-on-one meetings.

Iowa is an important state for the president for a number of reasons.  For one, the president won the Iowa caucuses in 2008, beating then-Sen. Hillary Clinton and lighting his campaign on fire.  He won the state convincingly during the general election, besting John McCain 54 percent to 45 percent. But, Republicans now believe Iowa is back in play in 2012, so both sides are gearing up for a hard fought race in the battleground state. 

President Obama travels to another key swing state on Wednesday – Ohio – where he will talk about the economy.  A sign the president may not be “officially” campaigning, but he is not sitting on the sidelines either.