This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 14, 2011 - President Barack Obama's re-election campaign is officially opening up its St. Louis campaign office tonight, perhaps countering the general impression that Obama isn't counting on carrying Missouri in 2012 -- and will spend his money accordingly.
According to the campaign's website, the Obama for America office will be at 1925 Washington Ave, at the edge of downtown. The grand opening is slated for 6-8 p.m. tonight.
In 2008, the Obama campaign initially had a Washington office just off Tucker Boulevard leading up to Missouri's February Democratic primary. Several months later, it opened a new office in midtown.
That year, Obama narrowly edged out then-Sen. Hillary Clinton in Missouri's primary. But that fall, Obama narrowly lost Missouri to Republican John McCain -- even as Obama handily won the presidential contest nationally.
Missouri was the only one of the nation's swing states that did not go with Obama. For that reason, the conventional wisdom of both major parties has been that the president -- facing lower approval numbers nationally -- will likely focus on other states in 2012 deemed more likely to support him -- or more crucial to his overall path to victory.
However, such a backdrop apparently hasn't prompted the Obama campaign to entirely ignore Missouri, or St. Louis.