President Obama’s sort ‘official’ kickoff for his next presidential campaign Monday highlighted the nature of politics today, as if we needed the reminder.

It’s all, or mostly, about money.

President Obama officially kicked off Monday what experts say will be the nation’s costliest White House battle, as he uses the power of incumbency to raise vast sums for his re-election campaign. Outside groups also plan to flex their new legal power to spend unlimited corporate and union money in the election, dramatically increasing the price tag of the 2012 race.

“This could easily be a $2 billion presidential election, and that’s just for the nominees,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.

At that level, candidates would spend as much to win the White House as the Walt Disney Co. spent on U.S. advertising in 2009, according to Advertising Age.

That say something. But whatever it is, it isn’t good.

Here’s what WaPo said:

The announcement — via an e-mail message and a Web video to supporters — makes Obama the first declared candidate in the 2012 presidential race.

By filing his candidacy papers Monday with the Federal Election Commission, the president will be able to start raising campaign money immediately. He has already tapped a campaign manager, former White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina, who is setting up the headquarters of Obama’s 2012 operation in Chicago.

This is interesting.

But some Republicans are criticizing the president for starting his 2012 campaign while a potential government shutdown looms, unemployment remains near 9 percent and U.S. forces are helping to enforce a no-fly zone and arms embargo in Libya.

The timing is not exactly impeccable.

The actual declaration was a formality, as Obama was widely expected to seek a second term. But in the message to supporters, the president argues that he needed to start his campaign as quickly as possible.

Really? But it gets more interesting…

He does not speak in the two-minute video, which shows supporters across the country talking about the importance of gearing up for the campaign.

Why doesn’t he speak? Isn’t he the master of rhetoric? And then this:

“We’re doing this now because the politics we believe in does not start with expensive TV ads or extravaganzas, but with you — with people organizing block-by-block, talking to neighbors, co-workers, and friends.

So why the staggering price tag of a billion dollars?

This is going to be a tougher sell, at least right now.

ABC News:

In 2007, Barack Obama presented himself as the candidate of change and worked to lure Democrats with ads that promised that: We Can End a War,” “We Can Save the Planet,” “We Can Change the World.”

This is pretty heady and ambitious stuff, which inspired famous (or near-famous) actors and musical performers to cut a video that caught the attention of millions of Americans.

Four years later, a more subtle and subdued message from team Obama. Instead of promises to save the world, supporters of President Obama take a more realistic approach to winning the election.

Like putting citizens out there other than the president on video to launch the campaign? Like the headline says: ‘Hope’ and ‘Change’ Meet Reality.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....