If 2008 was about hope and change, 2012 may be about hard-knuckle politics. Behind the scenes, Obama advisers are planning to draw sharp contrasts with some of the leading Republicans.
Yet Obama also finds himself under pressure from the left to generate jobs and raise taxes on the wealthy.
Most Democrats, said MoveOn.org's Justin Ruben, "have not been offering a clear prescription for actually getting the economy moving."
Obama told workers in Michigan that he plans to roll out more economic plans "that will help businesses hire and put people back to work." That's an approach Democrats hope will set the tone for next year's election in the Midwest and beyond.
Ken Thomas can be reached at http://twitter.com/AP_Ken_Thomas
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