President Obama said Friday that he's convinced that voters will come to see him as the candidate best prepared to serve as president by next fall's elections.
The president said he thinks that he can make the case for a second term, though he acknowledged that the state of the economy could be his biggest hurdle to clear in winning reelection.
"I think the economy's going to continue to improve, and I think I'm going to be able to make an effective case that ... I am the person who is best prepared to finish the job so that we are on track to succeed in the 21st century," Obama said in a video interview this morning with The Associated Press.
"I think I can make that case, and I think that, in the debates that take place over the next 18 months, the American people will feel that I deserve a second term," Obama added.
The president launched his campaign earlier this month by filing paperwork with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to formally indicate he would seek a second term. Obama advanced that effort with a trio of fundraisers last night in his adoptive hometown of Chicago, the city where his reelection effort will be headquartered.
Obama enjoys an early advantage over most of the Republicans vying for the nomination to challenge him in 2012, but polls suggest that the president doesn't enjoy broad support on the issue he says is most important: the economy. In a poll released on Friday, Gallup found Obama's approval rating stood at 41 percent, an all time low. Gallup said the figure was fueled by economic dissatisfaction.
"I think that my biggest concern, when it comes to reelection, is my biggest concern as president of the United States, which is our economy moving fast enough to give people the kind of relief that they need," Obama said.
As for the biggest strength Obama believes he has heading into 2012? He said it was his "confidence in the American people."