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Obama: Kicking off the campaign

“President Obama will officially kick off his campaign for re-election with rallies in two key swing states – Ohio and Virginia – on May 5, his campaign announced Wednesday,” the Boston Globe writes before adding, “Not that Obama hasn’t been campaigning for months.”

Reuters: “It's official. Obama rallies mark shift to general election.”

Biden today in a speech at NYU will warn that Romney could wage “unnecessary war,” if elected. “Vice President Joe Biden says Republican Mitt Romney's views on foreign affairs would return the United States to the policies of former President George W. Bush,” the AP says. Biden was set to deliver a campaign foreign policy speech Thursday in New York. The Associated Press received a draft of his remarks. The vice president is warning against returning to a foreign policy that he says ‘would have America go it alone.’”

Obama to Rolling Stone: “I don’t think that their nominee is going to be able to suddenly say, ‘Everything I’ve said for the last six months, I didn’t mean. I’m assuming that he meant it. When you’re running for president, people are paying attention to what you’re saying.”

The AP looks at the costs involved in presidential trips (that often mix in politics).

Good faith negotiators? From Robert Draper’s latest book (via HuffPo’s Sam Stein, Political Wire): "As President Barack Obama was celebrating his inauguration at various balls, top Republican lawmakers and strategists were conjuring up ways to submarine his presidency at a private dinner in Washington, D.C... For several hours in the Caucus Room (a high-end D.C. establishment), the book says they plotted out ways to not just win back political power, but to also put the brakes on Obama's legislative platform. The dinner lasted nearly four hours. They parted company almost giddily."

“Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said at least three U.S. Marines were disciplined last year for a dalliance with a hooker,” the New York Daily News writes. “Panetta told reporters that three Marines and a U.S. Embassy staffer were punished in December after a brouhahas with a prostitute in Brasilia. … The prostitute was allegedly dumped out of a car after she got into a fight with the Marines. She tried to crawl back into the vehicle, fell and was injured. The American embassy reimbursed her for her medical expenses.”