WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is getting ready to make one of Washington's worst kept secrets official: He wants a second term.
Democratic officials familiar with the plan say Obama will file 2012 campaign papers with the Federal Election Commission as early as this coming week.
It's a long-anticipated but formal step that will allow him to start raising money for the campaign, which will be based in Chicago.
The fundraising effort has begun. Obama raised $1.5 million at a Democratic fundraiser in New York City this past week and he'll headline events in the coming weeks in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Obama raised an eye-catching $750 million for his 2008 campaign.
The officials asked not to be identified in order to speak before the re-election papers are filed.