President Barack Obama spends a significant amount of time insisting he is battling deep-pockets special interests. In a way, he is being too modest.
Before he even knows the identity of his Republican opponent in the presidential election, Obama already has spent $135 million trying to win it, according to a review by The Associated Press. That is more than GOP contenders Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, locked in a bruising fight for their party's nomination, have spent combined.
Even after spending that amount, the president's re-election campaign still had more than $84 million in the bank when the AP did its analysis.
Already, Obama has a paid staff of more than 500 people, the AP found. He has set up field offices in 45 states. More than 60 percent of the staff are in the Chicago office.
And, of course, it needs to be remembered Obama can do much of his campaign traveling on the taxpayers' dime. In addition, some of his White House staffers, also paid for by taxpayers, are focused almost solely on his re-election bid.
Clearly, Obama will be one of the deep-pocket candidates running for president this year.