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President Obama: The First Billion-Dollar Candidate?

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama is on the verge of making a very important announcement -- one that we all probably could have predicted -- that he wants to keep his job as leader of the free world.

Obama is expected to send an e-mail message to supporters as early as this week and file his official papers with the Federal Election Commission, effectively announcing his re-election bid, unidentified Democratic officials who are familiar with the president's plans said Saturday.

The timing makes sense, as Obama has a large fundraiser scheduled in Chicago in a week and a half. The president also managed to raise $1.5 million at a fundraiser held in New York City last week.

Some believe that Obama, who has a true knack for raising election money, may cross the threshold and could become the first $1 billion presidential candidate. During his 2008 election campaign, Obama managed to raise a whopping $750 million.

Meanwhile, a laundry list of Republicans, from governors to former governors, senators and television personalities are laying the groundwork for a possible presidential bid.

There are plenty of "potential" Republican candidates already being touted in the media -- though not one has officially declared that he or she will take on the incumbent. This has given everyone from Donald Trump to Michele Bachmann plenty of attention.

Obama's re-election odds got a bit of a boost on Friday when it was announced that the March unemployment rate fell to 8.8 percent, the lowest level in two years, and that the economy added 216,000 jobs last month.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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